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The Data’s In, 2017 Looks Like It Will Be a Seller’s Market!

Still bitter with the real estate industry following the market’s 2008 downturn? Real estate selling in 2017 and beyond may offer some karmic retribution. A seller’s market is predicted, though a buyer’s market is not too far off on the horizon.

What “the experts” are saying
Most economists agree 2017 will be a strong seller’s market, though buyers are expected to have their day in 2018 or 2019.

• Matthew Gardner, chief economist at Windermere
Gardner expects inventory to rise in 2017, but not to sufficient levels to support the currently stretched market. Inventory will take a little longer to sell, but as the job market continues to tighten, demand will continue to outstrip supply.

• Mark Fleming, chief economist at First American
Assuming a market with modestly and predictably rising mortgage rates, Fleming believes first-time buyers will drive the market, pointing to a demographic that’s young (millennial), diverse, technologically savvy, and predominately college-educated.

• Jonathan Smoke, chief economist at realtor.com
Smoke sees market potential for a high volume of first-time buyers, but with geography playing a role: Some markets will be above-average in price expectation or sales expectation – but few will be above-average in both. In seller’s markets, supply constraint will be driving the price; In buyer’s markets, “great buys” are pushing sales growth. The good news? Either is good for the real estate selling business.

• Svenja Gudell, chief economist at Zillow
Gudell sees a market skewing to sellers, with more purchases on the outskirts of the city compared to the urban center, with its much higher price tags. She warns to expect higher cancelation rates and lower conversion rates in today’s challenging financing environment, with pent-up demand declining, in favor of more organic activity as interest rates rise.

Looking forward to a better real estate selling future in the coming years? Looks like the market may finally be on your side. Take advantage, with the help of Properties Online today.

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5 Good Reasons to Use a Real Estate Agent

Unless you are a realtor or retired agent, it’s not a smart idea and may cost you in real dollars. Here are 5 good reasons to use a real estate agent.

As the real estate industry continues to move online, and as buyers and sellers have increasingly easy access to real estate data and information, more and more buyers and sellers may decide to go it alone, without the help of a real estate professional. But unless you are a realtor or a retired agent, it’s not generally a smart idea and may cost the home seller in real dollars. Here are 5 good reasons to use a real estate agent. Drumroll, please …

Split the check. Really, the major reason people choose to buy and sell homes without a professional comes down to money. They want to save on commission. But what if buyer AND seller are playing this game? The sale price of a home takes an agent’s commission into account. Comps on houses in your area are made on houses that overwhelmingly are sold by agent. But if they buyer is also going agent-free, they’ll likely offer down, because they know the agent’s fee isn’t necessary. Buyer and seller can’t collect the unpaid commission. Someone’s going to lose.

Don’t you already have a full time job? Selling or buying property can be extremely time intensive. There is a lot of research to begin, home viewing, deal making, negotiating, etc. Whether you work outside the home or not, unlike a professional realtor, I can bet you aren’t working the real estate circuit 40+ hours a week. A qualified agent has access to properties and agents you don’t, can track down and vet houses that meet your specifications, schedule appointments and play phone tag on your behalf. Selling without an agent is even more time consuming and a lot less fun. You have to solicit all the calls from potential buyers, someone weed out the looky-loos, answer questions, show viewers through your home, prep and stage, and more. What happens if the home doesn’t sell in a timely fashion? It starts to get a bad rep. Not worth it.

Did you captain the debate team in high school? Negotiating is tricky business. Sellers often have a lot of personal attachment and can’t see things outside of that bias. Buyers may not feel confident about speaking up when they see a potential issue. Or they may feel overly confident and do damage when they simply want to criticize what they see as hideous decorating techniques. Agents can represent your interests, leaving the parties with emotional involvement right out of the thick of things. Deals have gone dead over insults, real or imagined. Let your agent play the bad cop, if necessary. Let them schmooze, too.

It’s a trust thing. Your agent, if working under a conventional, full-service commission agreement, is bound by law to work in your best interests. Now that doesn’t mean all agents are created equal and all are equally trustworthy. But it does mean that you have recourse if something goes wrong. Your agent is responsible to his broker or professional association and to the state in which he is licensed. What’s more, your agent probably got your business based on referral. And he or she will count on you to do the same. This is further incentive, beyond the legal obligation, to put your needs first when it comes to buying or selling a home. On the other hand, if you buy from a FSBO and you’re without an agent, you have two people working for their own interests, with much less holding them to honesty and accountability. Hiring a lawyer later is much more expensive than securing a real estate agent at the start.

Sign on the dotted line. Speaking of lawyers, you may need one if you choose not to use an agent or broker. Contracts are vital, and they aren’t always easy to understand. What if you fail to make financing one of the conditions of the sale, for instance, and then find you aren’t approved for the mortgage? The seller could sue you, could keep your deposit, and could derail your home buying dream. Using an agent ensures you have someone on your side well versed in real estate contracts who can look out for any red flags or potential pit falls and make sure you have everything you need secured and in writing from the get-go.

Real estate isn’t a simple business. Do yourself a favor and rely on a professional. Happy house hunting and selling!

Agents, please feel free to send this on to your clients or share it on your own blogs and social media (with proper credit). And let me know any other reasons you suggest home buyers and sellers use a real estate professional!