There are tons of articles online about the housing market from Realtor.com to Forbes. For a more tailored view of our market, there’s this informative video below by Allen Tate Company’s CEO Pat Riley that rounds up the housing projections for 2018.
Projections are good. They help ascertain what we should expect as a whole for the year and plan accordingly from there. Looking at last year from the ground, this is the break down of what I saw in the market.
Where We Were in 2017:
- Housing price increases. Folks who bought between 2010 and 2016 made out very well last year when they went to sell. I remember doing a market report for the community of Amber Ridge in Rock Hill last year. A girlfriend of mine had just purchased there in 2015 (of course I was her buyer’s agent) for $100,000. Imagine her surprise when I texted her and told her that her little starter home was now selling for $50,000 more than what she bought it for. She was one happy camper for sure.
The next week, I got a call from a seller who bought back in 2012. We sold the house for $100,000 more than for what she bought a mere 5 years before. There were many happy dances.
- Multiple Offers Are Still Real and Rising. In 2016, multiple offers were the norm in the price points up to $250,000. A buyer of mine set her sights on a for sale by owner that was put on the market just to “feel things out” in the low $400’s right before the holidays. Multiple offers that we competed against for that house and we won. Many buyers are asking themselves how is this happening? It’s simple. Good quality homes are at an all-time low and buyers in all price points are battling for them. Bottom line, the same driving factors for a quick home sale remain the same 1. Good house 2. Good location 3. Good price.
- Buyers Are Getting Preapproved Up Front. It used to be you only needed a prequalification to make a decent offer. Buyers are getting smarter and committing to a loan program and lender before they even start looking. Why? Aside from the multiple offers (preapprovals trump prequalifications everyday), the first-time homebuyers of the past five years are giving the homebuyers of today tips from their past experiences. It saves a lot of time in the long run and cuts out a lot of uncertainty in the home buying process.
Going into this year, what am I expecting? Honestly? More of the same but at a different level. A little less intense if you will. So what can buyers and sellers do to prepare for this coming year?
- Folks want to sell but have no where to go. A lot of sellers wanted to sell this past year, but the housing shortage left a lot of potential sellers having to hold off for a few months until they were able to find a place to move. The most in-demand price points were between $100,000 and $150,000 with square footage between 1200 and 1400. Some of those sellers got clever and were able to arrange rent back options with their buyers until they were able to find a house to move to.
- Get preapproved now. Most preapprovals will last for 90 days, giving you 3 months to find a house. Go on ahead and get that done to be ahead of the other buyers.
- Get set up on a home search. I get calls on listings that went under contract weeks ago from buyers who are doing the home search themselves. And they still want to do it on their own AKA they feel squirrelly about giving out their emails. That’s cool, but you’re really shooting yourself in the foot if you don’t have a Realtor® set you up on a free search. I’m sure you’ve seen this commercial before.
Get on a search before not-you gets the house of your dreams.
- Be aggressive. B-E Agressive! When you find “the one” you don’t have time to tip-toe around the offer. Talk to your Realtor® about the best strategy to win multiple offers.
- Be ready to move. Much like the FSBO that put it out there “just to see,” when you put your house out to a market like this, it needs to be serious. That means packing up, cleaning up, and coming up with a game plan that works for you. And house searching while getting your current home in order to sell.
- Get aggressive. Like the buyers, you need to be aggressive too. Hire yourself a Realtor® that will understand your vision and tell them what your plans and end games are. There is no time for fluff, so be straight from the get go to avoid any potential conflicts.
- Be careful with home pricing. In the time of multiple offers, operate under the assumption that if your house is in a good area and in good condition, you should price it well to move it quickly. Don’t price too high with the “wiggle room” of the past days. Price it and be mindful of what the potential appraisal value will be. Realtors®, while not appraisers, have experience in your neighborhood and can guide you to the proper pricing so you get top dollar without having to fight an appraiser.
We can only predict what this year will bring. For a more in depth review of what you should do in 2018, hire a Realtor® to guide you through.
I know a decent one…
Allen Tate Company
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