Katie McBride | Hopkinton Real Estate, Holliston Real Estate, Ashland Real Estate


STMThe most recent Pending Homes Sales Index from the National Association of Realtors revealed a slight bump in contracts with an increase of 1.6% in December. This news comes as existing home sales are also forecasted to be on pace for 5.54 million in 2017, a 1.7% increase over 2016, which was the best year for sales in a decade. The Pending Home Sales Index is a leading indicator for the housing sector, based on pending sales of existing homes. A sale is listed as pending when the contract has been signed but the transaction has not closed. According to NAR’s Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun,
Pending sales bounded last month as enough buyers fended off rising mortgage rates and alarmingly low inventory levels to sign a contract.

So, what’s the problem?

Buyers are searching for existing homes, but supply is not keeping up with their demand! Yun went on to explain,
The main storyline in the early months of 2017 will be if supply can meaningfully increase to keep price growth at a moderate enough level for households to absorb higher borrowing cost. Sales will struggle to build on last year’s strong pace if inventory conditions don’t improve.” (emphasis added)

Bottom Line

Buyers are out in force right now! If you are considering selling your home this year, the early months of 2017 will be your best option. Let’s get together to discuss how you can capitalize on current market conditions.

STM-Share12 It is common knowledge that a large number of homes sell during the spring-buying season. For that reason, many homeowners hold off on putting their homes on the market until then. The question is whether or not that will be a good strategy this year. The other listings that do come out in the spring will represent increased competition to any seller. Do a greater number of homes actually come to the market in the spring, as compared to the rest of the year? The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently revealed the months in which most people listed their homes for sale in 2016. Here is a graphic showing the results: Calendar-2016-Listing-Dates-STM-1024x385 The three months in the second quarter of the year (represented in red) are consistently the most popular months for sellers to list their homes on the market. Last year, the number of homes available for sale in January was 1,820,000.

That number spiked to 2,140,000 by May!

What does this mean to you?

With the national job situation improving, and mortgage interest rates projected to rise later in the year, buyers are not waiting until the spring; they are out looking for a home right now. If you are looking to sell this year, waiting until the spring to list your home means you will have the greatest competition for a buyer.

Bottom Line

It may make sense to beat the rush of housing inventory that will enter the market in the spring and list your home today.

Four candidatesInterview different agents before hiring the real estate professional who will act as your representative in the purchase or sale of your property. Find an agent who will work for you. Don't be afraid to interview different prospects. The person you hire will be the individual you are relying on to uphold your desires, preferences, and best interests in all real estate matters. Find out whether the real estate agent works full time or part time and how available to you the agent will make him or herself. If you are a first time home buyer make sure your agent is knowledgeable and experienced, as you may not want your representative to be going through the same learning process that you are. If you are selling, or if you're looking to buy in a certain town, find an agent who does a lot of business in the area and may have an office nearby. Find an agent who will work with you.  Real estate transactions are relatively detailed and sometimes can become lengthy processes. You want to hire someone you feel comfortable with and someone you will get along well with on a professional level. Make sure the real estate agent you hire is someone you aren't afraid to express your opinions to. You don't want to be afraid to ask questions of your agent because whether you're a seasoned real estate veteran or a first time buyer, questions may arise. Interviewing different agents to suit your needs is necessary. Certain agents may feel more comfortable with certain clients. Some agents may love working with first time buyers, are familiar with the first time buying experience, and have the ability to point these clients in the right directs, while some agents may prefer to deal strictly with sellers. In this case it would be important to be on the same page as an agent before signing any binding contracts with him/her. Determine your criteria and start interviewing!

STM-Share1 The price of any item (including residential real estate) is determined by ‘supply and demand’. If many people are looking to buy an item and the supply of that item is limited, the price of that item increases. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the supply of homes for sale dramatically increases every spring. As an example, here is what happened to housing inventory at the beginning of 2016: 20161214-STM-ENG-1024x768 Putting your home on the market now instead of waiting for increased competition in the spring might make a lot of sense.

Bottom Line

Buyers in the market during the winter months are truly motivated purchasers. They want to buy now. With limited inventory currently available in most markets, sellers are in a great position to negotiate.

One of the many things emphasized to sellers is removing their personality from the home. Too much personality in the home can be a distraction for potential homebuyers. Consider a model home, which automatically draws you in, from the biggest of details to the smallest. Most model homes have neutral colored rooms, rugs, and décor. The reason behind this? To give the potential homebuyer the opportunity to visualize themselves living in that home. You want to replicate that approach. Here are a few tips for depersonalizing your home: Pictures: Displaying family photos in the home is a great way to show that you made this place a home. However, when it comes to selling, it’s best to remove these photos. Too many pictures and frames can make it difficult for potential homebuyers to visualize themselves and their family living there. Personal belongings: If you are still living in the home that you are selling, your personal belongings will likely be all over the house. It’s impossible for you to remove everything you own from a home when you are still living there. However, it is important to clean up and hide certain personal belongings when you can. This includes children’s toys, animal toys and beds, knick-knacks, and drawings and grocery lists from the refrigerator door. Placing these items in storage or just finding places around the house to store them while trying to sell is best. Paint: Paint is a way of expressing yourself in your home. Whether you like really dark colors, warm colors, or cool colors or even just white, it showcases your personality. Drastic color schemes on either side of the color wheel can throw buyers off, especially if it contains colors that they are not really fond of. It will make it difficult for them to visualize how they would decorate that room. If this sounds like you, it’s a good idea to go to the store and pick up some neutral tones and get to painting. Furniture: Staging is everything. You may have set up your living room or bedroom a certain way because that’s how you like it. However, that may not be the optimal use of that space. It’s best to do some research or hire a professional to assist with this. You have to pull your personal opinion out of the decision-making and think about what works best with the shape and size of the room. Whenever possible it’s best to provide the homebuyer with a clean slate. Neutral colors and removing personal belongings will only increase the chances that potential homebuyers will envision themselves living there and hopefully make an offer. Depersonalizing your home is just one tactic for prepping your home for selling. If you are looking to sell quickly, be sure to read all the tips and tricks there are to getting you’re home sold.



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