By Adrienne Francis
After an amazing year in real estate in 2012, I thought you would appreciate some insight going into 2013 and what you can expect if you are in the market to buy a home. Since I live, eat and breathe this business I thought you would find my insight helpful.
Rates are still incredibly low and prices are rising – mostly on updated homes and of course on new construction - because there is so little of it and so many people want it. Unfortunately, many of the homes that will come onto the market this Spring will not be updated These homes will take much longer to sell because finding the money to update them after you secure a mortgage will be daunting to most buyers. Financing existing updates into a mortgage is much more cost effective when built into your mortgage payment.
Most towns and certainly the “train line” towns were experiencing large inventory shortages even before Christmas. While we expect new inventory to come on (the Spring market begins technically after Super Bowl if the weather holds out), we are not expecting a barrage of new inventory. We would already have seen it if that was the case because we had lots of inventory that came on in the winter of 2011 – but not this year. Agents have also been pushing their sellers to list early to avoid the Spring competition but it’s just not happening. This includes rentals too. So while the estimate is not completely bleak, it’s not looking like we will have enough inventory for everyone that really needs to buy. Homes that were listed and taken off the market for one reason or another have had agents calling about them in droves, wondering when they will be re-listed. This says a lot. Everyone is desperate. Agents and buyers.
If you are hoping to purchase a home this Spring, you must really be prepared and you must have a pre-approval. An up to date pre-approval. If you can submit your financials even better – you will be a step ahead of those with a regular pre-approval. You also should think about enlisting some help from a knowledgeable buyer’s agent so when a new listing comes on, you get to see it before it’s gone. This market will not be for the faint of heart or for anyone that does not move quickly. It will be reminiscent of 2007 in many ways except for the high prices and the lower interest rates. Multiple bids will be the least of it. I get calls every day from people wanting to see a home on the internet - that’s already gone. I’m sure you already have a full time job that takes up most of your time and house hunting in this market can’t be part time. Not in this market.
You should also have buyer representation so you can make an educated offer quickly– with someone that knows the area, knows the inventory, knows what similar homes have sold for – someone who can help you come up with an offer price. This is critical. Remember, the seller’s agent works for the SELLER to get them the most money possible for their home, not you! You need someone with the experience to navigate multiple bid situations and get you out of attorney review quickly and through the inspection process. Again, the more qualified you are and the less “baggage” you have, the better your chances. Home sale contingencies will not be a consideration so if you need to sell, get your home on the market and at least get the process started. If you need to do work to your home, get some advice on what you should do to get it sold quickly, for the most money possible and get it done!. Don’t wait until April because you will be waiting for disappointment. Everything will happen quickly this year and you should be ready for it. The “fiscal cliff” issue was resolved for most people so they will be moving forward to buy and hopefully you will too. If you have any questions, just shoot me an email. And brace yourself. 2013 will be a wild ride in real estate! Good luck and Happy New Year. Adrienne Francis
If I can help you with any additional information regarding this article, or with any of your home buying or selling needs or if you know someone who would like some assistance, please feel free to visit my website to learn more about me www.AdrienneFrancis.com or text or call me at (201) 259-4449 .