Where Does the Real Estate Market Stand?
By Phyllis Brookshire
It is always about supply and demand.
In May I wrote about the factors that most affect supply and demand: the availability of jobs in the market, consumer confidence, and the affordability of housing (the cost of homeownership).
Last week, The National Association of REALTORS released the July housing report showing that existing home sales were sharply lower, but median home prices continue to rise.
Why? First demand. First time homebuyers left the market in July with the end of the tax credit. The market took buyers from the summer and early fall months and moved them into May and June. And other buyers continue to be waiting for a bottom. But that could be a risky play with median home prices rising.
Second demand. Inventories are increasing with short sale and foreclosure properties languishing on the market with buyers leery of dealing with the long and tedious process of getting distressed properties closed.
There was a lot of talk about the NAR report in the press. I really enjoyed Steve Harney’s post about what the report WAS NOT.
Bottom line, a large inventory of homes will keep prices down and low mortgage rates will keep the cost of homeownership down. It continues to be a great time to buy a home.
Competitive vs. Compelling Pricing
Make sure your home is the “shiniest apple”
You’ve taken my advice about what to do when trying to sell your home: spruce up the landscaping, repaint the bathroom, remove extra furniture and make it available for showings. And you’ve agreed to price it competitively with others in the area.
That may not be quite enough.
In today’s real estate market, competitive pricing is the expectation. Compelling pricing is the exception.
A competitive price is reasonable, viable and good. But it’s also in line with the price of many other properties with similar features, which makes it part of that sea of sameness. A compelling price has a powerful and irresistible effect; it commands attention, admiration and respect. Compelling is convincing; it grips you and doesn’t let go. It’s persuasive and undeniable. It’s the shiniest apple in the bowl, just begging for someone to grab it.
Is your listing price compelling or merely competitive? Are buyers grabbing your apple?
Find out what your home is worth!
How Mortgage Interest Rates Affect Your Payment
One positive outcome of a slow economy has been historically low interest rates. But as the economy begins to improve, industry experts predict that interest rates will creep up, perhaps even reaching 6 percent by the end of 2010.
While prices are likely to remain low, consider what even a small increase in interest rate can do to your monthly payment. On a $200,000 loan, an increase from 5 percent to 6 percent would result in $125 more per month, or $1,500 annually. He (or she) who hesitates pays more!
Think Outside for Spring
Whether to refresh your home for spring or to get it ready to put on the market, there’s no better way to make eye-catching changes than sprucing up the exterior.
* Thinking about replacing that exterior door or siding, or adding a deck? On a national level, these projects recouped more than 80 percent of costs at resale, according to the 2009 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report published by Hanley Wood.
* Paint, always an inexpensive pick-me-up, could be the answer for a tired home exterior. Pick a fairly neutral pale yellow, sage green or light taupe for a warm and friendly welcome.
* Pressure-wash siding, exterior walkways, driveway and fences to knock off mold and mildew for a quick improvement and instant perk-up.
* Consider landscape projects to boost curb appeal and lift your spirits. Add mulch for a finished, professional look.
* Replace those old, drafty windows, for a 76 percent return of cost at resale and current rebates and tax incentives for certain types of energy-efficient windows.
Call us today for more home improvement ideas. We'd be happy to connect you with Allen Tate Home Services to get your projects started – and get your home ready for spring!
I'm Zane Gerringer, and I work full time as a Realtor with Allen Tate Realtors in Greensboro, NC. I believe owning a home and investing in real estate are essential in building a secure financial future for your family. I love representing both buyers & sellers, and I want you to make smart real estate decisions in the Triad!