Real Estate Tips to Live by this 2017

As we enter the second half of 2017, it’s clear that the real estate scene has remained a sellers’ market. But new dynamics are helping shape the market differently from preceding years.

If you’re looking to buy or sell a home this year, it will be wise to learn as much as you can about the real estate market to make well-informed decisions.

Whether you’re buying or selling, here are a few tips that can help you close the best possible deal in 2017.

For buyers:

  1. Now is a good time to buy a starter home

    Unlike in previous years, millennials have started buying properties this year and are looking into starter homes. According to the National Association of Realtors, around 52% of home sales in 2017 will be made by first-time homebuyers, particularly millennials. That means more competition and bidding wars for first-time buyers, especially in the spring of 2018. Be one step ahead of the pack by buying this year, perhaps in the winter when there’s traditionally much less competition.

  2. Be aware of financing packages

    Unlike in the Great Recession, there’s a wider variety of financing packages available for all types of buyers today. You can borrow from the Federal Housing Authority or look up similar loans, which can help you buy a home without paying a substantial down payment. If you’re looking to buy a high-end property, jumbo loans are an option.

    To get the best mortgage terms, work to get your credit score up. If your credit score is far from stellar, however, don’t be discouraged – you can still find a number of attractive financing packages. Consult a trusted mortgage broker to learn about your alternatives.

  3. Make a strong offer

    In a multi-bidder situation, it’s not enough to have a good offer price. Sellers are also looking into other terms and benefits, such as mortgage preapproval, proof of funds, and quick closings. Other perks can make an offer more attractive, such as guaranteeing to pay a certain amount above the highest offer, paying some or all of the closing costs, or letting go of certain contingencies.

For sellers:

  1. Work with the right agent
    A sellers’ market gives you the best chance to make the highest possible profit on your home. However, common mistakes – for example, not pricing your home right or inadequate marketing – can make your home sit longer on the market or not sell at all.

    An experienced agent can help you with the following:

    • Determine the most competitive and profitable price for your home
    • Develop marketing strategies to reach as many potential buyers as possible
    • Negotiate and sift through various offers to find the most beneficial one
    • Work on the tons of paperwork that goes with closing a sale
  2. Do the necessary improvements and renovations

    It may be a sellers’ market, but this does not mean buyers have become less discriminating than before. Buyers generally prefer a home that’s move-in ready. Additionally, many homes these days offer conveniences and amenities like smart home features, gourmet kitchens, and outdoor entertainment areas, among others. The features that many buyers look for in a home add value to a piece of property. Make sure yours is just as attractive to buyers as similar homes in the market to optimize resale value.

  3. Stage your home
    Staging your home makes it easier for buyers to see themselves living in it. It also helps to highlight your home’s best features while downplaying potential problem areas.