The past few months have seen real estate sales show a noticeable improvement with a stabilizing market and shrinking inventories. Anecdotally, there seems to be quite a few buyers out there, who are qualified and willing to make the investment. These are the people who have recognized the incredible opportunity that the present credit crisis has artificially created. Artificially created, because if you remove the past 3 years from the records, real estate would be on an even, steady line of appreciation and not the gyrating prices we have lived with.
During my research for a recent real estate seminar, I compared 2004 housing prices with 2009 housing prices. I came to the conclusion that the housing bubble was confined to about 2 ? years and was caused by greed of both the speculators and the banks. Take out the bubble’s hyper inflated prices and the panic of the price drop and the market seems much more orderly.
A good indicator of the housing market returning to a more consistent, predictable form is the amount of traffic a realtor sees during an open house. Open house traffic these days has been quite robust with the majority of people walking through qualified and ready to buy. The past few months have shown a steady improvement of the market with housing inventories shrinking, annual sales around 4.750 million and more people qualifying for mortgages.
I’ve found that the homes that are selling are the best of bred in their market segment. Simply put, the homes that require the least amount of fixing, are clean and presentable and are priced for the market, are the homes that are selling. Many of the buyers I’ve spoken to are looking at houses that have a clean inspection report with very little, if any, major mechanical work needed. Major mechanical work includes the heating system, cooling system, septic, roof, electrical and water system. A buyer today has quite a few homes to select from; the house that requires a lot of work will be passed over for the house that has the work completed. Buyers will look past the dated counter tops and cabinets, but they will walk out of a house that needs major mechanical work. For the seller that means having your home inspected prior to listing, going through the list of major defects and fixing them.
The housing market is healing. If you are looking to sell, you must do what needs to be done to have your property stand out from the crowd. If you are a buyer, congratulations you are smartly taking advantage of a once in a lifetime opportunity to find a home at an incredible discount.