4 new rules to buying or selling a home this season

Thinking about entering the real estate market soon? Great. You’re certainly not alone. More listings, falling interest rates, (even though the Fed left rates unchanged last month) and general optimism about future market conditions have many people thinking soon could be the perfect time to start the next chapter of their lives.

However, the roller coaster of the last few years in real estate means things have likely changed since the last time you bought or sold a property – even if that previous occurrence wasn’t too long ago. That’s why we’ve used these two articles, one for buyers and one for sellers from Realtor.com, to recap just a little bit of what may be different these days.

You don’t have to wait until spring. We say this often, but it’s especially true right now: Anytime can be the perfect time to move if it fits your needs. While industry observers expect a strong spring this year, it’s important to note that the experts agree that the current market, in general, is in the sweet spot – rates are softening, but activity hasn’t quite picked up speed yet. 

Sellers need to make sure they stand out. The market was so hot during the pandemic that almost anything was selling. Even as activity stalled last year, the few sellers who listed weren’t really motivated to make updates and improvements to impress the smaller pool of buyers. But those times are over. While there are more potential buyers out there – and more coming – they’ll be comparing your home to others they see. Curb appeal, minor repairs and sensible improvements will all matter.

Competition is back – but it’s more balanced right now. More buyers with extra buying power, thanks to lower rates combined with more listings to choose from, equals more activity all around in real estate. The most appealing homes will once again attract multiple offers, and expected price cuts may be a trend left in 2023. On the flip side, more listings mean more choices for buyers and time to weigh your options, especially with rates expected to continue downward.

The art of negotiation has returned. Words like “concessions,” “soft offers,” “patience,” and “haggling” appear in these two articles. Think of 2024 as the year of the deal. On both the buyer and seller sides, initial offers are once again being viewed as starting points because competition will be strong enough to motivate both sides to get the right agreement done. In other words, find a real estate agent you trust, listen to their guidance, and don’t hesitate to counteroffer.

Speaking of REALTORS®, it’s important for all of us involved in real estate to remember that our customers aren’t in our world every day and may not know how fast the market can change. It’s up to us to inform, which is exactly what this piece aims to do. No matter who you are, our teams thank you for reading, and we can’t wait to see you around one of our closing tables soon! Reach out to us anytime.

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