If you were thinking about buying or selling a house this year you’ve probably been wondering if this is really a good time. As a seller you’re probably more concerned with home values. Buyers might be wondering about the stability of the economy. No matter which side you’re on, there is good news in housing.

The spring real estate market sprung early this year (we were looking at a record year) and then got sideswiped by the pandemic. I say sideswiped and not stopped because the market didn’t stop. It kept going with just a little bit of a dent in the side. Not as pretty, but still functional.

The number one problem the market is having right now has nothing to do with a stymied economy, unease in the job market, or the ability to borrow money, the number one problem we have is low inventory. There simply aren’t enough houses for the number of serious buyers out there.

For every well maintained, appropriately priced house that goes on the market there are about a dozen buyers lined up and waiting. I have been seeing multiple offers on almost every listing and my buyers are competing on every contract I write. The competition is fierce!

What that means for sellers:
When the time comes to list you should make sure that all the small repairs are taken care of and your house is staged well. I’ve seen some offers come over “sight unseen” which means that the buyers decided to purchase a house solely based on the online photographs, video, and/or virtual tour. Fantastic, professional photos are a MUST.

It also means that you’ll have some flexibility in the contract terms and buyers are coming with their financing prepared. As far as pricing, home values are up about 8% over last year here in the Fredericksburg and surrounding areas. This is in part because of the low interest rates available for home loans.  It’s also because the pandemic has forced some sellers to either pull their listing off the market, or wait to list until the dust settles making the low inventory problem, well, a bigger problem.

What that means for buyers:
BE READY TO MOVE FAST!! I really can’t stress this enough. If you find the perfect (or almost perfect) house and you want to think about it for a day or two, the house will be under contract before you make your mind up.

Being ready to move fast means that: 1. You have your pre-qualification letter in hand. 2. You have your earnest money deposit ready (usually 1% of the sale price). 3. You’ve honed in on what the most important features are for you and what you can do without (for now). 4. You have an amazing agent who is an expert at negotiating. 5. You have clear expectations and know that you’re in a sellers’ market.  6. You understand that this is not the time for lowball offers. Houses are currently selling for an average of 99% of the asking price (some offers are going above asking to get a leg up on competition). Keep this in mind when making your offer.

Just a side note for buyers, interest rates are really, really, really low right now. It’s a great time to lock in a rate we probably won’t see again in our lifetimes.

Have more questions or want to know what your home is worth right now? I have a few appointments left for a 15 minute Zoom meeting to answer questions specific to your needs. You can schedule online here or reach out via text (910.554.2480) or email me at amber@househomeloveva.com. I look forward to chatting with you!