Good Morning, Good Afternoon, Good Evening. Welcome to the Spring 2021 Season! I’ve got lots of ideas for posts lately. But let’s dive in, and take a look at the elephant in the room, and shed some light on the ever present question lately – what’s up with this MARKET????
Lately, nearly every conversation about real estate is dominated by the shadow of the crushing lack of inventory, tales of transactions that sound a bit scary, and questions of when this apparent sellers’ grasp on this environment might loosen or change. So. Spending my days in the midst of it all, I’d like to talk a bit about what I’m seeing, how it’s feeling, and to remind everyone to take a deep breath. We’re going to be fine.
In 2020 – The Real Estate Market Remained Strong
Last year, just about this time, life on our planet changed. Everything changed – from keeping ourselves and our loved ones healthy, to learning and working from home, and absolutely everything in between. We learned to procure our groceries differently. We learned to work at home, through computer screens and virtual meetings. Our kids learned to “go to school” without going to school. We stopped traveling, we stocked up on hand sanitizer, and we STAYED HOME. And yet – we persisted.
Savvy Agents Were (Are) Necessary for Success
Every industry had to learn how to adapt, accommodate, and survive in a new COVID world – and real estate was no exception.
Sotheby’s International Realty and her agents (like me!) lead the way in utilizing virtual showing platforms, implementing video open houses, and continued the highest level of customer service to buyers and sellers alike. More than ever, the role of the Real Estate Agent remained integral to a succesful home buying experience.
In 2020 – across the board – inventory was down, sales prices were up, there were fewer days on market, and despite the world pandemic, people were buying and selling homes. Behind those sales were agents like me, navigating the changes and facilitating the process. It was, in many ways, despite the anomalous challenges, a very productive year.
While technology has become a vital tool, having an agent on the ground, guiding the process is even more critical for success than it ever has been.
In the midst of the pandemic, there was an election. In the midst of the election, there was a deeper awakening, and reckoning amongst ourselves as a people, and a nation. The shifts that we are feeling are monumental, and it’s hard to say what things will look like from day to day, and week to week – let alone within a time span of years. It is all moving at a dizzying speed.
We started off the year with a new president, the hope of vaccines, and a spirit of hope for a healthier future. The dust has begun to settle a bit, and people are living lives, in their homes – many dreaming of a new home, and a better way to live our “new normal”.
Pent up! Stir Crazy! Ready for spring! These are common sentiments, to be sure. And now, rooted in the 2021 Spring Market – that demand seems stronger than ever, but the supply is gravely low in return. The environment for buying and selling can seem challenging.
This is why you need a fantastic realtor in 2021.
NOW MORE THAN EVER.
If you’re considering selling, it’s a phenomenal time to sell. Many homes are selling handily before they hit the market, and certainly within minimal days after being advertised on the Multiple List Service. There are often multiple offers, over the asking price, with many elements of the offer that are very attractive to a seller. With interest rates so low, buyers are often able to swallow those higher prices, and are comforted that their buying power is greater – with opportunities to put less down, and borrow more.
If you’re considering buying, you need a Realtor who is knowledgeable, communicative, and creative. Good thing – if you’re reading this – you’ve found that Realtor.
I’m going to be honest, and level with you. It’s a competitive market. Are there lots of great homes to choose from? Perhaps you’d rather see more. But more homes are coming on the market every day. Will you have plenty of time to see a home, and then take some days or a week to mull it over and think about your purchase? In many cases, probably not. Are you planning on going in 10% under asking price to see if you can get a deal? Generally, I’d rethink that strategy, for the moment. And if you must sell your home before you buy another, well, you might need to be flexible about an interim short term housing solution for awhile, to bridge that gap bewteen the sale of your current home and the purchase of your next one.
It takes some fortitude, and perseverence, in this market. But knowing what you’re getting into, and forming a realistic plan will be crucial to your success. And there is definitely success to be found! Someone has to win the offer – and with me by your side, you’ve got a great chance of achieving that success.
Crafting Offers and Accepting Offers
As your buyer’s agent, I will help evaluate each potential property, and hand craft an offer that will get noticed. Every detail counts in a tight market, and I pride myself on bringing out all your strengths as a buyer, and we will make it clear why your offer should be chosen over others. I will work with you to know your strengths, and capitalize on them. We will be clear about what feels comfortable, and what feels like stretching too much. You don’t always have to be the highest bidder to win the deal. We will come up with a strategy, timeline, and plan to come in strong, and do our very best to get it done!
As your listing agent, you’ll need some help in navigating the offers that come in, and in choosing which offer will get you to the finish line. We are seeing many deals fall apart because sellers were not prepared for certain possible situations. Perhaps that tempting offer $50,000 over asking price looks great – but do you have a plan for when an appraiser, possibly, must bring you back to reality? Do you need a little time to regroup after you settle on the purchase of your home so you can make a comfortable move to your next home? Perhaps we could negotiate a post-settlement occupancy arrangement for you that might ease your stress a bit. These and other elements of the offers you will receive, and negotiations you will have, will become integral to our conversation and plan. My job is to guide you through the best experience in selling your home, from start to finish.
Have heart. Buying and selling a home at this moment in time might feel a bit turbulent. But it’s ok. Breathe deeply. Read my entry on enjoying GOOD THINGS. Let’s remember to read good books, look at beautiful things, listen to music that elevates us, and take care of our bodies and minds. Love the ones you’re with. We’re not quite out of the woods yet. We’re close, but we’re not there. So in the meantime, tell a good joke, get vaccinated when you can and wear your mask! Still!