Our summer months continue to be about as strange and bizarre as the rest of 2020. I saw a post the other day that said everyone who answered the question “Where will you be in 5 years” in 2015 was flat out wrong! That said, here is the latest on our local housing markets during Covid 19 as thing stand today, I hope this market update and info is helpful to you.
Despite a ton of uncertainty in the global, national and local economies with big questions on growth, unemployment and recession; our local housing markets continue to be driven by high demand and low inventory of available homes. If you are considering selling a property, this is he strongest seller’s market I have seen through 16 years in the industry. It is very reminiscent to when I first started in real estate in 2004. The market was also red hot at that time and the struggle for buyers is very similar. This was the setting coming into 2020 and it did not look like anything was going to slow it down. Then covid 19 hit the news and we saw a brief pause. Nobody was really sure what was going to happen with stay at home orders, mask mandates, online education and cancellation of group events from the NBA to weddings, all of this unfolding with remarkable speed. As agents we had to figure out how we were going to interact with clients and how we were going to manage access to occupied homes whether representing sellers or buyers. There was no real framework for what we should be doing. We walked through it, made changes, tried to be as smart and practical as we could and tried to counsel our clients with the best information we could obtain. Business continued during the stay at home order and surprisingly demand remained relatively high even through April and May. As we come into the second week of August the housing market is full steam ahead and not really looking back. Most homes that hit the market are selling on the first weekend, many with multiple offers. One of our recent Gilbert listings received 34 showings the first weekend on the market and had 11 offers submitted. Price was bid up $15,000. This scenario is being repeated all across the valley and so far there is no sign of things slowing down. Although it’s impossible to predict where things will turn, even in the near future, it’s clear that today’s market is strongly advantage seller.
I thought it would be practical to offer some of my best advice for buyers and sellers considering making a move in today’s market:
-Don’t cut corners. Make sure your agent (hopefully it’s us) is knowledgeable and properly marketing the property. It can be easy to try to cut corners, save costs, or work less when the market is so active. That doesn’t mean the approach to marketing and selling the home should be compromised. Hot or cold market it is always about achieving the best results. Professional photography, video production and online advertising should be standard in any listing proposal.
-Know your options. There are a lot of ways to sell houses these days and our airwaves are full of advertisements about the “BEST” way to sell your home. Some advertising is very predatory in my opinion and the truth always lies in the details. We offer consultation to our sellers about ALL their options and help determine the best path forward for, again, the best results.
-List strategically. Asking price, coming soon marketing, online presence are all important to your success. Timing can be to your convenience. We typically list a home as Coming Soon on Tuesdays to advertise and promote the property for a few days before actively going to the market and allowing showings. My preference is to put status from Coming Soon to Active on Thursday afternoon with showings starting Saturday morning. Most shoppers are out on the weekends and put their tours together Thursday night or Friday morning. For occupied homes, sellers will clear out for the day or weekend and let the buyers and their agents through. Any offers received are reviewed on Monday evening. Going in with this approach tends to get the highest number of people through with the least amount of disruption to the seller. Open house during the first weekend is also a great idea.
-Have reasonable expectations. We never know what we are going to get when it comes to offer, either in number or terms. Every sale requires the right person to come through the house to view it, sometimes they show up the first day, sometimes it takes them a while. Multiple offer situations are common but not every home gets them. Whether things move quickly or slowly, you always want to have careful consideration of all information. Which is why communication with your agent is so important.
-Come to the market prepared. Make sure your financing approval is in place. Best to have funds available for both down payment and closing costs. The less we ask for from the seller the more attractive our offer will be.
-Be responsive- New listings sell very fast. When a property of interest hits the market let your agent know right away (again, hopefully it’s us!). Best to see new listings at the absolute earliest opportunity.
-Be creative- Creative terms can make your offer stronger and win the day. Shorter inspection period, escalation clauses, flexibility on appraised value, flexibility on closing date. All of these terms can impact how attractive your offer is to the seller and may stand you out over others.
-Be personal. We strongly suggest personal letters to the sellers from the buyers to be submitted with their offers. Most sellers care about who buys the home and if considering two otherwise equal offers, a great personal letter will likely be the deciding factor.
Remember sellers can only sell their home to one buyer, we have to stand out as the clear choice.
-Be careful for advertisements that offer something that sounds too good to be true. It likely could be. We are always watching our industry for new or innovative tools or processes that may be of value to our clients. We know the details of some of the more heavily advertised offers being presented and can offer clarity and confidence needed to move forward with educated decisions. Always seek the personal counsel of a trusted advisor.
Thank you for taking the time to read this market update, I hope the information was helpful. We hope that you and your family are safe and well as this crazy world unfolds around us. Please know that Mickie and I, and the rest of our team, is here to answer questions and provide advice and counsel you can trust for all your real estate needs, just as we have been for the last 16 years. –
Mark Newman – Owner/Broker/Realtor