April 1—Selling or buying a home can be a tough proposition at the best of times.
The market today is very different from what it has been for a long time.
One thing is that federal interest rates have risen quite a bit after being quite low for years.
“Nothing huge,” said Donna Gannon, a real estate agent with Century 21 Homes & Land Real Estate Inc. in downtown Ironton. “Typically, you could get 2.8% on a conventional mortgage. Right now it’s 4.2. It’s gone up a bit. But that hasn’t stopped buyers from buying, because that’s still a good rate.”
She said buyers seemed to be okay with that.
“Buyers expected it and rates were at historic lows for several years,” Gannon said. “Maybe things are back to normal.”
And the higher interest rate can affect house prices.
“Maybe it will drive down house prices in our market,” she said.
A change in what home buyers are looking for in a home in this area is that they are looking for single story homes.
“It depends on the person, but a really popular house right now is the one-story ranch house comeback,” Gannon said. “It’s in high demand right now, you can’t get enough of ranch homes with one floor plan. Age has a lot to do with it. People thought they wanted two levels, but that’s sometimes embarrassing.”
She said that even if buyers are looking for a ready-to-move-in home, they should have pre-approval for their ready-to-go loan as demand is high at the moment.
“In this market, we get multiple offers on a house,” Gannon said. “If you have a buyer who doesn’t have a pre-approval letter ready, they won’t get the house.”
And as always, the buyer should be educated about the market, ask a realtor to show a list of homes in the neighborhood that have recently sold so they know what a good price is, and contact their realtor. .
“Houses are overpriced right now,” Gannon said. “And these days I’ve found more homes after they’re under contract fail because the buyer can’t get a loan or the appraisal hasn’t arrived or the seller refuses to go down, the buyer refuses to go back and make adjustments.”
She said she recommends the buyer to have a backup offer and negotiate with the seller.
“I’ve seen more contracts fail in the past two years than ever before and I’ve been in the business for 18 years,” Gannon said. “Be ready.”
In addition to selling a home, people need to have their home ready and staged to attract potential buyers.
This means creating curb appeal when people drive to the house, cleaning and decluttering the interior of the house, and making it look like a place where the buyer can see themselves living.
“Do what is economical,” Gannon said. “Try for a few updates, but don’t overdo it. A fresh coat of paint goes a long way and takes a lot of work. Expect to put some work into your home.”
Outside the house, it’s time to pull weeds, plant flowers if it’s the right season, and high-pressure wash the exterior if you can.
“And clean! Don’t smoke in the house. Eliminate pet odors. You’re competing with other homes and buyers today are looking for move-in ready homes where they don’t have to do much “, said Gannon. “You’re competing with other properties…you want to be ready for buyers to choose your home.”