Opportunities in the housing market continue to grow for buyers and sellers. Home affordability, driven mostly by record low interest rates, is among the lowest it has ever been. According to the National Association of Realtors, and based on national averages, the payments on a home today represent 12.8% of the median household income. This is both a good sign for those looking to purchase a home, and for the economy overall as consumers are keeping more money in their pockets.If you’re a seller, the housing market shows signs of transitioning from a buyers’ market to a more balanced one. This means that homeowners should start to see prices stabilize and begin to grow, presenting more favorable opportunities for those looking to sell their homes. In regards to the number of homes on the market, a key indicator of the health of the housing market, Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said, “The broad inventory condition can be described as moving into a rough balance, not favoring buyers or sellers.”
With continuing job creation, the improving housing sector, and signs that the banks are beginning to lend more, 2012 looks to offer promising opportunities to both those looking to buy or sell a home.
The most powerful indicator of home affordability, interest rates on mortgage loans, was down again in January. The national average for a 30-year fixed mortgage was 3.92%, down 0.04% from the month before, and down nearly an entire percentage point (0.84%) from a year ago. These historically low rates, coupled with today’s home prices, represent an incredible opportunity for homebuyers.
Preparing your home for sale can seem daunting, but these tips will help you get the best price in the least amount of time.
1. Organizing and cleaning are crucial when prepping a home for sale. Potential homebuyers have a more positive reaction to a home that is clutter-free and that gives them the feeling it is “move-in ready.”
2. Determine replacement estimates before listing your home, even if you are not planning on making the replacements yourself. This information can help buyers make informed decisions.
3. Have your warranties ready—especially for home appliances that will stay with the home after the sale.
4. Curb appeal is a crucial factor because it determines first impressions. A poor first impression can cloud their entire opinion about the home.
Source: National Association of Realtors
USA Asset Group