Interested in your local housing market? Want help deciding if now is a good time to buy or sell? Homebuyers, sellers or those simply curious about real estate can benefit from chatting with a qualified real estate expert.
These eight questions (some of which were suggested by real estate agents!) can help get the conversation started – and help get you closer to understanding the ins and outs of the current market.
1. “Are we in a buyer’s market or a seller’s market?”
A real estate agent can help shed light on which way the market is trending. In a nutshell, a buyer’s market is when the supply of homes is greater than the demand, and a seller’s market is just the opposite of that.
Understanding the type of market your town, state, province or country is experiencing helps inform personal decisions surrounding buying or selling – you’ll have a better grasp of what the current inventory is like and if there will be greater competition with your own transaction.
2. “How long will the current housing frenzy last?”
At the moment, many places are in a seller’s market, experiencing a high turnover of homes and an influx of competitive bids, with many properties selling over asking price. While they don’t have a crystal ball, real estate agents may have insight on these swings in the market and when they expect to see change.
3. “How has COVID-19 impacted the local market?”
With unusual circumstances in 2020, ask your real estate agent about the impacts COVID-19 has had on the specific area you are interested in. If you’re close to a city, for example, there may be more properties available with the influx of people migrating away from an urban lifestyle.
4. “If I am selling my home, how many days are comparable houses staying on the market? And how do their listing prices compare to the value of my home?”
Knowing how your home compares to similar listings can help you make a more informed decision to maximize value when it comes time to list it. Ask your agent what they’re seeing with listing prices and neighborhoods similar to yours.
5. “If I am buying a home, how do I make my offer stand out in a seller’s market?”
Lisa Harris, a real estate agent with RE/MAX Center in Georgia, suggests asking how to catch the seller’s attention when submitting an offer on a home.
Having been around the block (literally and figuratively), your agent will have insight on the strategies used to leverage an offer. For example, agents may recommend implementing an escalation clause into your offer to more easily outbid competition.
6. “Are there predictions or plans for any big changes in the area that would affect the local economy?”
Being local experts for their communities, real estate agents may know of changes in their areas – such as new developments that affect the flow of traffic or big companies relocating headquarters. Check in to see if they know of any upcoming factors that may impact the local housing market.
7. “Should I lower the listing price to sell my home faster?”
Michele Cummins, an agent with RE/MAX Little Oak Realty in British Columbia, suggests asking your agent if adjusting the listing price will help your home sell faster.
This depends greatly on individual circumstances and current market trends. Your real estate agent is able to access your needs, factor in their market insight, and determine if a specific strategy, like a price reduction, would be right for you.
8. “If I’m selling my home, what do I do if I don’t get any offers within the first few days of it being listed?”
Similar to Cummins’ advice, Jeremias Maneiro, an agent with RE/MAX Realty Group in New York, recommends asking your agent what to do if your home doesn’t receive any offers within the first few days of hitting the market.
While your agent will likely calm your nerves, they will also be able to compare your situation to comparable homes for sale or ones that have recently sold to evaluate what’s next in your particular situation. It’s worth asking your agent if you have any concerns.