The good news today is that Windsor home buyers are out looking for homes this spring in growing numbers. In many markets, it’s cheaper now to own a home than it is to rent, and for the first time in a while, sellers are optimistic that their homes, that once couldn’t find a buyer, now are saleable.
But sellers need to understand the current mindset of today’s home buyer. Buyers are out looking, but they are clearly affected by what has happened to the housing market in the past decade. Here are some of our observations:
Buyers are cautious but confident:
Without a doubt, buyers believe that owning a home is a very good thing. They have true confidence in the real estate market. If they are looking to live in a neighbourhood for at least three to four years, they understand that investing in a property is almost always an excellent idea.
The market crash made a huge impression:
However, the real estate crash made a large impact on them. They likely know someone who had to sell their home at a loss or lost their property altogether. Certainly, they don’t want this same misfortune. Even when the market slowly started to improve, buyers were wary that prices would fall further and when it came down to it, they just didn’t want to part with their hard-earned cash for deposit.
First time homebuyers are smarter than ever:
Even buyers who have never bought a home before have done their homework about purchasing a home. While they have looked at the market from the sidelines, they have spent their time reading about the housing industry and understand what they need to know and how to proceed thanks to the Internet, local news and social media.
They don’t want to miss the boat:
With home prices increasing yet interest rates still low, buyers also know that times won’t always be this good in the real estate market. They are determined to find a home, at a good price and are willing to work with their agent and get pre-approved by a lender. Why? They want to be ready when they find a house to make an offer on and not worry about, let me say it again, missing the boat.
Not so greedy:
Buyers today are not so greedy as they have been in the past several years when they knew many sellers were desperate to sell. Even small repairs, or minor updating doesn’t scare them away as it did in the past. Why? Again, increasing home prices as well as low-interest rates combined with lower inventory may mean a seller’s market is not too far off.
My Advice To Sellers:
We are not in a seller’s market. But are we better than we were in say, 2006 – 2012? Yes! And it’s true that the market almost everywhere is moving back towards the seller. But while buyers are ready and willing, they may demand more and will certainly negotiate. They don’t want to feel like they are being taken advantage of. Buyers are more patient and not so much in a hurry to buy a property if they are uncertain about it.
So I advise sellers to be open to negotiations. Don’t automatically withdraw from bidding if you are unhappy with their first offer. Understand that the process needs to start somewhere so don’t try to have complete control. It’s always a good sign when a buyer is interested in your property and remember, many sellers would love to entertain a bid, ANY sort of bid, so take a deep breath and work with your agent to counter an offer that you can live with.
Remember, a home on the market for several months gets a reputation that something must be wrong with the property. Buyers like to see homes that are just on the market or listed just recently. Anything longer than four months seems stale. To avoid this:
1. Price your home right from the start. Don’t try to raise the price on what YOU think the property is worth, but rather, what the comps say it is worth.
2. Make your home available. Don’t turn down any showings if at all possible and make your house ready for those last-minute showings. You never know when a buyer is driving by and calls their agent for a last-minute showing. I have seen this happen many times.
3. Promote! Make sure your agent is promoting your home online and has an active Internet presence.
4. Keep the faith. Remember, your house will sell! Don’t hesitate to contact us if you would like additional information on selling your house quickly.