And with it a more healthy, balanced real estate market
By Nedra Kanavel, Associate Broker, Idaho and Montana
As we all watch and wonder about the economy, one thing is for certain. North Idaho continues to attract homeowners and investors from across the country. Rates go up. Rates go down. But what doesn’t change is the fact that we simultaneously have historically low inventory and yet the largest home buying generation coming of age, the Millennials.
Mortgage interest rates are gradually settling down, and with that, buyers are feeling more and more ready to make their move again.
If you’re thinking of selling your property:
• These early days of spring can be a sweet spot for you. Jumping into the market now means much less competition than what we’ll see this summer. This can be an ideal time to stand out with a competitive price and fantastic marketing.
• Speaking of marketing, much of it hinges on your staging. Think about it. Every magazine ad, every photo on Zillow, every social media post of your listing will feature photos and video taken during that all important photo session you have just before listing. Before the photographer arrives, be sure light bulbs are not only working but the same tone (cool or warm). Declutter every room and even your outdoor space. When interviewing agents, ask them about what staging they provide. Their commission checks can easily cover the cost and time for in-person staging (or virtual staging for vacant homes).
• When it comes to price, know the 2023 market value of your property. (Not 2020, 2021, or even early 2022). Prices did not “crash” in North Idaho, but they certainly adjusted for the painful interest rate hikes of last year. Base your pricing on your current competition, not what your neighbor sold for a few months ago. What a buyer was willing to pay for a home in 2022 changed drastically month to month based on interest rate activity.
If you’re a buyer and ready to act:
• Before you even start to search, determine your financing. Will you pay all cash? Do you need financing? If yes to the latter, interview loan officers and banks. Your rate, down payment and how much you qualify for can vary widely from bank to bank. Once you know the price and monthly payment you are comfortable with, then it’s time to start searching!
• Use your search time wisely. North Idaho is a big area to cover! As you’re scrolling through Realtor.com, when a property catches your eye, ask your agent for more details and any private information from the MLS. Do a drive by. Before you take time off from work, you can save yourself time and trouble by narrowing down all of the possibilities to your top three choices for showing day.
• Even with low inventory, now can be a great time to buy. Most listings are priced based on the high interest rates of late 2022. As rates settle down, prices will go up and bidding wars will begin. Remember, your rate is relative. Ask your loan officer to calculate your down payment and monthly payment based on the lower prices we’re seeing now at today’s rates versus higher prices to come this summer at probably slightly lower rates. You’ll most likely be surprised!
There’s no doubt the Fed’s actions last year created a tough environment for both sellers and buyers. Thankfully, along with the sunshine and warmer temps, a more healthy, balanced real estate market is emerging.