The housing market should continue its recovery into 2013. Find a real estate agent you trust to help you make the best deal on your next home.
Like last year, 2013 is shaping up to be another good year for real estate. Prices remain low, which is good for buyers. But they’re on the rise, which is good for sellers. But buyers and sellers alike will have some challenges to deal with as the market continues its recovery.
Growing Competition for Great Deals
Last year, existing home sales rose 11% in all regions and price categories. Buyers are on alert, so if you’re planning to buy a home in 2013, you could face a lot of competition. Cash buyers will have the advantage because they can make a deal without dealing with bank approvals or paperwork.
If you’re financing your home, get pre-approved (not pre-qualified) for a mortgage before you begin house hunting. The bank will still have some hoops for you to jump through once you make your offer, but at least the seller will know your offer is good.
Inventory in most markets is a mixed bag, including everything from foreclosures and short sales to condos and multi-million-dollar estates. There are plenty of deals, but they can be tough to find.
An experienced real estate agent will help you find homes within your budget and help you negotiate the purchase. With a little patience and the right advice, you could end up saving thousands on your home purchase.
Things Are Looking Up for Sellers
Sellers in many markets are experiencing rapidly rising home values. Phoenix, one of the worst-hit markets, had a gain of 28.4% in home prices last year. The recovery is slower in some areas, but overall, homeowners who want to sell have more reasons to be optimistic in 2013.
With rising prices comes a reduction in underwater homes, or homes that are worth less than their mortgage amounts. It’s estimated that approximately 1.3 million homeowners were lifted out of negative equity in the first half of 2012. If you’ve been waiting to sell because you were underwater on your mortgage, you might find it’s time to put out the for-sale sign.
Don’t take that step, though, until you’ve consulted a real estate agent. You need your home to grab buyers’ attention, and an experienced agent can do that through expert staging and on-target pricing. Make sure that you are consulting your neighborhood expert, someone that is familiar with your neighborhood, knows the city, knows who the target buyer should be. This will make a world of difference.
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