Thursday, January 24, 2013

7 Must-Know Real Estate Trends

1. Homes in foreclosure have reach record highs. While some markets have started to show improvement, but the number of homes in foreclosure continues to rise.

2. Home prices continue to fall. But because real estate is local, the rate of decline varies on your market. And in some high-demand markets, prices are still climbing, though at a slower rate. In our market (Columbia, SC) few home buyers are walking away from the closing with much money and when they do it is rarely a profit.  Most homes are closing at the purchase price or lower.
3. Borrowers are have a harder time getting a mortgage. During the housing boom, mortgages were easy to to get.  U.S. banks have tightened their lending standards, limiting non-traditional loans such as interest-only mortgages and getting rid of sub prime mortgages.  None the less if the buyer is moviated anything is possible. 

4. Home sellers are looking for premium service from Realtors and expect them to know about all aspects of the the transaction whether it is getting pre-qualified for a mortgage or who is the best carpet cleaner at the best price.  Savvy buyers and sellers want an agent who offers insight and knowledge not available on the Internet.

5. Mortgage rates are still at historic lows and are available to most buyers.  Recent transaction for my clients have been in the three percent range.

6. Buyers are going green. Eco-friendly attributes such as radiant floor heating systems, Energy Star rated appliances and on-demand water heating units are all the rage with home buyers right now. For sellers, promoting your home’s green features will give you an edge in the competitive market.

7. Technology and social networking are changing how we buy and sell homes. Listings, home valuations and other information previously only available through real estate agents are now available on the Web.  It is more important to make sure your Realtor has a strong working knowledge of using the Internet particularly when it comes to advertising your home. 

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