If You’re Buying Or Selling A Home, These Four Insider Tips Can Help
Chances are if you’ve been in the market for a home, you’ve been outbid at least once. Or maybe you’re a homeowner who can barely get a nibble from a potential buyer? Yes, it seems as if the real estate market is tricky for both buyers and sellers these days.
“Rising demand among millennials, full employment, and the strong economy have bumped against limited inventory,” the Washington Post reports, “which fuels price increases.” So what to do? Read on to find out some of the best insider tips.
• The best months to buy are January and February. Forget those who warn you about timing the market. A recent study from NerdWallet shows houses typically cost 8.45 percent less during those two months than in June and August.
While the pickings might be slimmer, given that most houses are listed in the peak spring or summer seasons, not only are you less likely to be up against buyers with wads of cash, but you’ll also stand to profit from a time-tested truth. “If their home is (still) on the market in fall or winter,” notes the home improvement website BobVila.com, “chances are they’ll be eager to close.”
With the median price of homes currently listed in the U.S. at $275,000, that 8.45 percent “discount” translates into savings of more than $23,000 – and a lot more in pricier cities.
Sellers, on the other hand, do best in the first half of May, according to Zillow.com.
• Generation Z is quick to buy. Those born after 1995 caught Zillow’s attention for a very good reason: When they buy, they buy “quickly.”
More than two-thirds of those Gen Z buyers spent less than three months on their search, compared to 54 percent of Millennials and less than half of both Gen Xers (born between 1965 and 1976) and Baby Boomers.
One of the best ways to pique their interest? Smart home features that allow just about anything to be remotely controlled on their phones.
• A new roof is a sure-fire way to boost a home’s resale value. A perennial fixture on Remodeling magazine’s annual Cost vs. Value Report, roofs are often the first thing prospective buyers notice, even before getting out of their cars. And if yours pales in comparison to others up for sale in the area, that could explain the lack of nibbles.
“If your current roof is an eyesore,” says Patsy O’Neill, a sales associate with Sotheby’s in Montclair, New Jersey, “buyers will be predisposed to find other things they hate about your place. It’s just the way people’s minds work.”
If your roof could stand a facelift, you might want to check out the popular Timberline roofing shingle line from GAF (gaf.com), North America’s largest roofing manufacturer, given their look of luxury at affordable prices. An even more upscale choice: the Designer Shingle line from the same company.
• Play the online odds. “Studies show that homes with more than six listing photos online are twice as likely to be viewed by buyers,” reportsTrulia.com.
Of course, that only applies if the house you’re trying to sell is worth a photo opp. (See “New Roof” above.) And if it isn’t … well, let’s just say you might want to skip this tip.