If you’ve given even a casual thought to selling your house in the near future, this is the time to really think seriously about making a move. Here’s why this spring and summer season is the ultimate sellers’ market - and the optimal time to make sure your house is available for buyers who are looking for homes to purchase.
The latest Existing Home Sales Report from NAR shows the inventory of houses for sale is still astonishingly low, sitting at just a 2-month supply at the current sales pace.
Historically, a 6-month supply is necessary for a ‘normal’ or ‘neutral’ market in which there are enough homes available for active buyers
When the supply of houses for sale is as low as it is right now, it’s much harder for buyers to find homes to purchase. As a result, competition among purchasers rises and more bidding wars take place, making it essential for buyers to submit very attractive offers. We are still seeing multiple offers on a lot of properties from conditional buyers - if they’re not going to Auction that is!
As this happens, home prices rise and sellers are in the best position to negotiate deals that meet their ideal terms. If you put your house on the market while so few homes are available to buy, it will likely get a lot of attention from hopeful buyers.
Today, there are many buyers who are ready, willing, and able to purchase a home. Low mortgage rates and a year filled with unique changes have prompted buyers to think differently about where they live – and they’re taking action. The supply of homes for sale is not keeping up with this high demand, making now the optimal time to sell your house.
Home prices are still appreciating in today’s sellers’ market - over 25% in the past 12 months for the Northland region. Making your home available over the coming weeks will give you the most exposure to buyers who will actively compete against each other to purchase it.
Let’s talk more about what your plans are and the options you have now to get the very best result.
My thoughts are with all our towns and cities throughout New Zealand and especially those that may have been directly affected by COVID-19 and this newer Delta variant.
As a non-essential business, our physical premises have closed during level 4, and myself and the rest of our team members from Harcourts are now working from home to look after not only their current activities but also their families.
I remain active and on-call (maybe in pj’s)- available by phone and email.
A little bit of extra patience will be required by all of us as we adjust to a slightly new way of working, we will still be able to work with you on your sale, settlements and manage buyer enquiry as it comes in.
Like you, I don't have a crystal ball, but along with the management team we are monitoring things daily - and our team is meeting digitally to discuss what is happening in our market.
Harcourts is also in regular contact with REINZ and any new developments are being communicated daily.
Take care of yourselves, and each other.
Questions? Please scroll down for some answers to frequently asked questions during this time of restrictions.
Can you receive an appraisal?
Online appraisals can be completed and emailed to potential sellers. You will note that these virtual appraisals will clearly state that they were conducted online and without the ability to physically inspect the property due to COVID-19 Level 4 restrictions - and then I will update these after a physical inspection of the property as soon as the current Level 4 restrictions are lifted.
Can you list your property now?
Yes, like Lee Majors - we have the technology! and support staff in place to be able to list your property during this Level 4 period. All agency agreements, AML and marketing can be signed digitally and I can talk you through the process and advise the best way moving forward.
Marketing your home for sale
At this stage there are no buyer appointments or open homes but these can commence again at the lower Alert Levels. I have great online platforms in place to maximise the exposure of your property while we have such a strong online audience.
Can we prepare and submit offers on properties?
Yes - sale and purchase agreements will continue to be available during this time and your agent will be able to provide for digital signature in the event you do not have a scanner or printer at home.
Most of the lawyers are still available by email for legal advice.
We will monitor the Alert Levels for face-to-face Auctions, and the Auctions set for this Friday the 20th at the Harcourts office have been pushed out for at least a week at this stage.
We have our online Auction platform GAVL which has shown great success in our Auctions during the rest of this year.
Sellers and buyers should talk to their bank or financial services provider first off, most of them are mobilised and able to transact business remotely.
Anti-Money Laundering - AML
AML can be completed online via your documents being scanned into the AML hub through me.
Conditional contracts can still be confirmed during this time; however should a condition not be able to be met due to the restrictions under the Alert Level 4 period (examples would be the inability to conduct a property inspection and building inspections), then the buyer and seller would need to advise their legal representatives and either extend the condition until after the lockdown, or cancel the contract. The party's lawyers will make appropriate amendments to the contract to facilitate this.
We have been advised by Whangarei District Council that LIM processing is not able to be completed as some file records are still in paper format and will not be able to be accessed during this period.
If purchasing, we would still suggest filing a request for a LIM so when these are able to be processed you will already be in the queue .
These are unable to take place in person during lockdown, however, if both parties agree, these could take place using video conferencing - the seller would walk through the property and film the chattels being in operating order. In the case of an empty house, then this is not possible.
Moving in to your new home
Because moving house is not defined as 'necessary travel' during Stage 4 lockdowns, we suggest deferring settlement dates with your solicitor.
All of the contracts done with me have an existing clause in your contract to facilitate this. We refer to this as the ‘Covid’ clause, and is generally set for the completion and settlement of the contract 5 working days after we come out of Level 4.
Be well, and feel free to get in touch anytime.
In the current sellers’ market (yep, still!) many homeowners wonder what, if anything, needs to be done before they list their house for sale.
That’s where a trusted real estate professional comes in. They (me!) can help you think through today’s market conditions and how they impact what you should – and shouldn’t – renovate before selling.
Here are some considerations to guide you through:
1. With current supply challenges, buyers may be willing to take on projects of their own.
A more balanced market typically sees a 6-month supply of homes for sale. Above that, and we’re in a buyers’ market. Below that, and we’re in a sellers’ market. We are 100% still very much in a sellers market - and it looks likely to continue that way for the rest of this year at least.
So, what does that mean for you? If you’re a seller trying to decide whether or not to renovate, this is especially important because it’s indicative of buyer behavior. When there aren’t enough homes for sale, buyers may be more willing to purchase a home that doesn’t meet all their needs and renovate it themselves later.
2. Not all renovation projects are equal.
You don’t want to spend time and money on a project that isn’t worth the cost or is too niche design-wise for some homebuyers. According to an article by Renofi.com, basing home updates on what’s trendy right now can be a costly mistake:
“The last thing you as a homeowner want to do is center your home design around a passing fad – even worse, one that design quality won’t last a good while.”
Example - those apricot and forest green kitchens from the early 2000’s haven’t aged well - at all!
Before making any decisions, talk to your real estate advisor,me.
I have insight into what other sellers are doing before listing their homes and how buyers are reacting to those upgrades. Don’t spend the time and money to be trendy – if your buyer wants to upgrade to the newest fad later, they can.
3. If you’ve already made upgrades this past year, your agent can help spotlight them.
If you have already completed some renovations on your house, you’re not alone. The pandemic kept people at home last year, and during that time, many homeowners completed some home improvement projects. HomeAdvisor’s 2021 State of Home Spending Report found:
“35% of households that completed an improvement project undertook some type of interior painting, while 31% completed a bathroom renovationl and 26% installed new flooring.”
Let your real estate professional know if you’ve done anything in the past 12-18 months.
It might be that we highlight any recent upgrades you’ve made in your house’s listing description.
When it comes to renovations, your return-on-investment should be top of mind. Talk with your local real estate professional to find out what projects you should prioritize before you sell and how to highlight your upgrades to maximize your house’s potential.
If you’d like to discuss your recent renovations and what it could do for your home sale, then let’s chat. I’ll bring the coffee…
Helpful and interesting info from Paul, and Harcourts to help you with your property journey.