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Listing a home? Here’s how you can maximize your sale 

Timing is everything when it comes to highlighting your home’s unique features. (iStock)

Today’s tough housing market conditions can make it hard to find a buyer, and it takes some strategic thinking to get the most out of your home sale, according to a recent Opendoor report. study.

Mortgage rates are hovering above 7% and are unlikely to fall significantly before the end of the year. Buyers are also facing soaring home prices, which have many buyers holding off on purchases due to high home prices, fading hopes for a strong spring housing season. But sellers in the market can attract the highest bids by listing their property at a time when buyers can best see their home’s unique features, the study says.

“Opendoor recently analyzed home sales over the past five years in over 50 markets,” the study states. “We found that different seasons have surprising characteristics that help homes sell faster and for more. Understanding these seasonal nuances is key to helping buyers and sellers navigate the selling season successfully.”

Opendoor’s analysis found that these four characteristics lead to higher closing prices in spring than in winter:

  • Homes with pools sell for an average of $34,000 more in spring than in winter.
  • Homes with basements over 1,000 square feet sell for $32,000 more in spring than in winter.
  • Sales prices for homes on large lots (over an acre) are about 5.3% higher in spring than in winter.
  • Sales volumes for homes with three or more bedrooms are about 5% higher than in the winter

Homebuyers can find the best mortgage rate by weighing their options, and they can visit online marketplaces like Credible to compare rates from multiple lenders at once.

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Down payment exceeds 13%

According to a recent Realtor.com report, buyers in the market continue to make larger down payments. reportDown payments averaged 13.6% and reached a median of $26,000 in the first quarter of 2024. While this is below the peak of 14.7% in the third quarter of 2023, down payments are still well above the typical 10% that buyers were saving for before the COVID-19 pandemic.

One reason down payments have soared in the post-pandemic housing market is increased competition. While that’s not as big a factor in the current housing market, some markets are still competitive due to limited home supply, the report noted. Also, high mortgage rates may motivate some buyers to borrow less to save on interest payments.

“Another important consideration is how rising home prices across the market will affect homebuyers,” the report said. “Faced with still-high prices and high mortgage rates, many of today’s buyers are likely to be high-income earners or to be purchasing with existing home equity that is not far removed from recent highs, meaning they have more cash available for a down payment.”

If you’re considering buying a home, comparison shopping can help you find the best mortgage rates. To compare options without affecting your credit score, visit Credible.

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Housing supply is increasing

One silver lining for buyers is that supply is expected to increase amid sluggish home sales, which should gradually help slow home price growth, Fannie Mae economists said in a recent report. report.

Indeed, the number of homes for sale increased 23.5% in March, marking the fifth consecutive month of increases. Realtor.com DataThe largest increase was in the South, where inventory was up 35.8% compared to last year. The Midwest saw an increase of 13.9%, while the West saw inventory increase 12.4% and the Northeast saw only a 0.3% increase.

Realtor.com points out that while housing supply growth is good, mortgage rates need to fall to improve home affordability. Borrowing costs will only fall significantly if the Fed cuts interest rates, which will only happen when the central bank is confident that inflation will hit its 2% target.

If you are considering buying a home, it is a good idea to compare different lenders to find the best mortgage interest rate. Visit Credible to compare different lender options and choose the one with the best interest rate.

It’s a top city for first-time homebuyers, and other U.S. housing markets are booming.

Do you have a finance-related question but don’t know who to ask? Email a trusted money expert email address: Your question might be answered in Credible’s Money Expert column.

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