What does it Mean when a Home’s Sale is Pending?

There are steps to buying a home. You don’t just find a house, make an offer, and move in as soon as it’s accepted. In fact, though having an offer accepted is a big step, it’s really just the first of the closing process.

There are many things that need to be done before your accepted offer becomes a final sale. During this process, the house you’ve chosen is taken off the market but not officially sold. Until you’ve got keys to the house, it’s considered a “pending sale” or “under contract”.

Pending sales are important because they can be a good indicator of where home sales are headed. Because of this, the National Association of Realtors keeps track each month of the number of homes that are under contract as a way of watching what’s ahead for the market. For example, the NAR’s most recent Pending Home Sales Index was virtually flat from the month before. These results show that low inventory may be holding home sales back. “Home shoppers are coming out in droves this spring and competing with each other for the meager amount of listings in the affordable price range,” Jennifer Bixby said.

In other words, what we can learn from how many pending sales there were in April is that buyers should be prepared to move fast this spring and sellers should expect to find favorable conditions.

 

 

 

This article is provided by Jennifer Bixby, the broker for Don Peterson and Associates Real Estate, 100 E. 6th St.  Jennifer can be reached at 402-721-9700 for answers to questions regarding real estate.

Educated Buyers Make Happier Homeowners

The best defense against making avoidable mistakes is education. The more you know about something, the less likely you are to screw it up. So you’d think home buyers would want to learn as much as possible before heading out to find a house to purchase. After all, buying a house is major financial transaction and a serious commitment. Yet, surveys of potential home buyers consistently find that large majorities of them share in some common misconceptions about what it takes to buy a house and how the process should unfold.

Recently, Fannie Mae’s Economic & Strategic Research Group interviewed real estate agents, buyers, and loan officers in an effort to figure out why there isn’t more focus on homeownership education before buying. Not surprisingly, most of their answers boiled down to there not being enough time during the process to focus on education. But common misunderstandings about down payment requirements, financing options, and the added costs of homeownership can scare off buyers or lead them to make unwise financial decisions. That’s why it’s always important, as a buyer, to ask questions along the way.

Though you may not have time for hitting the books, you can always lean on the expertise and knowledge of the professionals you hired to guide you along the way.

 

This article is provided by Jennifer Bixby, the broker for Don Peterson and Associates Real Estate, 100 E. 6th St.  Jennifer can be reached at 402-721-9700 for answers to questions regarding real estate.

Spring Has Homeowners Seeing Opportunity

This year’s housing market depends a lot on whether or not current homeowners decide now’s the time to put their home up for sale. With inventory low, home prices have been climbing and causing affordability concerns for buyers.

There are two ways to relieve upward pressure on prices. One is more new home construction. The other is more homeowners putting their homes on the market. Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s senior vice president and chief economist, says the market may get a boost, if current homeowners become more active. “The housing market could get some tailwinds from a seasonal rise in for-sale inventory, particularly as some sellers seek to lock in profits from recent rapid home price gains,” Duncan said. “The market could also get a boost from homebuyers who decide to jump into the market before rates rise further.”

The good news is there are an increasing number of Americans who believe this is the time to sell. In fact, Fannie Mae’s most recent Home Purchase Sentiment Index saw a 9 percent jump in the number of survey participants who said they feel it’s a good time to sell a house. If more homeowners begin to list their homes this spring, it’ll offer buyers better choices. It’ll also help moderate future price increases.

 

This article is provided by Jennifer Bixby, the broker for Don Peterson and Associates Real Estate, 100 E. 6th St.  Jennifer can be reached at 402-721-9700 for answers to questions regarding real estate.

Why Aren’t More Homeowners Looking To Sell?

Recent real estate data shows home buyer demand is high. There are a lot of buyers looking to take advantage of current conditions out of concern that mortgage rates may go up this year or prices will rise further. That, along with pent-up demand from younger buyers and previously underwater homeowners looking to finally move, means it should be a great time to sell a house.

So, if buyer demand is up and conditions are right, why aren’t more homeowners putting their homes up for sale? Well one reason, according to a recent survey, is that they’re afraid they won’t be able to find a suitable replacement for their current home. With inventory tight in many markets, some homeowners – who may otherwise be ready to sell – say they’re hesitant.

However, as more homeowners get in the market and off the sidelines, that will begin to change. In the meantime, buyers looking to purchase a home this spring should expect to see available homes for sale selling more quickly than they did last year.

In other words, there will likely be some competition for hot properties. Interested buyers will have to move fast. One way to beat the competition is to be prepared. If you’re a buyer, have your financing lined up in advance and have a professional Realtor working for you. Experienced representation will be key to winning negotiations in this hot market.

 

This article is provided by Jennifer Bixby, the broker for Don Peterson and Associates Real Estate, 100 E. 6th St.  Jennifer can be reached at 402-721-9700 for answers to questions regarding real estate.

Will This Year Be Better For Buyers Or Sellers?

If you want to know whether this year is going to be good for buyers or sellers or both, you need to watch for a couple of factors. First, take a look at the housing market. A recent uptick in mortgage rates, combined with higher prices and lower inventory, have made buying a home slightly less affordable than it was a couple of years ago.

However, mortgage rates are still historically low and, though prices continue to rise, they have slowed down. That means, though affordability isn’t what it was a few years ago, buying a home remains an affordable choice. This is especially true when taken together with recent economic data. That’s because, whether or not higher rates will deter potential buyers really depends more on whether or not those buyers feel financially secure and optimistic about their prospects. In other words, if Americans continue to see better job opportunities and higher wages, they’ll be less likely to hesitate when thinking about buying a house regardless of where rates and prices go.

According to the most recent outlook from Fannie Mae’s Economic & Strategic Research Group, how things play out will depend largely on young Americans. “Tight inventory remains a boon to home prices and Americans’ net worth, but it also continues to price out many would-be first-time homebuyers.” However, our research suggests that aging millennials, now boasting higher real wages, are beginning to narrow the homeownership attainment gap.

 

This advertisement is provided by Jennifer Bixby, the broker for Don Peterson and Associates Real Estate, 100 E. 6th St. Jennifer can be reached at 402-721-9700 for answers to questions regarding real estate.

The Absolute Best Time to List Your Home

Though it’s commonly said that spring is the most popular time for home buyers to begin looking at houses, a new analysis has narrowed it down even further. In fact, the Zillow Group Report on Consumer Housing Trends pinpointed the best two weeks of the year to list a house. The study found that homes listed between May 1st and 15th sold nine days faster than the average listing. Additionally, homes that were listed during that time frame sold for 1 percent above average.
However, you may not be able to expect the same success if you’re selling a house in an area with a warmer climate. That’s because, regions where the weather doesn’t change as drastically from season to season will see less variation in sale price. According to Zillow’s chief economist, Dr. Svenja Gudell, there’s one possible reason homes listed near the end of April or beginning of May do so well. “Many home buyers who started looking for homes in the early spring will still be searching for their dream home months later,” Gudell said. “By May, some buyers may be anxious to get settled into a new home – and will be more willing to pay a premium to close a deal.”

 

This article is provided by Jennifer Bixby, the broker for Don Peterson and Associates Real Estate, 100 E. 6th St. Jennifer can be reached at 402-721-9700 for answers to questions regarding real estate.

Will Low Inventory Affect Your Home Search?

If you’ve followed the housing market at all this year, you’ve likely heard something about inventory. Inventory refers to the number of homes available for sale. This year, it’s been lower than usual. And, when for-sale inventory is low and buyer demand is high – as it’s been this year – prices rise and sellers hold most of the negotiating power.

In many markets, that has been the story this year. However, according to a new analysis from Trulia, whether or not low inventory will affect a buyer’s home search depends on where that buyer is looking and what kind of home they’re looking to buy. For example, starter homes had the largest drop in inventory last year, falling 10.7 percent.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the number of high-end homes for sale only fell 3.7 percent. Naturally, that means a first-time buyer looking for an affordable home may have fewer homes to choose from than a luxury home buyer. However, it also depends on where you live.

Here in Fremont, we have averaged 27 sales a month over the past 6 months. With only 57 active listings today, that is an inventory supply for 2 months. A balanced market is closer to 4-6 months of inventory. If you are thinking of selling now is the time!

 

This advertisement is provided by Jennifer Bixby, the broker for Don Peterson and Associates Real Estate, 100 E. 6th St.  Jennifer can be reached at 402-721-9700 for answers to questions regarding real estate.

How Your Pets Influence What Home You Buy

Most people treat their pets like they’re a member of the family. In fact, a recent survey from the National Association of Realtors, found a full 99 percent of pet owners agreed their animals were considered part of their family. And a lot of us have them.

William E. Brown, NAR’s president, says a majority of Americans have a pet or are planning on getting one. “In 2016, 61 percent of U.S. households either have a pet or plan to get one in the future, so it’s important to understand the unique needs and wants of animal owners when it comes to homeownership,” Brown said. “Realtors understand that when someone buys a home, they are buying it with the needs of their whole family in mind; ask pet owners, and they will enthusiastically agree that their animals are part of their family.”

So, if pets are thought of as family members, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that they play a large role in how Americans make decisions about buying or selling a house. But what are some of the things a prospective home buyer might be looking for specifically to accommodate their furry friends? According to the survey, a fence around the yard is the top priority for pet owners, though a dog door and laminate flooring also ranked high.

 

This article is provided by Jennifer Bixby, the broker for Don Peterson and Associates Real Estate, 100 E. 6th St.  Jennifer can be reached at 402-721-9700 for answers to questions regarding real estate.

59 Million Americans Say They Want to Buy

A recent survey conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates says 59 million Americans are considering buying a home this year. That’s roughly one in four adults. Conducted on behalf of Bankrate, the survey shows the strongest demand among parents with young children and adults between the ages of 27 and 52 – not surprising considering the lower-than-usual number of first-time home buyers active in the market over the past few years.

Holden Lewis, a mortgage analyst with Bankrate, says there’s a lot of pent-up demand among younger buyers. “They have been stymied by stagnant wages, student loans and a lack of available starter homes,” Lewis said. “If enough affordable homes are put on the market, we might see a surge of first-time home buyers in their early to mid-30s.”

That, however, is the big question for home buyers this year. Will there be enough affordable homes on the market to support the increasing number of interested buyers? There have been signs recently that home builders are beginning to build smaller, more affordable homes but, without a spike in the number of Americans hoping to sell their homes, buyers may face another competitive spring market this year.

 

 

This article is provided by Jennifer Bixby, the broker for Don Peterson and Associates Real Estate, 100 E. 6th St.  Jennifer can be reached at 402-721-9700 for answers to questions regarding real estate.

HOMEOWNERSHIP, STILL THE AMERICAN DREAM

Homeownership has long been seen as a big part of achieving the American dream. And that hasn’t changed, according to recent data from the National Association of Realtors. An analysis of their Housing Opportunities and Market Experience survey found that 87 percent of non-homeowners said they want to one day own a home of their own and 80 percent of all respondents said homeownership was part of their American dream.

So what are some of the concerns that keep people from pursing their dream of homeownership? Well the number one answer was affordability, followed by people who need the flexibility of renting. But there are also Americans that have postponed buying a home because of misconceptions they have about the buying process and what is required financially. For example, nearly 9 out of 10 survey participants said a down payment of 10 percent or more was required to buy a house which is untrue. In fact, the median down payment for first-time buyers has been 6 percent for the past three years, while repeat buyers put down closer to 14 percent.

Current non-owners may be closer to fulfilling their homeownership dreams than they think. There are lots of mortgage options with smaller down payments available for buyers with good credit and manageable levels of debt. First time buyers should contact a professional Realtor to learn about their options.

 

This advertisement is provided by Jennifer Bixby, the broker for Don Peterson and Associates Real Estate, 100 E. 6th St.  Jennifer can be reached at 402-721-9700 for answers to questions regarding real estate.