The Arizona housing market has entered the peak selling season that typically starts in April each year. Will the pace continue in 2018?
First, let's take a look at last year. It was a great year for the housing market in Arizona. Housing sales and housing prices increased. In December of 2017, 7% more homes sold than in December of 2016. In addition, the sales price increased 8.6% during the year. That is a great increase for homeowners that are considering selling their home this year.
Will the market continue to be hot in 2018? All indications point to continued market growth. In March of this year the average sales price was up 2.9% from February and 9.1% from March of last year. Inventory remains low and is down 15.4% from last year yet the demand from buyers is still strong. Limited housing inventory means properties sell faster, in fact, the average days on market in March of this year is down 4.1% from last month and 6.6% from March of 2017. And of course, the low inventory continues to push the sales price of homes up.
The new home sales industry appears to be confident about growth, they are gearing up for a strong 2018 by purchasing new land and developing new subdivisions. They are also filling in some of the subdivisions that were never completed. New construction homes help offset the low inventory and provide options for buyers. It's great for neighborhoods with vacant lots, it helps complete the community. With the current incentives available buying a new home could be a great choice for buyers. Often builders have move-in ready homes available for buyers that don't want to wait to build a house. Several new home communities are selling out quickly in the West Valley.
Although prices continue to increase, competition is still fierce among buyers. Multiple offers on properties is a common situation that today's buyer's face. With the rising cost of renting a home, along with the rising interest rates, buyers are out in full force searching for their dream home.
If you are wanting 2018 to be the year you make a move and purchase a home then call or email me! I help you position yourself to be a strong buyer in this hot market. You will most likely run into competition from other buyers so it is important to have a game plan together before you start looking at homes. It's never too early to get started. Please contact me to schedule a phone consultation to help you make the process smoother.
If you are looking to sell your home I'd love to schedule a phone consultation to help you determine if this is the right time for you. If it is, I can help you get your property market ready so it shines above the competition and I can also help you bulletproof the sales transaction to ensure a successful sale of your property.
How's the real estate market in the Phoenix Metro Area? The market is starting to gain momentum! Here's a Market Snapshot for March 2018.
As expected, the market is starting to pick up for our peak season. Average sales prices increased slightly after taking a dip last month. With interest rates on the rise, the buyer pool will start to decrease. Remember, "pretty homes" sell faster and for more money...have your home in tip-top shape to secure the best offer(s) from potential buyers. My home selling process helps you get your home ready for the market, ask me how!
Active inventory hit a 5-year low last month, and multiple offers are common. It is still considered a seller's market, so you will often get a good price or good terms but rarely both. Be prepared to write your offer accordingly to ensure you secure the home you want!
In the Phoenix area, we definitely have a peak selling season. The chart below shows the average monthly housing sales over a 5 year period ending in 2017. It provides a great visual of our selling season.
It's clear from the chart that the least amount of homes are sold in January each year (and generally throughout the winter months). Sales increase through the peak selling months of March through June. There is a distinct drop-off in sales in July. Sales gradually taper off the rest of the year with a small bump in sales in December. This seasonal sales cycle remains the same year after year, only the actual sales numbers change.
What if you are not prepared to sell during the peak season? Does it really matter? Maybe and maybe not. Let me explain:
NOTE: housing inventory has been 20-30% lower than normal in the 24-month period from February 2016 – February 2018.
Consider this: the best time to a sell a home in Phoenix could be during the peak selling season, or it could be when it fits into your life. Things like marriages, divorces, job transfers, opportunities, retirement, or loss of income don’t wait for our traditional housing sales cycle. However, as a homeowner, you increase your odds of a quicker sale at a higher sales price during the months of March thru June, making these months the best time on paper to sell a home in our area. Of course, there are other factors as well. If your home is overpriced, outdated and dirty, it's going to take longer to sell 12 months out of the year.
If you would like to discuss the best time for YOU to sell your house based on your current situation, please contact me. I'd love to set up a time for a phone consultation to discuss your best route. Don't worry, you won't be hit with a high-pressure conversation about listing your house! The point of my seller phone consultation is not to "get the listing," it is to help you determine what works best for you and your life events. My goal is to help you get a game plan together for selling your home with the least amount of stress. When it comes to selling your home it's important to take steps to set you up for success! You can call or text me at 623-252-9350 or email me at Cinda@WVHomeTeam.com. Or you can visit my Selling Your Home page and fill out a short contact form.
BTW--If you want to take advantage of the selling season and list your property fast, contact me ASAP. I have a fast track listing program that will help you get your house ready to go and on the market quickly. I am available by email, phone or text. You can also fill out my Seller Questionnaire to help expedite the process.
Is the market heating up? Is it time to make your next move? Check out February's Market Snapshot below.
Home Buyer's Page
Active listings are down slightly from last month at .7%. Active listings are down 12.9% from last year. Pending listings, sold listings and average days on the market have increased from last month. The average sales price is up 7.2% from last year. Access a full market report by clicking the image below:
Sellers: As expected, the market is starting to pick up for our peak season. Average sales prices took a slight dip last month after hitting record highs in January. With interest rates on the rise, the buyer pool will start to decrease. Remember, “pretty homes” sell faster and for more money…have your home in tip-top shape to secure the best offer(s) from potential buyers.
Buyers: Inventory remains lower than usual for this time of year, and interest rates bumped up again. It is still considered a seller’s market, so you will often get a good price or good terms (concessions/contingencies), but rarely both. Be prepared to write your offer accordingly.
There are different types of relationships, or agencies, created between customers, clients, and Realtors. Typically a buyer's agent represents the buyer and the seller's agent represents the seller. What happens when a dual agency situation occurs and both the seller and the buyer receive limited representation since both agents work for the same broker?
When you list a property with an agent you are listing your home with the broker and all of the brokerage's agents are working on your behalf and are bound to act in your best interest. Dual representation takes place when another agent from the same brokerage brings a buyer to purchase a home. Dual representation has to be disclosed to all parties.
Real estate agents that are members of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) are called Realtors and are held to a higher standard called the NAR Realtor Code of Ethics. The NAR specifically states a Realtor's duties to customers vs clients. There are certain things we must adhere to, but Realtors do not owe customers the same duties as they do to their clients. Most active agents are Realtors and adhere to these practices.
Limited dual representation forces both agents to fulfill all of the fiduciary duties an agent normally has to a client, loyalty, obedience, disclosure, confidentiality, and accounting, to both the seller and the buyer. There may be conflicts that arise in this situation since both agents in a limited dual representation scenario have to fulfill the fiduciary duties to the buyer and the seller.
The Arizona Association of Realtor's Consent to Limited Representation disclosure limits the duties the Broker (whom the listing and buyer's agent work for) owes the buyer and the seller as follows:
The AAR Consent to Limited Representation disclosure also obligates the broker and the broker's agents to exercise reasonable skill and care in the performance of their duties. In addition, the broker and the agents must deal honestly and fairly with all parties. Each agent should be looking out for their client's best interest as well as provide their fiduciary dity to the other parties.
Here are some situations that might occur:
Here's a sample of the disclosure:
AAR Consent to Limited Representation
If you have any questions please contact me.
The new tax law that was signed into effect at the end of 2017 will affect all taxpayers. Homeowners should familiarize themselves with the areas that could affect them which may require some planning to maximize the benefits.
Some of the things that will affect most homeowners are the following:
The capital gains exclusion applying to principal residences remains unchanged. Single taxpayers are entitled to $250,000 and married taxpayers filing jointly up to $500,000 of capital gain for homes that they owned and occupied as principal residences for two out of the previous five years.
Not addressed in the new tax law, the Mortgage Forgiveness Relief Act of 2007 expired on 12/31/16. This temporary law limited exclusion of income for discharged home mortgage debt for principal homeowners who went through foreclosure, short sale or other mortgage forgiveness. Debt forgiven is considered income and even though the taxpayer may not be obligated for the debt, they would have to recognize the forgiven debt as income.
These changes could affect a taxpayers’ position and should be discussed with their tax advisor.
If a buyer is using financing to purchase your home, then the buyer's lender will order an appraisal of the property. Appraisals are not a guarantee of value, they are an opinion of value completed by a 3rd party. However, their opinion is what matters most to a buyer’s lender. An appraisal can make or break the deal. The buyer’s lender will only lend based on the appraised value. Unless the buyer can cover the difference in cash, then you will have to decide between lowering the sales price or looking for a new buyer.
At our Pricing and Strategy Meeting, we took a look at what homes sold for recently in the neighborhood as well as those that were currently on the market. We also considered in what price ranges buyers were looking for homes near your house. With this information you determined the best list price for your property. Sometimes this process is an easy one with comparable homes that set a pretty specific price range for your home, and other times that range can be large.
We went through this process with buyers, as well as appraisers, in mind. As we discussed, the appraiser will complete the same process when evaluating the home. Appraisers are trying to find the information that supports the sales price and the method used by many appraisers to establish market value is to compare similar homes in similar condition that have recently sold.
The appraiser will review the information and also complete a tour of your home. They often verify items such as square footage, bedroom count and upgrades. The appraiser then completes an appraisal report that typically includes at least 3 sold comparable homes along with any adjustments for items such as pools, 3 car garages, upgrades, etc. Homes currently on the market or under contract are also considered to see where the market is trending.
It’s important to note that appraisals are somewhat subjective. There’s a saying in real estate that you if you ask 3 appraisers for an opinion of value, you’ll most likely get 3 different opinions. And this is in part due to some of the challenges that appraisers face. For example, if there are not a lot of photos or information available on the MLS, the appraiser could use a home that needs repairs as a comparable home to a more updated home unless they do the research and not make the proper adjustments. Or an appraiser may not be familiar with the area and pull comparable homes from a neighborhood that is not comparable to yours.
What can you do to help? Your main job is to make sure your house is still looking its best, after all, this could be the MOST important showing that you have! It’s best if you are not at the property and give the appraiser the time to complete the report.
Once the appraisal is received, if the value comes in below the sales price, it can be very hard to get the value changed. My main job is to be proactive and try to combat some of the possible challenges that appraisers face upfront. First, I make sure that the appraiser is familiar with the area. If an appraiser has not completed an appraisal in the neighborhood in the past 2 or 3 years, we can request a new appraiser.
Before the appraiser goes out to your property provide the appraiser with the following:
It typically takes an appraiser 48 to 72 hours to submit the appraisal report to the buyer's lender. Once I have received a copy of the appraisal we can go over the findings and what your next steps will be.
If you have any questions feel free to contact me at 623-252-9350 or email@example.com.
According to the National Association of REALTORS 2017 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, the median down payment for first-time buyers has dropped to 5%, down from 6% last year. In September, 60% of first-time home buyers put 6 percent or less down when purchasing a home. These numbers are much lower than most first-time home buyers think they are. In fact, earlier this year, NAR conducted a survey and they found that most consumers that did not currently own a home believe that they need a down payment of 10% or 20%.
Some buyers can take advantage of even lower down payments, FHA has a low down payment option of 3.5% and there is a conventional loan program that only requires a 3% down payment. Some downpayment assistance programs still exist as well.
If you've been thinking about buying a home, talk to a mortgage professional about the different loan programs out there that could help you get into a home for a smaller down payment. Contact me at 623-252-9350 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like me to send you the name of a local lender and help you get a game plan together for owning a new home in 2018!!