As you might imagine, as a real estate agent. I field quite a few questions every day. People are naturally curious, and it’s an agent’s job to guide folks through the often-complex world of home buying and selling. You might also imagine that some questions about real estate come up more often than others. Whether you’re a first time buyer or repeat buyer who could use a refresher on how deals get done, here’s are some answers to the questions that come up most often.
A: In sellers’ markets, increasing demand for homes drives up prices. Here are some of the drivers of demand:
Economic factors – the local labour market heats up, bringing an inflow of new residents and pushing up home prices before more inventory can be built.
Interest rates trending downward – improves home affordability, creating more buyer interest, particularly for first time home buyers who can afford bigger homes as the cost of money goes lower.
A short-term spike in interest rates - may compel “on the fence” buyers to make a purchase if they believe the upward trend will continue. Buyers want to make a move before their purchasing power (the amount they can borrow) gets eroded.
Low inventory - fewer homes on the market because of a lack of new construction. Prices for existing homes may go up because there are fewer units available.
A: A buyer’s market is characterised by declining home prices and reduced demand. Several factors may affect long-term and short-term buyer demand, like: Economic disruption - a big employer shuts down operations, laying off their workforce.
Interest rates trending higher – the amount of money the people can borrow to buy a home is reduced because the cost of money is higher, thus reducing the total number of potential buyers in the market. Home prices drop to meet the level of demand and buyers find better deals.
Short-term drop in interest rates – can give borrowers a temporary edge with more purchasing power before home prices can react to the recent interest rate changes.
High inventory – a new subdivision and can create downward pressure on prices of older homes nearby, particularly if they lack highly desirable features (modern appliances, etc.)
Natural disasters - a recent earthquake or flooding can tank property values in the neighbourhood where those disruptions occurred.
A: That’s up to you! For sure, The more homes you see in your price range, the better you will understand the value of the home you are looking to buy. Home shopping today is easier today than ever before. The ability to search for homes online and see pictures, even before setting a foot outside the comfort of your living room, has completely changed the home buying game. Convenience is at an all-time high. But, nothing beats visiting a home to see how it looks and ‘feels’ in person.
A: It’s scary how many people head to auction without asking their agent what happens if only one buyer bids – or if all the bidders are looking for a bargain price. Your agent needs to give you a plausible explanation of how they would handle these situations. So make sure you get some decent justification from the agent about this one.
A: Yes, but on the downside – consider the following: You are unlikely to achieve competition between a number of buyers vying to buy your house. By using an agent there is more chance of completion and of achieving a premium over and above the commission. It is difficult to negotiate a sale that involves your own property. Buyers are usually uncomfortable dealing directly with owners, and you are also unlikely to place advertising in the full range of media that an agency uses to capture all potentials buyers. A good agent will minimise stress and is trained to cover all technical matters and obligations when selling a property.
A: It is possible to use internet advertising only. We also often find buyers for properties with little or no advertising. In general, I advise clients to advertise in a range of media, so that they pick up all prospective buyers. I pass on the savings made from bulk buying in paid media. These wholesale rates are considerably less than the standard rates available to consumers.
A: While the concrete figure will depend very much on individual circumstance, there are some standard costs that home sellers might come across. These could come in the form of a real estate commission fee, marketing , a LIM, various repairs or any building inspections that need coordinating.