Zillow, an online real estate site, recently released a study that listed the markets for sellers and buyers in the United States. The study showed that there is an east/west divide. Basically, if you’re on the West Coast, it’s a seller’s market. If you’re on the East Coast (or Midwest), it’s a buyer’s market. Obviously, if you compare New Jersey to California, there’s a lot of difference, and not just in terms of miles. Things are different out there. But why is one coast showing one market, and the other coast an entirely different market?
For starters, there are relatively strong job markets on the West Coast, which is helping to create more demand. Since there is a limited supply, this is causing a rapid appreciation for homes and giving sellers the edge. And, housing prices and interest rates are still favorable, so some buyers want to buy NOW. They’re willing to pay a bit more for a home because they know it’s still a great deal, and the sellers get to take more of a profit than they would have a few years ago.
Here in New Jersey and our surrounding areas, however, the housing market is appreciating more slowly. Homes are staying on the market for a bit longer, and this gives buyers the edge. If a seller wants to take advantage of the market and sell off their existing home, they’ll be much more willing to take a little less and move on rather than holding onto the property. This isn’t the case in every township, but it is the picture for things at large.
So, what can you be looking at this fall? It depends on who you are. If you’re the buyer, then you can expect to have the upper hand, and you may be able to land your NJ dream home by asking the seller to come down in price. If you’re the seller, on the other hand, expect to have your home on the market a little longer and perhaps have to lower your asking price. Or, you could always wait for that perfect buyer to come along, which isn’t asking too much in this market. New Jersey does, after all, have unique, one-of-a-kind homes.
Even though the housing market is strengthening, current buyers will find that inventory is still rather low, and there is a good number of short sale properties to choose from. What is a short sale exactly, and are there benefits to you, the buyer?
During a short sale, the homeowners agree to sell the house for less than what they owe on the loan, which means the lender must also agree. If you are in the market for a new home, short sales are a good option to consider. They do take time, however, since the banks must approve the offer. This makes it difficult to pinpoint an exact closing date. Short sales are not recommended for people who need to move quickly or before a certain date, but if you have some flexibility, you can enjoy the following benefits with a short sale.
Low Housing Price
Short sales are listed lower than the normal selling price. Not only can you scoop up a nice property for less, but also you can negotiate with the seller and the banks, something that is hard to do with a foreclosed property. In a traditional sale, the homeowners would be responsible for fixing things up, but with a short sale, this will be your responsibility. It’s important to understand that you may have to purchase a fixer upper, but again, this will be reflected in a lowered cost.
Cooperation from Homeowners
With a short sale, the sellers are eager to sell their home. The sooner the house sells, the sooner they can move on and start repairing their credit. This is a much different scenario than if you were to buy a foreclosure where the people need to be evicted and may cause damage to the home out of anger. This cooperation between the sellers and the buyers is helpful in making the sale work to everyone’s advantage.
Favorable Financing Terms
Short sales are generally in the best interest of the bank. Instead of having to pay all the costs associated with a foreclosure – eviction, administrative costs and repairs to the home – a short sale allows the lender to take a loss on the loan, but then start getting some of that money back by approving the short sale and moving the new buyer into the home. Since sellers are behind on their mortgage payment by a few months, it makes sense to get someone in there who can pay. This often gives buyers the advantage by getting buyer-friendly terms such as low interest rates.
If you’re considering purchasing a short sale, call Cedarcrest Realty today!
If you’ve been working with a realtor or will be in the near future, you will definitely hear a lot about the MLS system. MLS stands for Multiple Listing Service, and it refers to one large database with many of the listings that are currently available on the market. When a property is sold, it is then taken off the database. The MLS is a fast and convenient way to access the homes that are available for sale at any given moment. After all, being a good realtor means that you need to have quick knowledge of what properties are out there.
Let’s take a look at the advantages to using the MLS for your home buying or selling experience.
Benefits to Buyers
Convenient. The majority of homes for sale in your area are placed on the database, so you don’t have to bounce back and forth to various websites.
Easy to use. A few simple clicks of a mouse give you access to all the properties for sale in your area.
Up-to-date and relevant. The MLS is continuously updated, so what you see reflects the current market, unlike other sites that are out of date.
Free service. The MLS does not cost a penny for buyers to use.
Sorting features. Instead of sorting through hundreds of homes, you can use the handy sorting features to find homes based on the square footage, number of bedrooms/bathrooms, zip code and so on.
Benefits to Sellers
More exposure. You want to sell your home fast, so putting it in front of the most buyers makes this possible. The MLS gets you the largest number of buyers in a short amount of time.
Help from a professional. To get your listing on the MLS, you’ll need a real estate agent or broker to list the property. Not only do you get your home on the MLS, but also you get professional assistance from a realtor who can help get your home sold quickly and for the most money possible.
Increased competition. The more buyers that see your home, the more competition it will create. Competition is good for sellers since it puts more power in your hands as you price your home and sell it quickly.