There are many issues that face buyers and sellers in a real estate transaction. It can vary year to year depending on the real estate market and even national and local economic conditions. While spring 2022 is certainly still a seller’s market and home prices are still rising, it is at a much lower rate than 2021. With that and other current economic factors, here are some home buyer & seller strategies for spring 2022.
Have a Pre-Listing Inspection Early
I know, I know! I’m a home inspector so of course I’m going to say that. It is especially important this year. If you have improvements or repairs that need addressing, you will want to identify them and start them well before you put your home on the market. Supply chain issues and labor shortages have made it harder to get repairs done quickly. Parts may take longer to get, and many contractors are booked out weeks in advance. A friend who was doing a simple bathroom remodel relayed her frustrations. She said a simple electrical issue was going to take weeks to complete. She called every electrician in the area, and they were booked out for weeks for non-emergencies. Contractors she called to do the bathroom remodel were out months. If you don’t do a pre-listing inspection and plan early, your home sale could have problems mid-sale. If you have a buyer make an offer, schedule the home inspection and then request repairs, you could be looking at a delay that neither side can live with. To avoid any delays, it’s best to prepare now for your upcoming spring or summer sale.
Price Your Home Properly
It is easy in a sellers’ market to want or except a higher amount and overvalue your home. If you list your home too high, you will lose that immediate interest and probably have to go through several painful price reductions or have to settle for terms you aren’t happy with. A fairly priced home will garner more offers allowing you to choose the price and terms that best suit you.
Market Your Home
Whether you hire a professional realtor or sell on your own, be sure to market your home properly. Just because it’s a seller’s market doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put your best foot forward. A pre-listing inspection, a good cleaning, excellent home staging and amazing photos all listed in the proper places will help attract buyers to your home and hopefully generate competing offers. Sellers may have become complacent due to the high demand the last few years. Good marketing is a great seller strategy for spring of 2022.
Avoid Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) Syndrome
FOMO is a common reaction to this crazy seller’s market. It is human nature for buyers to see a home, fall in love and decide that is the house they want. Less than scrupulous agents will encourage buyers to skip critical steps in the buying process to get the deal done. Buyers will get into bidding wars often paying far more than the value of the home. While I understand the emotional side of the process, it can lead to dangerous outcomes for buyers. Purchasing a home is one if not the biggest investments you will make in your life and thinking with your heart can lead to terrible financial mistakes. As a buyer, be prepared when you make an offer that you may not win simply because you ask for reasonable terms. Be prepared to move on. Eventually you will find the right home, a reasonable seller and a complete and fair process. You should never be asked to skip a home inspection. It is one of the most important steps in the buying process that ensures the condition of the home warrants the offered price. You should never pay significantly more than the value of the home. Doing both of those things together is even more dangerous. For example, you overpay for a home that you didn’t have a home inspection on and then find out there was previous water damage or a bad roof. After $8,000 in repairs, you are now way upside down in the value of your home. In a few years when you want to sell. The market has changed and it is a buyer’s market and now you owe way more than you can get for it. Use your head and not your heart and avoid FOMO.
Consider a letter or Video with Your Offer
As with FOMO, sellers have an even more emotional attachment to their homes. Many of them want to know that a good person or family will love and maintain the home the way they did. By sending a letter or video along with your offer, you can connect with the seller on a human level and not just financial. If you have a strong bid with reasonable contingencies, sellers may be persuaded to choose your offer over another offer. This is not a new buyer strategy but might be especially effective in spring 2022.
If you are relocating for a job or other time sensitive reasons, this obviously isn’t an option. If you do have the luxury of time and know you will soon be in the market to buy, start early. Given all the above, having extra time allows you to avoid FOMO and wait for a house where you know you are truly making a good sound investment.
There are many home buyer & seller strategies for spring 2022. These are a few that I feel will help either side of the home buying process make sound decisions that are mutually beneficial. For more information on why skipping the home inspection is detrimental to the real estate process see Why Skipping the Home Inspection Isn’t Worth It Part 1 and Part 2.