Amidst all of the uncertainty and turmoil going on in the world today, one of the most prevalent questions I get asked is, “How is the real estate market being affected?”
Reviewing the market data from Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service Inc., as well as the Tucson Association of Realtors, the average home price across two major markets in Arizona are up 11.5% from this time last year. The monthly supply is down an average of -26.6% from quarter-one of 2019, with 15,799 homes currently being offered for sale. But what does this mean for me as someone considering buying or selling a home today?
Most homebuyers today have found their dream home or future investment property on one of the multitudes of online real estate resources and this has only become easier with today’s technology. Virtual tours, 3-D imaging and live streaming are just a few of the technologies that have become more widely used by agents to give potential buyers the opportunity to investigate a home without even having to drive down the street. But there have been some changes in the financing department. Due to the effects of the tumultuous stock market and banks trying to mitigate risk, interest rates have been bouncing like a rubber ball on a tennis court. Not to mention the new lending guidelines that update weekly. This has caused some buyers to find themselves unable to be financed with certain lenders. These factors coupled with the increasing home values and decreasing inventory have made the buying process more competitive than ever.
It is in these times that a seasoned, educated agent, lender, home inspector and title team are more crucial than ever before. The agent will be able to navigate a buyer toward the right home in the many areas of Arizona by assessing a buyer’s needs and desires avoiding wasted time looking at homes that just don’t fit. The lender will work very closely with the agent and title company to asses any hurdles surrounding that home and how to overcome before getting to the closing table. There is nothing worse than getting a call from a lender telling a buyer that they don’t qualify for a property due to a deed restriction, or homeowner’s association guidelines. Finally, but probably most important in any transaction, is the seasoned title officer. A good title officer is the glue that keeps both the buyer and the seller on track doing the process, along with verifying that the home purchase is legally valid.
When looking to sell your home, many sellers will look at an aggressive “seller’s market” as an opportunity to save money on commissions while getting the highest price possible on their home by either trying to sell the home themselves, or working with flat fee bargain listing companies. But according to the National Association of Realtors, roughly 2% of homes actually sell “for sale by owner.”
With the constantly shifting lending guidelines, CDC health guidelines and limited to no legal contract experience, these sellers will find the sales process arduous and potentially costly. Not to mention the countless hours and days spent researching demographic information, market trends, social media trends and buyer habits. These are just a few of the tasks and responsibilities you can handover to your trusted fiduciary representative, not to mention the legal liability.
So, if you are asking me about buying a home in Arizona during the current situation, I would say that there is no better time than now. But make sure that you are using the professional services that are usually available to you at no cost. Considering that interest rates are still at an all-time low, technology is making it easier than ever to access properties from the comfort of your couch, and more timid buyers are sitting on the fences, the housing market is literally at your fingertips.
And if you are considering selling your property, I think the numbers speak for themselves. The demand is high for quality homes at a fair price. But again, I want you to be aware that there is great value in the agent that sells homes all day every day, not to mention all of the resources we have available to us now.
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