Undecided on Moving This Spring?

Undecided on Moving This Spring? If you’re thinking of selling your house, it may be because you’ve heard prices are rising, listings are going fast, and sellers are getting multiple offers on their homes. But why are conditions so good for sellers today? And what can you expect when you move? To help answer both of those questions, let’s turn to the data.

Undecided on Moving This Spring? Midtown Memphis Tennessee home in Spring
Memphis Tennessee

Undecided on Moving This Spring?

Today, there are far more buyers looking for homes than sellers listing their houses. Here are the maps of the latest buyer and seller traffic from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) to help paint the picture of what this looks like:

On the Fence of Whether or Not To Move This Spring? Consider This. | MyKCM

Notice how much darker the blues are on the left. This shows buyer traffic is strong today. In contrast, the much lighter blues on the right indicate weak or very weak seller traffic. In a nutshell, the demand for homes is significantly greater than what’s available to purchase.

What That Means for You

Sellers have an incredible advantage when selling a house under these conditions. Since buyer demand is high at a time when for sale homes are so low, there’s a good chance buyers will be competing for your house.

According to NAR, in February, the average home sold got 4.8 offersWhen buyers have to compete with one another like this, they’ll do everything they can to make their offer stand out. This could play to your favor and mean you’ll see things like waived contingencies, offers over asking price, earnest money deposits, and more. Selling when demand is high and supply is low sets you up for a big win.

If you’re looking to buy a house, you may be tempted to focus more on just the seller traffic map and wonder if it means you’ll have trouble finding your next home. But remember this: perspective is key. As Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.comsays:

The limited number of homes for sale is a lesson in perspective. This same stat that frustrates would-be homebuyers also means that today’s home sellers enjoy more limited competition than last year’s home sellers.”

If you look at the big picture, the opportunity you have as a seller today is unprecedented. Last year was a hot sellers’ market. This year, inventory is even lower, and that means an even bigger opportunity for you. Even though finding your next home in a market with low inventory can be a challenge, is that concern worth passing on some of the best conditions sellers have ever seen?

Being Both a Home Seller and Home Buyer

As added peace of mind, remember real estate professionals have been juggling this imbalance of supply and demand for nearly two years, and they know how to help both buyers and sellers find success when they move. An experienced agent with MB Realty can help you on the great opportunity you have as a seller today and guide you through the buying process until you find the perfect place to call your next home.

If you’re ready to move, you have an incredible opportunity in front of you today. Trust the experts. Consider this. MB Realty in Memphis consults with sellers on staging and pricing Let’s Talk so you have expertise on your side that can help you win when you sell and when you buy.

Where Are Mortgage Rates Headed?

Where are mortgage rates headed? There’s never been a truer statement regarding forecasting mortgage rates than the one offered last year by Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American:

“You know, the fallacy of economic forecasting is: Don’t ever try and forecast interest rates and or, more specifically, if you’re a real estate economist mortgage rates, because you will always invariably be wrong.”

Where Are Mortgage Rates Headed? Trying to calculate interest rates in the future is pretty difficult.

Where Are Mortgage Rates?

Last year, most experts projected mortgage rates would gradually increase and end 2022 in the high 3% range. It’s only April, and rates have already blown past those numbers. Freddie Mac announced last week the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is already at 4.72%.

Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.comtweeted on March 31:

“Continuing on the recent trajectory, would have mortgage rates hitting 5% within a matter of weeks. . . .”

Just five days later, on April 5, the Mortgage News Daily quoted a rate of 5.02%.

No one knows how swiftly mortgage rates will rise moving forward. However, at least to this point, they haven’t significantly impacted purchaser demand. Ali Wolf, Chief Economist at Zondaexplains:

“Mortgage rates jumped much quicker and much higher than even the most aggressive forecasts called for at the end of last year, and yet housing demand appears to be holding steady.

Through February, home prices, the number of showings, and the number of homes receiving multiple offers all substantially increased. However, much of the spike in mortgage rates occurred in March. We will not know the true impact of the increase in mortgage rates until the March housing numbers become available in early May.

Rick Sharga, EVP of Market Intelligence at ATTOM Datarecently put rising rates into context:

“Historically low mortgage rates and higher wages helped offset rising home prices over the past few years, but as home prices continue to soar and interest rates approach five percent on a 30-year fixed rate loan, more consumers are going to struggle to find a property they can comfortably afford.”

While no one knows exactly where rates are headed, experts do think rates will continue to rise in the months ahead. In the meantime, if you’re looking to buy a home, know that rising rates do have an impact. As rates rise, it’ll cost you more when you purchase a house. If you’re ready to buy, it may make sense do it now rather than later. Search for homes on our easy to use, Ad free website memphis-homes-for-sale

Rates Bottom Line

So where are mortgage rates headed? Forecasting mortgage rates is an impossible task. However, it’s probably safe to assume the days of attaining a 3% mortgage rate are over. The question is whether that will soon be true for 4% rates as well. You may see 5% mortgage rates or higher as the norm.

A Real Estate Pro Is Key to Home Sellers

A Real Estate Pro Is Key to Selling Your Home. A Real Estate Professional meeting a Homeowner

A Real Estate Pro Is Key to Home Sellers

A Real Estate Pro Is Key to Home Sellers. With today’s real estate market moving as fast as it is, working with a real estate professional  like MB Realty is more essential than ever. They have the skills, experience, and expertise it takes to navigate the highly detailed and involved process of selling a home. That may be why the percentage of people who list their houses on their own, known as a FSBO or For Sale By Owner, has reached its lowest point since 1985 (see graph below):

A Real Estate Professional Is Key When Selling Your House For Sale by Owner Homes at a Record Low.

Five reasons selling with a real estate professional makes more sense, even in today’s hot market:

1. They Know What Buyers Want To See

Before you decide which projects and repairs to take on, connect with a real estate professional. They have first-hand experience with today’s buyers, what they expect, and what you need to do to make sure your house shows well.

If you don’t lean on their expertise, you may spend your time and money on something that isn’t essential. That’s because, in today’s low-inventory market, buyers are willing to take on more of the renovation work themselves. A survey from Freddie Mac finds that:

“. . . nearly two-in-five potential homebuyers would consider purchasing a home requiring renovations.” 

A professional can help you decide what you need to tackle. It’s not canned advice you could find online – it’s recommendations specific to your house and your area.

2. They Help Maximize Your Buyer Pool

Today, the average home is getting 4.8 offers per sale according to recent data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), and that competition is pushing prices up. While that’s promising for you as a seller, it’s important to understand your agent’s role in bringing buyers in.

Real estate professionals have an assortment of tools at their disposal, such as social media followers, agency resources, and the MLS to ensure your house is viewed by the most buyers. According to realtor.com:

Only licensed real estate agents can list homes on the MLS, which is a one-stop online shop of sorts for getting a house seen by thousands of agents and home buyers. . . . This is certainly one of many good reasons why the majority of home sellers decide to employ the services of a listing agent rather than going it alone.”

Without access to these tools, your buyer pool is limited. And you want more buyers to view your house since buyer competition can drive your final sales price higher.

3. They Understand the Fine Print

Today, more disclosures and regulations are mandatory when selling a house. That means the number of legal documents you’ll need to juggle is growing. That’s why Investopedia says:

One of the biggest risks of FSBO is not having the experience or expertise to navigate all of the legal and regulatory requirements that come with selling a home.”

A real estate professional knows exactly what needs to happen, what all the paperwork means, and how to work through it efficiently. They’ll help you review the documents and avoid any costly missteps that could occur if you try to handle them on your own.

4. They’re Trained Negotiators

If you sell without a professional, you’ll also be solely responsible for all the negotiations. That means you’ll have to coordinate with:

  • The buyer, who wants the best deal possible
  • The buyer’s agent, who will use their expertise to advocate for the buyer
  • The inspection company, which works for the buyer and will almost always find concerns with the house
  • The appraiser, who assesses the property’s value to protect the lender

Instead of going toe-to-toe with all these parties alone, lean on an expert. They’ll know what levers to pull, how to address everyone’s concerns, and when you may want to get a second opinion.

5. They Know How To Set the Right Price for Your House

If you sell your house on your own, you may over or undershoot your asking price. That could mean you’ll leave money on the table because you priced it too low or your house will sit on the market because you priced it too high. Pricing a house requires expertise. Investopedia explains it like this:

. . . There is no easy or universal way to determine market value for real estate.

Real estate professionals know the ins and outs of how to price your house accurately and competitively. To do so, they compare your house to recently sold homes in your area and factor in the current condition of your house. These factors are key to making sure it’s priced to move quickly while still getting you the highest possible final sale price.

A Real Estate Pro Is Key to Home Sellers

There’s a lot that goes into selling your house. Instead of tackling it alone, let’s connect so you have an expert on your side throughout the entire process.

Buy or Sell a Home using Tax Refunds

Buy or Sell a Home using Tax Refunds. If you’re buying or selling a home this year, you’re likely saving up for a variety of expenses. For buyers, that might include things like your down payment and closing costs. And for sellers, you’re probably working on a bit of spring cleaning and maintenance to spruce up your house before you list it. Contact us Today

Any money you get back from your taxes can help you. Using a tax refund is a common tactic for buyers and sellers. The map below provides a detailed estimate of tax refunds by state:

Tax Refunds state by state. Buy or Sell a Home using Tax Refunds
Tax Refunds State by State

Buy or Sell a Home using Tax Refunds

If you’re getting a refund this year, here are a few tips to help with your home purchase or sale this season.

Buyers Use Their Tax Refund to

According to American Financing, there are multiple ways your refund check can help you as a homebuyer. A few include:

  • Growing your down payment fund – If you haven’t started saving for your down payment, let your tax refund kick off the process. And if you have a fund already, the money you get back could put you closer to your goal.
  • Paying for your home inspection – Your home inspection can save you a lot of headaches down the road by helping you determine the condition of the house. As a buyer, you’ll typically be responsible for paying for the inspection and it’s definitely worth the investment.
  • Saving for closing costs – Closing costs are additional expenses you’ll need to pay once it’s time to close. They average anywhere between 2-5% of the purchase price of your home.

This list is a great start, but it isn’t exhaustive of all the costs you may encounter as you set out on your homebuying journey. The best way to prepare is to work with a trusted real estate professional to make sure you understand what’s to come in the process.

Sellers Use Their Tax Refund to

If you own a home and are planning to sell this spring, your tax refund can help you make sure your home is ready to list. Here are a few ways to use your tax refund:

  • Making small upgrades – are great ways to use your tax refund, including tackling small projects or boosting your curb appeal to help your home stand out.
  • Making repairs – If there’s anything in your house that needs to be fixed, completing repairs is another great use of that money.
  • Buying your next home – Whether you’re selling to move up or downsize, you can use your tax refund to help pay for any costs on the purchase of your next home.

Of course, it’s important to talk with an advisor before taking on any projects. Hopefully you’ll decide to call us. They’ll make sure you can focus on areas that’ll help you receive the best possible price when you sell.

Buy or Sell a Home using Tax Refunds.

Funding your home purchase or sale can feel like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Your tax refund can help you reach your goals. Let’s Talk to discuss how you can start on your journey.

Memphis Home Wants and Needs

Memphis Home Wants and Needs are important and essential to consider. Since the number of homes for sale is low today, it can feel challenging to find one that checks all your boxes. If you know which features are essential in your next home and which ones are just nice bonuses, you can find a home that fits your needs.

Memphis Homebuyer Wants and Needs may include large living area
Large space for entertainment as a need

Danielle Hale, Chief Economist for realtor.com, explains it like this:

“Focus on the goal you set out for yourself, like your list of must-haves and nice-to-haves and your budget, . . . Stick to that. Be persistent.”

Memphis Home Wants and Needs are important and essential.

So how do you go about creating your list of desired features? The first step is to get pre-approved for your Home Loan. Pre-approval helps you better understand your budget, and that plays an important role in how you’ll make your list. After all, you don’t want to fall in love with a home that’s too far out of reach.

Expectations and Home Wants and Needs

Once you have a good grasp of your budget, you can begin to list all the features of a home you would like. Here’s a great way to think about them before you begin:

  • Must-Haves – If a house doesn’t have these features, it won’t work for you and your lifestyle (examples: distance from work or loved ones, number of bedrooms/bathrooms, etc.).
  • Nice-To-Haves – These are features that you’d love to have but can live without. Nice-To-Haves aren’t dealbreakers, but if you find a home that hits all the must-haves and some of the these, it’s a contender (examples: a second home office, garage, etc.).
  • Dream State– This is where you can really think big. Again, these aren’t features you’ll need, but if you find a home in your budget that has all the must-haves, most of the nice-to-haves, and any of these, it’s a clear winner (examples: farmhouse sink, multiple walk-in closets, etc.).

Finally, once you’ve created your list and categorized it in a way that works for you, discuss it with your real estate advisor. They’ll be able to help you refine the list further, coach you through the best way to stick to it, and find a home in your area that meets your needs.

Bottom Line

Crafting your home search checklist may seem like a small task, but it can save you time and money. It’s also one of the keys to being successful in today’s competitive market. Let’s connect so we can work together to find a home that fits your wants and needs.

Why Buy a Memphis Townhome

If you’re a first-time buyer looking to break into the housing market but struggling to find a home to buy, townhomes and condos could be a great alternative for you. Below are reasons: Why Buy a Memphis Townhome.

Downtown Memphis Townhome

Reasons To Buy a Memphis Townhome or Condo.

Options That Fit Your Budget

Lack of Homes are a reality across the board in today’s housing market. Broadening your home search to include townhomes and condos could increase your overall pool of options. Just keep in mind, they differ from single-family homes in average space and floorplans.

In a recent articleBankrate covers some of these differences:

“ Generally more affordable because they come with less space — you likely won’t have your own backyard, for example, and the interior tends to be smaller than the square footage of a single-family home.”

But if the size meets your needs, they could match your budget as well. Data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows the difference in the median price for both housing types. For single-family homes, the median price is $363,800. And for townhomes and condominiums, the median price is lower at $305,400.

So, if budget is top of mind for you, they could be a great fit within your target price range.

Not to mention, buying a townhomes or a condo is a great way to break into the market and start building equity that can help power a future move up. The home purchase today may not be your forever home, but it can be a great step toward buying your dream home later.

Find Out if Townhome or Condo Living Is Right for You 

In addition, Townhomes and Condos mat be more plentiful Downtown Memphis. And owning and living in a smaller space in Downtown Memphis is also a lifestyle choice. While it’s true they may be smaller than single-family homes, the amenities could be a draw for many buyers. Less space in your home might mean minimal upkeep, lower maintenance, and more time for you to spend doing the things you enjoy.

To understand if that life is for you, Bankrate recommends asking yourself a few simple questions:

“Hate to mow the lawn and trim the hedges? What about pressure washing your driveway? Are your finances such that having to lay out $5,000 or more for a new roof will be a burden? . . . 

Ultimately, talking with an expert real estate advisor is the best first step to determining if condo living might work for you. So, contact us MB Realty in Memphis

Bottom Line

Townhomes and condos are a great option for many buyers, especially those looking to buy their first home. If you’re willing to broaden your home search, you could find something that’s in line with your finances and your needs. To learn more, let’s connect so you have an expert in the condo-buying process on your side.

Mortgage Rates have Risen

Mortgage Rates have Risen. Where Will They Go from Here?

Mortgage Rates have Risen and Going HIgher. Based on the Primary Mortgage Market Survey from Freddie Mac, the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has increased from 3.2% to 4.4% since January of this year. The rate jumped by more than a quarter of a point last week. Here’s a graph of mortgage rates during 2021 compared to the rapid increase in mortgage rates this year. Let’s Talk if you looking to buy a Home Contact Us Today

What’s Happening with Mortgage Rates, and Where Will They Go from Here? | MyKCM

Just a few months ago, Freddie Mac projected mortgage rates would average 3.6% in 2022. Earlier this month, Fannie Mae forecast mortgage rates would average 3.8% in 2022. As the chart above shows, rates have already surpassed those projections.

Sam Khater, Chief Economist at Freddie Mac, explained in a press release last week:

“This week, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage increased by more than a quarter of a percent as mortgage rates across all loan types continued to move up. Rising inflation, escalating geopolitical uncertainty and the Federal Reserve’s actions are driving rates higher and weakening consumers’ purchasing power.”

Mortgage Rates have Risen and Going Higher

In a recent article by Bankrate, several industry experts on where rates might be headed. Here are some of their forecasts:

Greg McBride, Chief Financial Analyst, Bankrate:

“With inflation figures continuing to surprise to the upside, mortgage rates will remain above 4.0% on the 30-year fixed.”

Nadia Evangelou, Senior Economist and Director of Forecasting, National Association of Realtors (NAR):

“While higher short-term interest rates will push up mortgage rates, I expect some of this impact to be mitigated eventually through lower inflation. Thus, I expect the 30-year fixed mortgage rate to continue to rise, although we aren’t likely to see the big jumps that occurred over the past few weeks.”

Len Kiefer, Deputy Chief Economist, Freddie Mac:

“Mortgage rates are likely to continue to move higher throughout the balance of 2022, although the pace of rate increases is likely to moderate.”

In a recent realtor.com article, another expert adds to the conversation:

Danielle Hale, Chief Economist, realtor.com:

“. . . As markets digest the Fed’s updated economic projections, I anticipate a continued increase in mortgage rates over the next several months. . . .”

What Does This Mean for You if You’re Looking To Buy a Home? Mortgage Rates have Risen and Going Higher

With both mortgage rates and home values expected to increase throughout the year, it would be better to buy sooner rather than later if you’re able. That’s because it’ll cost you more the longer you wait. But, there is a possible silver lining to buying a home right now. While you’ll be paying a higher price and a higher mortgage rate than you would have last year, rising prices do have a long-term benefit once you buy.

If you purchase a home today valued at $400,000 and put 10% down, you would be taking out a $360,000 mortgage. According to mortgagecalculator.net, at a 4.42% fixed mortgage rate, your mortgage payment would be $1,807 a month (this does not include insurance, taxes, and other fees because those vary by location).

Now, let’s put that mortgage payment into a new perspective based on the substantial growth in equity that comes with the escalation in home prices. Every quarter, Pulsenomics surveys a panel of over 100 economists, investment strategists, and housing market analysts about their expectations for future home prices in the United States. Last week, Pulsenomics released their latest Home Price Expectation Survey. The survey reveals that the average of the experts’ forecasts calls for a 9% increase in home values in 2022.

Based on those projections, a $400,000 house you buy today could be valued at $436,000 by this time next year. If you break that down, that means the equity in your home would increase by $3,000 a month over that period. That’s greater than the estimated monthly payment above. Granted, the increase in your net worth is tied to the home, but it is one way to put the home price appreciation to use in a way that benefits you.

Bottom Line

Paying a higher price for a home and a higher mortgage rate can be a difficult pill to swallow. However, waiting will just cost you more. If you’re ready, willing, and able to buy a home, now will be a better time than a year, or even six months from now. Let’s connect to begin the process today.

Time To List Your Home Is Now

The Best Time To List Your Home Is Now. Are you thinking about selling your house? If so, you may want to make it a priority to start the process soon. Let’s Talk Contact us According to realtor.com, the sweet spot for sellers is just around the corner. In a recent study, experts analyzed housing market trends by looking at data from the past several years (excluding 2020, since it was an atypical year). When applied to the current market, experts determined the ideal week to list a house this year. The research says:

“Home sellers on the fence waiting for that perfect moment to sell should start preparations, because the best time to list a home in 2022 is approaching quickly. The week of April 10-16 is expected to have the ideal balance of housing market conditions that favor home sellers, more so than any other week in the year.”

Time to List your Home checking the calendar

If you’ve been putting your move on the back burner waiting for the ideal time to sell, you should know your golden window of opportunity is coming up. If you’re able to get your house ready quickly, here’s what you can expect from that week.

You Should See More Buyers

The article expects higher buyer demand based on what’s happened in previous years. This could result in increased competition among buyers and ultimately a bidding war over your house. And since mortgage rates recently ticked up over 4%, chances are good that analysis is right. When rates rise, experts say buyers often hurry to make their purchase before rates climb higher. As Nadia Evangelou, Senior Economist and Director of Forecasting at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), says:

“. . . Buyers are rushing to lock in lower rates as the outlook is for even higher mortgage rates in the following months.”

Your Home Is Expected To Sell Quickly

Additionally, the realtor.com analysis shows houses sell even faster during this week of the year, likely due to the heightened buyer demand. If you work with a trusted real estate professional to price your house right, it should sell quickly. And when homes are already selling in just 18 days according to NAR , that could set you up for a big win.

Your Home Will Be in the Spotlight

Since the beginning of the year, the number of homes available for sale has been at or near record lows. According to the realtor.com study, the typical trend for this week of the year is that there will be even fewer sellers on the market. If you list when inventory is low, your house will be the center of attention for eager buyers craving options.

If you’re ready to move fast, you may want to shoot for April 10th-16th as your target goal. Just remember, even if you’re not ready to list within the next couple of weeks, rest assured this is still a hot sellers’ market. If you list later in April, you’ll still be in the driver’s seat.

Bottom Line Best Time To List Your Home Is Now

Ready? Let’s Talk Contact us and schedule a time to go over your next steps. In the meantime, make a checklist of things you need to tackle to get your house ready. When we talk, we can prioritize your to-do list and get you on the road to selling your house.

Buying a Home Builds Wealth

Buying a home in Memphis builds Wealth. The link between financial security and homeownership is especially important today as inflation rises.  But many people may not realize just how much owning a home contributes to your overall net worth. As Leslie Rouda Smith, President of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), says:

A Key To Building Wealth Is Homeownership | MyKCM
Memphis neighborhood of New Homes

“Homeownership is rewarding in so many ways and can serve as a vital component in achieving financial stability.”

Here in Memphis are just a few reasons why, if you’re looking to increase your financial stability, homeownership is a worthwhile goal. Looking to buy Let’s Talk Contact us

Buying a Home in Memphis Builds for Financial Success

A recent NAR report details several homeownership trends and statistics, including the difference in net worth between homeowners and renters. It finds:

“. . . the net worth of a homeowner was about $300,000 while that of a renter’s was $8,000 in 2021.”

To put that into perspective, the average Memphis homeowner’s net worth is roughly 40 times that of a renter (see visual below):

A Key To Building Wealth Is Homeownership | MyKCM

The results from this report show that owning a home is a key piece to the puzzle when building your overall net worth.

Home Equity Gains Boost a Homeowner’s Net Worth

The net worth gap between owners and renters exists in large part because homeowners build equity. As a homeowner, your equity grows as your home appreciates in value and you make your mortgage payments each month.

In other words, when you own your home, you have the benefit of your mortgage payment acting as a contribution to a forced savings account. And when you sell, any equity you’ve built up comes back to you. As a renter, you’ll never see a return on the money you pay out in rent every month. Let us help you www.mbrealtymemphis.com

Owning a home in Memphis builds Wealth. To sum it up, NAR says it simply

“Homeownership has always been an important way to build wealth.”

Bottom Line Buying a home in Memphis builds wealth.

The gap between a homeowner’s net worth and a renter’s shows how truly foundational homeownership is to wealth-building. So if you’re ready to start on your journey to homeownership, Let’s Talk today.

Cleaning Checklist for Home Sellers

Spring Cleaning Checklist for Sellers [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

Cleaning Checklist for Home Sellers

Cleaning Checklist for Home Sellers is an important part of Selling your Home in Memphis

  • If you’re thinking about selling your house this spring, here are some things you’ll want to tackle before you list. Let’s Talk
  • Spend your time on tasks that make it feel inviting, show it’s cared for, and boost your curb appeal.
  • To determine the full list of things you’ll want to tackle for your home, you need the opinion of a trusted expert. Let’s Talk www.mbrealtymemphis.com to help make sure your house shows well this season.
  • Staging your home is a very important part of getting your home ready. We have professional stagers if needed. Included in our listing is advice on on staging your home.