This is the question of the day from clients, friends and relatives… To answer, I can look at the market statistics and try and sum it up in one simple statement; but is that really what people want to hear? Can I really make a blanket statement that answers to everybody's curiosity, expectations, needs, wants, and tolerance level for the market? I don't think so! After all, there are the investors, the first time home-buyers, the empty nesters, the second/vacation home buyers, growing family buyers…..And, the list of sellers is longer: those relocating due to a job transfer, sellers who have outgrown their home, those selling to relocate in a better school zone for their children, and those needing to sell due to divorce, death, loss of job and the list goes on.
So, I am going to start my answer to the “market statistics” with a baseball analogy. For those of you who aren't sports or baseball fans, the new trend in sports and specifically baseball, has been the coaches’ use of analytics to manage their teams. Baseball has just started to assimilate the impact analytics ultimately will have on the sport. Players, Coaches, Managers, all know that in order to be successful, the team needs to do more than just look at the numbers. A winning team needs good leadership and talented players. Most would agree, that Analytics should be used as source of information; knowing more than your opponents is a great thing. However, a strong quantitative background is only as useful as the people that use the information to complement their players abilities.
Just as in baseball, Realtors have access to larger and larger amounts of information. The challenge is in how to use it. One Brokers Opinion of Value can be very different than another’s. And, surprising to many, one Appraisal can be thousands apart from another. Add that to Zestimates, HGTV’s Celebrity Realtors, market reporters, on-line home estimators and everyone is an expert…….NOT!
Savvy Homebuyers and Sellers need to be cognizant of the data but NOT dependent on the data. We all have different needs, wants, standards of living, and, most importantly, different levels of personal wealth that we should be good stewards of.
When I work with local clients, the task of finding the right home is a bit easier. They know the area, the town, neighborhoods, school districts, etc. that they want to buy in. Working with people from out of the state and/or country, becomes a bit more challenging. If it’s going to be a primary home for them, vs. a vacation property, they need lots of information on the areas they are searching. Price, pictures and market data is not enough.
When we are searching in newer neighborhoods, the task of determining market value of a home is simple and the price per square foot for similar homes is easy to calculate. The home value process gets more difficult in older neighborhoods where you have homes in original condition vs. homes that have been renovated, well maintained homes vs. neglected properties, different types of roofing materials, wood vs. block construction, etc.
This is where an experienced, educated, relatable agent should be relied upon. My happiest clients are those that share their needs, wants, way of living, etc. with me so I can give them the best advice and options to guide them through the process. Some clients are resistant to share, not understanding that it’s not just about market data, it’s about finding the best home for them at the best price or selling their home at the best price and at the right time for them. Purchase and Sale Contracts involve a whole lot more than the purchase price of a home; which is what is used in determining those market statistics that many want to factor into their decision-making process.
To sum it up – don’t be statistically dependent – be dependent on your Realtor. And if you don’t have one, give me a call or register on my website, I would love to help you find your next home or sell your existing home.