First-time homebuyers are flocking to the real estate market by the thousands to find their dream homes in order to make their dreams of homeownership a reality. Unfortunately for many, the inventory of starter and trade-up homes in the US has struggled to keep up with demand!
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently released their latest Existing Home Sales Report, which revealed that homes were on the market for an average of 28 days in June. This is a slight increase from the 27 days reported in May, but down from 34 days reported a year ago.
Every three years, the Federal Reserve conducts their Survey of Consumer Finances in which they collect data across all economic and social groups. The latest survey, which includes data from 2010-2013, reports that a homeowner’s net worth is 36 times greater than that of a renter($194,500 vs. $5,400).
Contrary to what many believe, Millennials are not the ‘renter’ generation. Millennials purchased a larger percentage (34%) of homes in the U.S. than any other age group in 2017 and the most recent Census Bureau report shows that the homeownership rate among Millennials is finally on the rise.
Spring is traditionally the busiest season for real estate. Buyers, experiencing cabin fever all winter, emerge like flowers through the snow in search of their dream home. Homeowners, in preparation for the increased demand, are enticed to list their house for sale and move on to the home that will better fit their needs.
CoreLogic’s latest Equity Report revealed that ninety-one thousand residential properties regained equity in Q1 2017. The outlook for 2017 remains positive as well, as an additional 600 thousand properties will regain equity if home prices rise another 5% this year.
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) keeps historical data on many aspects of homeownership. One of the data points that has changed dramatically is the median tenure of a family in a home, meaning how long a family stays in a home prior to moving. As the graph below shows, for over twenty years (1985-2008), the median tenure averaged exactly six years. However, since 2008, that average is almost nine years – an increase of almost 50%.
Showings, whether here in Central Mass or anywhere else can succeed or fail as a result
of quite minor details. Appreciating that fact isn’t hard to do when you relate showings to their first cousins: stage presentations. In important ways, they are quite similar.
Think of what happens when you attend a live play. The audience finds their seats and wait for the action to begin. The house lights dim, the stage lights brighten, and the action begins. If all goes without a hitch, the play captures your attention and it has every chance of successfully casting the impression that the author and director envisioned.
But if one element is noticeably out of place, the whole effort will go boom! If a stagehand accidentally wanders onstage, the illusion is wrecked. Likewise, if a drama’s agonizing death scene is perfectly portrayed up until the moment when the dying actor’s mustache begins to slip the audience will be hard pressed to suppress laughs.
In a different way, the success of Central Mass showings is subject to similar kinds of missteps. The illusion we are after isn’t that of a home that has desirable features and is in great condition, that’s no illusion: it’s real! The illusion part comes when we create the impression that the current owners are not much in residence; that the home although it may be furnished, presents itself in a neutral kind of way that seems to be awaiting the new owners’ personal touches.
Showings tend to be most successful if prospective buyers have no trouble envisioning themselves as the comfortable new owners. They may or may not find that the spaces and features will accommodate their family’s needs; that’s not subject to illusion. But showings have the best chance for success if the “stage” is clear of distracting elements. That’s why evidence of pets should be avoided. Strong odors of any kind, likewise (fresh popcorn or newly-baked chocolate chip cookies are prized because they supersede other aromas). Family photos should be removed if at all possible; personal souvenirs of all kinds should also be stored out of sight.
When you appreciate the reasoning behind a showing’s attempted illusion, you can see why most Realtors® advise against decor schemes featuring strong colors. It is also why it’s a good idea for owners to safely vacate the premises with a few minutes to spare. It’s not because the owner is objectionable, it’s that the presence of the owner counteracts the illusion.
The funny thing is that the “illusion” is actually an authentic projection: it’s a mock-up of the reality that will come to pass if the prospect does decide to become the home’s owner.
Showings are key parts of a coordinated residential sales effort that begins with the first consultation and continues through closing day. I hope you will remember to call me when you decide it’s time to put your own Central Mass property on the market!…..Realty Ace, LLC