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SHOULD WE WAIT?!? Tips for sellers and buyers in the 4th quarter

With interest rates now over 4% buyers purchasing power has decreased. For sellers this can be a good thing in that it has given buyers a sense of loss due to waiting in securing a home loan. There is now real concern and understanding from the buyer pool that waiting will only hurt them rather than help them. I believe some buyers got to a point of disbelief with current pricing trends escalating quickly and determined to wait it out, expecting a market correction. Sadly, the market doesn't appear to have a correction for another year or probably two. Rents have gone up tremendously to where in most cases it is cheaper to purchase a home than to rent one. As I mentioned in prior publications, prices have normalized from the frantic appreciation of the 1st and early 2nd quarters, with more listings on the market having helped to create a stability of supply and demand.

Some are waiting for the spring time with the thinking that it is a better time to sell. This is not necessarily the case. Here are a FOUR REASONS why selling NOW is better than waiting until spring.

1. LESS COMPETITION - There will be less competition (others similar homes to your competing for your same buyer) by selling now versus selling in the spring when everyone else is looking to list their home. Law of supply and demand - less homes offered means more motivated and serious buyers.

real estate signs lined up one after another.  This can be the spring selling season you want to avoid

2. YOUR HOME SHOWS BETTER - Homes show better in the 4th quarter. Homes are decorated for the holidays. Add in a crackling fire as the days get cooler, along with some apple cider or pumpkin pie smells - you have a very inviting and warm home that appeals to all the buyers senses.

Home staging has been proven to sell homes faster and for more money.  Combine that with the "seasons" of the 4th quarter and you have a dynamite home that appeals to all five of the buyers senses.

3. LOWER INTEREST RATES - Interest rates are on the rise. Waiting six months could be very detrimental to you as buying power decreases with every tick up of interest rates. When buyers cannot afford as much due to higher interest rates, you have less buyers available to your home. Combine that with Spring listing rush and now you have much supply and less demand. Not a good combo.

4. SERIOUS BUYERS - Buyers who are out looking after work in the dark (time change is coming), in the cold, in the rain, etc. are serious about buying a home. You do not have "Lookie Loo's" like you find in the spring selling season. Yes, there are less buyers in the marketplace, but in reality it is not a number as low as one might think when you factor in people in spring who are looking around and masquerading as buyers but have no real intention of buying.

Matthew Stewart Real Estate Team loves working with buyers who are serious about home ownership and ready to pull the trigger. We work with 4 out of 10 buyers we interview.

It is a great time to sell, but be realistic regarding your pricing. Get greedy and your home will sit on the market, with eventual price reductions required to sell. You will sell for less money and take longer to sell.


It is a very good time to buy because interest rates are still low and we are seeing more inventory for you to choose from. By purchasing in the up coming winter months, you generally can obtain a home for percentage points less than purchasing in the busy spring season. Work with an experienced Realtor that can access homes for sale and properly compare them against other similar offerings.

A slow fourth quarter for real estate could be just the right speed to get you into your new home. Consider taking advantage of an environment that combines


1. LOW INTEREST RATES - Historically speaking, current interest rates are a steal! Yes, even those in the 4% range. We have gotten spoiled with the artifically low rates since the crash in the late 2000's. Keep in mind that not too long ago, an interest rate in the 6%'s was crazy low!

Even though we are in the 4% range for interest rates we are still well below historical averages.  Remember when a home loan in the 6% range was a smoking good loan?  We will be there again...

2. LESS BUYER COMPETITION - As the 4th quarter is underway, there are less buyers as a whole in the market place which is good for you. When you have less competition you can be more aggressive with a seller and determine their true motivation level of selling versus another buyer in the mix which emboldens the seller to negotiate less.

3. TAX BENEFITS - With the current proposals for tax reform before legislatures it would make sense for you to lock in your tax benefits this year so you can take advantage of them when you file your tax returns come April. By waiting until next year, you will not realize the tax benefits until filing the following year (2019).

Buying a home with the Matthew Stewart Real Estate Team can help you take advantage of significant tax benefits

4. LOW DOWN PAYMENT OPTIONS - Lenders have really loosened their purse strings since the crash and long winded recovery since. Regulations have lightened up and there is more of a freedom to lend once again. This is great for you as a buyer. Less cash on hand needed to get into a home means you can realize home ownership and actually save money (lower interest rates by buying now rather than waiting to save an acceptable down payment when interest rates are rising and decreasing your purchasing power).

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