It's a sellers market and home values are increasing. Does this mean it's not a good time to purchase a home?
Now is a fine time to purchase real estate, despite it being a sellers market. Why? Because interest rates are still historically at all time lows. This does cause buyers to be approved at higher financing and home values are increasing, but the interest rates being so low typically offset the higher property values! But, you will need do your research and find a dedicated, experienced Real Estate Professional who is also a REALTOR®.
Another reason to purchase a home in the Greater Fort Walton Beach, Niceville, and Destin areas- inventory is coming! We live near 5 major military bases- Eglin Air Force Base, Hurlburt Field, NAS Pensacola, 7th Group, and Duke Field. Our bases tend to have a 'PCS Season' or military moving season to accommodate military family moves during the summer months (June-August; when the kids aren't typically attending school.)
Recently, I've witnessed an influx of properties hitting the market. This also typically happens 30-45 days after very low inventory because agents will spread the word "I need more homes to sell", "not enough homes on the market", etc. and will cold call, door knock, pay for advertising, in order to get more listings for buyers. Keep watching the market...we will continue to see a trend of more homes being listed. Just this morning there were 61 new listings...something that we haven't seen for a long time!
Another concern many clients voice, "there are already multiple offers, we don't stand a chance" or "how do we compete if we can't pay our closing costs out of pocket?" These are the most common concerns I hear. The two factors below will make all the difference...
Two key factors in the success of your offer being selected:
1. Choose a dedicated Real Estate Professional with a reputable brokerage who listens, learns, and is actively involved in the local association of Realtors®- this will help you in so many ways! It's important to share your expectations, wants and needs with your agent. Not only do you need an agent who is responsive and enjoys working for you, but you also want an agent is dedicated to working with the agent on the other side of the transaction. I can tell you that I enjoy working with my fellow Realtors® and when someone I have volunteered with is on the other side of the deal, it will be smooth no matter what happens along the way. I'll tell you a secret, many of us get excited when we get to work with agents who are actively involved in our organization because they already have a servants heart and are committed to getting the job done! Realtors® also have an obligation to ethical practices that we are trained on and must uphold.
2. Choose a LOCAL lender- not only will your reasonable offer be moved to the top of the pile, you will have better insight on what your taxes will be, what your insurance will cost, you will have someone who can be reached by cell phone! This is one of the biggest challenges that expert Real Estate Professionals face. We can represent lovely buyers and have a noncommunicative lender in another state who needs to be reached by a 1-800 number and isn't available when we need to submit a preapproval letter or check on the status of an appraisal. You want a preapproval letter for the amount (or a little higher) than what you are offering. For example, if you are offering $350,000 on a $340,000 property, submitting a preapproval letter for $340,000 or $400,000 would not be in your best interest. Sellers look at these letters and Listing agents do, too.
Having an experienced Realtor® and local lender can mean the difference between your offer being accepted or not, especially in a sellers market. It would be my pleasure to chat with you and help you navigate the market to find what you are looking for. I am especially passionate about working with first time home buyers, investors, and our military community. Give me a call 850-999-3889 I'd love to work for you.
Jennifer Hannigan, REALTOR® & USAF Veteran
#1 Agent Coldwell Banker Fort Walton Beach 2020
Newcomer Realtor of the Year 2020 Emerald Coast Association of REALTORS®
Pricing Strategy Advisor (PSA) & Resort and Second Home Property Specialist (RSPS)
MPhil., Psychology, University of Cambridge
B.A. Psychology, University of West Florida