MARKET COOLS IN SEPTEMBER AS PENDING HOME SALES DIP

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Despite a late summer rebound, pending home sales dipped again in September, according to the newest report from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).

NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI), a forward-looking indicator of home sales based on contract signings, declined by 2.3% last month, dropping to 116.7. 

All regions saw year-over-year contract signings fall last month, declining 8.0% nationally. The northeast decline was the most significant, with another double-digit drop in contract signings.

Lagging inventory was a primary factor in potential buyers momentarily pausing their home searches in September. Despite the lull in contract signings, experts predict that the buying activity will resume in 2022 as the supply of homes for sale improves. 

Home sales have risen by 6.4% in 2021 based on NAR’s data from the year. Looking ahead, the association expects sales activity to decline by 1.7% in 2022 under rising mortgage rates in the new year. 

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Regional Breakdown:

Northeast
-3.2% MoM — Now 93.1 PHSI
-18.5% YoY 

Midwest
-3.5% MoM — 111.4 PHSI
-5.8% YoY 

South
-1.8% MoM — 139.1 PHSI
-5.8% YoY  

West
 
-1.4% MoM — 105.3 PHSI
-7.2% YoY

What the Industry Is Saying:

“Contract transactions slowed a bit in September and are showing signs of a calmer home price trend, as the market is running comfortably ahead of pre-pandemic activity. It’s worth noting that there will be less inventory until the end of the year compared to the summer months, which happens nearly every year.

“Rents have been mounting solidly of late, with falling rental vacancy rates. This could lead to more renters seeking homeownership in order to avoid the rising inflation, so an increase in inventory will be welcomed.”— Lawrence Yun, NAR Chief Economist

“Although home sales activity has retreated from its earlier highs, it is stabilizing at a level of activity that is above pre-pandemic pace thanks to a combination of eager young buyers, lingering pandemic savings, and low mortgage rates creating opportunity despite ongoing home price gains.

“Whether the housing market will maintain this plateau and begin to grow again or slide back is dependent on home construction and income growth. Rising home prices will be the norm as long as demand exceeds supply, and with a 5.2 million cumulative home shortage over the last decade and many millennials entering prime home-buying age, the stage is set for that imbalance to continue. If builders continue to ramp up production, as they have, that could help stem price growth to a pace more consistent with rising incomes. 

“Alternatively, as rising home prices are paired with rising mortgage rates, which have already jumped above 3%, we could see mortgage payments that require larger shares of buyer paychecks, especially if incomes grow more slowly. This could cause some buyers to opt out, dampening demand and ultimately causing sales activity and home price growth to slow.” — Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.com®

For more information, please visit www.nar.realtor

Jordan Grice is RISMedia’s associate online editor. Email him your real estate news ideas to jgrice@rismedia.com.

MORTGAGE APPLICATIONS UP BUT REFINANCE INTEREST WANING

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Mortgage applications increased 0.3% from one week earlier for the week ending Oct. 22, 2021. According to the latest data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey, the Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 0.3% on a seasonally adjusted basis from the previous week.

The details:
– Unadjusted, the Index increased 0.2%compared with the previous week.
– The Refinance Index decreased 2% from the previous week—26% lower YoY.
– The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 4% from one week earlier.
– The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 3% from the previous week—9% lower YoY.
– The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 62.2% of total.
– The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity decreased to 3.1%.
– The FHA share of total applications increased to 10.4%.
– The VA share of total applications increased to 10.6%.
– The USDA share of total applications remained unchanged from 0.5 percent the week prior.

The takeaway:

“Mortgage rates increased again last week, as the 30-year fixed rate reached 3.30% and the 15-year fixed rate rose to 2.59%—the highest for both in eight months. The increase in rates triggered the fifth straight decrease in refinance activity to the slowest weekly pace since January 2020. Higher rates continue to reduce borrowers’ incentive to refinance,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s associate vice president of Economic and Industry Forecasting, in a statement.

“Purchase applications picked up slightly, and the average loan size rose to its highest level in three weeks, as growth in the higher price segments continues to dominate purchase activity,” added Kan. “Both new and existing-home sales last month were at their strongest sales pace since early 2021, but first-time homebuyers are accounting for a declining share of activity. Home prices are still growing at a rapid clip, even if monthly growth rates are showing signs of moderation, and this is constraining sales in many markets, and particularly for first-timers.”

By RISMedia Staff

YEAR-END OUTLOOK: PRICE GROWTH TO COOL AS AFFORDABILITY CHALLENGES PERSIST

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Depending on whom you ask, the past year of home price gains may have been a boon or a bust. Home prices rose by nearly 20% over the past year under a perfect storm of a widening supply and demand gap in addition to pandemic-induced influences.

On the one hand, sellers have benefited from heated competition that drove property value through the roof during the second half of 2021. On the other, surging price tags have continued to exacerbate long standing affordability issues, with more people being priced out of the market.

Housing affordability dipped in 2021 as tight inventory and high demand contributed to record-setting price surges, according to Gay Cororaton, senior economist and director of Housing and Commercial Research at the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).

“Even before the pandemic, we had a tight supply because of lack of labor, and then when the pandemic hit, people didn’t seem too interested in listing their homes,” she says.

When the COVID-19 pandemic first appeared in March 2020, many people anticipated the housing market’s demise, says Matthew Gardner, chief economist at Seattle-based Windermere Real Estate.

“What we found was that demand not only came back, but it came back in an even more robust manner than had been seen before the pandemic hit,” Gardner says. “That was boosted even more by the work-from-home paradigm.”

The success and uncanny market behavior resulted from a series of factors, including razor-thin supply and mortgage rates, which began declining in January 2020 and ultimately landed at historically low levels—2.68%—by December of that year.

With a month left in 2021, real estate experts tell RISMedia that they expect home prices to continue climbing in 2022, albeit at a slower pace than 2021.

The days of double-digit price appreciation are gone, according to Gardner who suggests price gains to hit just above 7% in 2022.

“That is certainly not a number to be sniffed at,” Gardner says, adding that the growth will still be above the long-term average but will “come off of the sugar high that we saw this year.”

“We are going to see headwinds relative to price growth, but it’s going to be predominantly a function of two things: wages not keeping up affordability and mortgage rates rising,” Gardner warns.

In previous conversations with RISMedia, Gardner said he expected 30-year fixed mortgage rates to approach but not break 4% next year. While he maintains those predictions, he notes that it will still be up by an entire percentage point from the lows in 2021, which will squeeze more buyers out of the market.

Another factor likely to add to the cooldown in price gains is the addition of new supply. Cororaton suggests that new construction is poised to improve next year.

Despite expected improvements in new construction, Cororaton says there is still a long way to go before the industry makes a substantial dent in the market’s 5.8 million housing unit needs.

“We’re just estimating an increase of 100,000 housing starts right now, so supply will continue to remain tight as it has been since 2012,” she says.

Brokers and industry leaders say they are keeping a close eye on how many homes come on the market next year, especially as seller confidence picks up under continued progress in vaccinations.

“There are likely many that sat on the sidelines in 2021 because of the pandemic,” says Sherry Chris, president and CEO of Realogy Expansion Brands.

Chris suggests that the increase in supply and rising mortgage rates could influence the number of potential buyers. “Should this occur, we might see a decrease in multiple-bid offers, and prices might stabilize,” says Chris.

Another factor that could inject additional homes into the market is increasing foreclosure activity, says Ashley Bowers, president of HomeSmart International.

“If we start to see more foreclosures, I think it will slow down the price increase and probably shake up affordability too for people who want to do more of the fixer-uppers,” Bowers says.

The market hasn’t had to wait long to see foreclosure activity pick up since the moratorium lifted in July 2021.

While experts and brokers have been unconvinced that the market will see a deluge of foreclosed homes on the market, Bowers notes that a sizable increase could slow price gains a bit further.

“We’ve seen a little bit of an increase already, but I think it depends quite honestly on the administration and what happens with decisions that they are making as it relates to moratoriums and things like that,” she says.

Christina Pappas, VP of the Keyes Company, thinks brokers and agents looking to meet the coming market conditions head-on should prioritize their client-facing messaging regarding home-buying and affordability challenges.

“The misconception of the expensiveness of the down payment is one of those topics where we think about how we help our agents become valuable to the consumers,” Pappas says.

She adds that the value will come from agents showing deep knowledge and understanding of the programs offered in their neighborhood and what is affordable.

“The other catch when you look at affordability is that many people look at prices, and those are great headlines, but what matters is my monthly payment, and that’s the story that we need to talk about,” Pappas continues.

Despite the current trajectory of mortgage rates, they are still relatively low when compared with pre-pandemic levels. Pappas indicates that millennials and first-time homebuyers will still try to take advantage of the lower rates next year.

Jordan Grice is RISMedia’s associate online editor. Email him your real estate news ideas to jgrice@rismedia.com.

Tags: Ashley BowersChristina PappasFeature

Editor’s Note: RISMedia’s Year-End Outlook series provides an in-depth analysis of the housing market’s leading indicators for economic health, and showcases expert insights on what’s to come in 2022. 

Mortgage Applications Up But Refinance Interest Waning

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Mortgage applications increased 0.3% from one week earlier for the week ending Oct. 22, 2021. According to the latest data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey, the Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 0.3% on a seasonally adjusted basis from the previous week.

The details:
– Unadjusted, the Index increased 0.2%compared with the previous week.
– The Refinance Index decreased 2% from the previous week—26% lower YoY.
– The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 4% from one week earlier.
– The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 3% from the previous week—9% lower YoY.
– The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 62.2% of total.
– The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity decreased to 3.1%.
– The FHA share of total applications increased to 10.4%.
– The VA share of total applications increased to 10.6%.
– The USDA share of total applications remained unchanged from 0.5 percent the week prior.

The takeaway:

“Mortgage rates increased again last week, as the 30-year fixed rate reached 3.30% and the 15-year fixed rate rose to 2.59%—the highest for both in eight months. The increase in rates triggered the fifth straight decrease in refinance activity to the slowest weekly pace since January 2020. Higher rates continue to reduce borrowers’ incentive to refinance,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s associate vice president of Economic and Industry Forecasting, in a statement.

“Purchase applications picked up slightly, and the average loan size rose to its highest level in three weeks, as growth in the higher price segments continues to dominate purchase activity,” added Kan. “Both new and existing-home sales last month were at their strongest sales pace since early 2021, but first-time homebuyers are accounting for a declining share of activity. Home prices are still growing at a rapid clip, even if monthly growth rates are showing signs of moderation, and this is constraining sales in many markets, and particularly for first-timers.”

By RISMedia Staff

U.S. HOME PRICES IN AUGUST WERE UP 1%

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Nationwide, home prices increased in August by 1% compared to July. According the latest Federal Housing Finance Agency House Price Index (FHFA HPI®), year-over-year, home prices increased 18.5%.

“Annual house price gains remained extremely high in August but the pace of month-over-month gains continues to decelerate,” said Dr. Lynn Fisher, FHFA’s deputy director of the Division of Research and Statistics, in a statement. “This does not mean house prices are at risk of declining—far from it, they continue to climb at a double-digit pace in all regions—but it does suggest we may have seen the peak in annual gains for the time being.”

For the nine census divisions, seasonally adjusted monthly house price changes ranged from -0.1% in the New England division to +1.9% in the South Atlantic division. On a yearly basis, changes ranged from +14.9%in the West North Central division to +25.8% in the Mountain division.

According to FHFA, their HPI is the nation’s only collection of public, freely available house price indexes that measure changes in single-family home values based on data from all 50 states and over 400 American cities that extend back to the mid-1970s. The FHFA HPI incorporates tens of millions of home sales and offers insights about house price fluctuations at the national, census division, state, metro area, county, ZIP code, and census tract levels.

By RISMedia Staff

October 27, 2021

Mortgage Rates Reach Peak High Since April

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The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.05%, according to the latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®) from Freddie Mac. This marks a peak in rates not seen since April.

Mortgage details:

– 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.05% with an average 0.7 point for the week ending Oct. 14, 2021, up from last week when it averaged 2.99%. Last year, the 30-year FRM averaged 2.81%.

– 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.30% with an average 0.7 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.23%. Last year, the 15-year FRM averaged 2.35%.

– 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.55% with an average 0.2 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.52%. Last year, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.90%.

How the industry is responding:

“The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to its highest point since April. As inflationary pressure builds due to the ongoing pandemic and tightening monetary policy, we expect rates to continue a modest upswing.”

“Historically speaking, rates are still low, but many potential homebuyers are staying on the sidelines due to high home price growth. Rising mortgage rates combined with growing home prices make affordability more challenging for potential homebuyers.” — Sam Khater, Freddie Mac Chief Economist

“A question that pops up for millions of homeowners is whether it is a good time to sell their home. Homeowners typically sell their home after 16 years, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Meanwhile, there are about 20.2 million homeowners that purchased their home in the last 10 to 19 years. Thus, many of these homeowners may wonder if they should sell their home now or wait.

“Here are a couple of big reasons why it’s a good time to sell. First of all, there is no doubt that it’s a seller’s market. Although the market typically slows down in fall, there is still stiff competition among buyers, with multiple offers for each home due to low inventory. As a result, sellers continue to have strong negotiating power as most of them can sell their home for higher than the asking price.

“Comparing sales volume with current inventory, we are also seeing that home-buying activity is very strong. Specifically, more than half of the inventory was sold in August since the sales to inventory ratio was 0.51. Nevertheless, the sales to inventory ratio was only 0.07 back in 2009. Remember that a higher ratio implies a seller’s market, while a lower ratio implies a buyer’s market.” — Nadia Evangelou, National Association of REALTORS ® Senior Economist and Director of Forecasting

“The Freddie Mac fixed rate for a 30-year loan rose this week, despite the downward trajectory of the 10-year Treasury yield. The rate rose 6 basis points to 3.05%, as investors reacted to higher-than-expected inflation and more than 10 million unfilled job openings. Investors are conflicted about the economic momentum, with clear signs of growth on one hand, and the unknown of an expected monetary tightening on the other. With inflation at a 30-year high and holding, mortgage rates are expected to continue rising.

“For real estate markets, financing costs remain favorable, offering first-time buyers a strong incentive to keep looking. Halfway through October, the number of homes for sale has improved compared to the overheated first half of this year, leading to slower price growth. It seems that buyers and sellers are finally taking a step back from the pandemic-induced stampede of the past year to regain their footing and reassess their next steps. Today’s buyers should evaluate the impact that spending an extra $125 a month on a median home mortgage will have on their monthly budgets and longer-term finances.” — George Ratiu, realtor.com® Manager of Economic Research

Fall Frenzy on the Way? Inventory Hits a 2021 High

Fall buyers this year will have more supply to choose from, with inventory reaching a 2021 peak of 646,053 for-sale homes in September.

According to the realtor.com® Monthly Housing Report, almost one-third of the 50 largest metros saw increases in newly listed homes compared to last year. New listings were up more than 10% YoY in Austin, Texas; Portland, Oregon; Jacksonville, Florida; and Washington, D.C.

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Key findings:

U.S. housing inventory is still down YoY, declining 22.2% in September, but still an improvement over August (-25.8%).

Compared to the national rate, improvements in inventory decline are more noticeable in the 50 largest U.S. metros, down by an average of 18.5% YoY.

Overall new listings are down nationwide (-3.9%) YoY for the first time in five months, while newly-listed entry-level single-family homes continued to increase (+8.0%).

Among the areas with the biggest drops in newly-listed homes in September were those impacted by Hurricane Ida, including the Northeast (-5.4%) and South (-3.2%), as well as the West (-4.7%) where wildfires may have delayed sellers’ plans. Resurging COVID cases could have also played a role.

The takeaway:

Typical seasonal patterns were missing from last year’s fall market, but while there’s been improvement, sky-high competition still poses a challenge.

“Put simply, this September buyers had more options than they’ve had all year and while that’s typical of early fall, that’s not what happened in 2020. Still, it’s important to remember that while buyers may have an easier time this fall than they did in the spring, the market remains more competitive than it has been historically at this time of year,” said realtor.com® Chief Economist Danielle Hale in a statement. “There are fewer homes for sale than last year and less than half as many as two years ago; homes are also selling a lot faster. With new listings in September dipping below last year for the first time in five months, next month’s data will yield important clues about whether this setback is going to be temporary or a new trend.”

By Liz Dominguez

Existing-Home Sales Retreat in August

Existing-home sales backed up in August, after two consecutive months of increases, according to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). Each of the four major U.S. regions experienced declines on both a MoM and YoY basis.

Total existing-home sales decreased by 2.0% from July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.88 million in August. Year-over-year, sales dropped 1.5% from last year (5.97 million in August 2020).

Single-family home sales decreased to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.19 million in August, down 1.9% from 5.29 million in July and down 2.8% from last year.

Existing condo and co-op sales recorded at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 690,000 units in August, down 2.8% from 710,000 in July but up 9.5% from last year.

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By Region:

Midwest
Existing-Home Sales: 1.37 million (-2.1% YoY) Median Price: $272,200 (+10.5% YoY)

Northeast
Existing-Home Sales: 730,000 (-2.7% YoY) Median Price: $407,800 (+16.8% YoY)

South
Existing-Home Sales: 2.55 million (-0.8% YoY) Median Price: $303,200 (+12.8% YoY)

West
Existing-Home Sales: 1.23 million (-1.6% YoY) Median Price: $507,900 (+11.4% YoY)

What the industry is saying:

“Sales slipped a bit in August as prices rose nationwide. Although there was a decline in home purchases, potential buyers are out and about searching, but much more measured about their financial limits, and simply waiting for more inventory. High home prices make for an unbalanced market, but prices would normalize with more supply. Securing a home is still a major challenge for many prospective buyers. A number of potential buyers have merely paused their search, but their desire and need for a home remain.” — Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist, NAR

“We will continue working with federal policymakers and stakeholders from across the industry in an effort to increase housing supply and ensure the American Dream of homeownership remains accessible to as many people as possible.” — Charlie Oppler, President, NAR

“While housing activity has clearly cooled from its frenzy during the midst of the pandemic, home sales remain well-above the pre-pandemic pace and the median sales price continues to grow, albeit at a slower pace. A still-large number of young households are driving housing market activity, and leveraging the boost in purchasing power provided by low mortgage rates. Despite this, rising home prices mean that today’s buyers are spending larger shares of their paychecks to buy the typical home, and that trend could eventually cause some buyers to put home searches on hold, especially if mortgage rates begin to rise in response to expected tapering of asset purchases by the Fed later this year.

“Those who continue their home searches in the cooler months ahead are likely to be pleasantly surprised. Not only do we expect to see the usual seasonal respite from the competitiveness of the spring and summer home-buying season—making early fall the best time to buy a home—the return of sellers to the housing market driven by the improving economy and diminishing health risks could accentuate this trend.

“Additionally, recent construction figures show that builders continued to ramp up production in August and their outlook remained high in September, even as supply-chain challenges continue. These modest improvements are welcome, but haven’t changed the big-picture state: there are not enough homes for sale. Despite the recent improvement, single-family construction would still need to double to close the gap with household formation that accumulated over the last decade within the next five to six years.” — Danielle Hale, Chief Economist, realtor.com®

“Moving into the fall we continue to expect to see year-over-year declines in home sales related primarily to a return to normal seasonal patterns. This is a result of the base-effect created by the abnormal surge in home sales we saw in late Q3 and Q4 of 2020. The economy has continued to strengthen despite the recent surge in the Delta variant and we see the fundamentals behind housing demand remain strong looking at the rest of 2021 and into 2022.

“Home prices remain our primary source of concern as affordability becomes an increasing challenge, particularly for first time homebuyers who have not had the opportunity to benefit from the wealth created from recent surges in home equity. We expect that the Federal Reserve will likely give further indication on timing this week on reductions in Mortgage Backed Securities purchases.

“In multiple meetings, the Fed has pointed to trends in home prices as potential justification for reducing asset purchases, implying the upward pressure on mortgage rates would be useful in helping slow the pace of home price appreciation. Overall we think home sales will remain strong going into next year, but we should see inventory levels continue to slowly trend toward more normal levels and home price appreciation begin to slow over time.” — Ruben Gonzalez, Chief Economist, Keller Williams

For more information, please visit www.nar.realtor.

Real Estate Recovery: Economic Factors to Watch

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The real estate industry is unlike any other, exemplified through the market’s resilience during this pandemic while the overall economy was hit hard. However, much of real estate hinges on overall recovery, and there are several economic factors you’ll want to keep an eye on:

The Delta Variant
Concerns over COVID-19 variants, particularly the highly infectious Delta strain, have begun cropping up, especially in areas with low vaccination rates where the virus has taken hold.

This week, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) revised its mask guidelines, changing its stance and again recommending wearing masks indoors in parts of the U.S. where Delta is surging. Some areas are already seeing an impact at the consumer confidence level.

Stay tuned for an upcoming survey from RISMedia measuring COVID-19 and the Delta variant’s impact on real estate business.

Inflation
The Labor Department’s last Consumer Price Index (CPI), which is a strong gauge of inflation in the markets, reported that consumer prices increased by 0.9% in June, a sign that things are continuing to heat up. However, there are several elements that point to a stabilized real estate market: low interest rates, stronger lending practices and an increase in equity-rich households.

Interest Rates
Fed rates are still holding near zero, with the committee optimistic that the economy continues to “strengthen,” according to its latest report on Wed., July 28. The Federal Reserve continues to state it is nowhere near a rate hike. While Fed interest rates don’t directly impact mortgage rates, they are a good indicator of what’s to come.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) just increased slightly to 2.80%, still staying below the 3% threshold, according to Freddie Mac.

“As the economy works to get back to its pre-pandemic self, and the fight against COVID-19 variants unfolds, owners and buyers continue to benefit from some of the lowest mortgage rates of all-time,” said Sam Khater, chief economist at Freddie Mac. “Largely due to the current environment, the 30-year fixed-rate remains below 3% for the fifth consecutive week while the 15-year fixed-rate hits another record low.”

Supply Chain
While real estate’s surging demand has been a boon for the industry, it hasn’t been without repercussions, particularly in exacerbating the nationwide inventory shortage. A slowdown in global trade and supply chain constraints, especially in lumber, have only lifted home values, pricing homebuyers out of their markets and encouraging a year-long competitive atmosphere that is just now starting to soften.

The future of these economic indicators heavily relies on the pandemic’s path. The growing concern surrounds new variants, and although another quarantine period is likely not in the cards, new indoor protocols could have an impact on consumer confidence and real estate business practices.

https://rismedia.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Dominguez_Liz_2018_60x60.jpgLiz Dominguez is RISMedia’s senior online editor. 

How Working With a REALTOR® Helps You Find a New Home Faster

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When you want a new home, the last thing you want is for the process to drag on for months. While you could spend hours online, you will get much better results by working with a REALTOR® who knows the local area, what type of home you are looking for and how much you’re willing to spend. If you’re ready to get that new home you’ve always wanted, here’s how using an agent can make the process much easier:

Avoid Problems at Closing

When you have gone through the process of buying your home, you don’t want any problems at closing to throw your purchase into chaos. By placing your trust in a REALTOR®, it lowers the chances of that happening significantly. From making sure the title to the property is clear to ensuring the lender has met all deadlines on financing, an agent will help you ease through closing and get you your new home much faster.

Practice With Negotiations

When you find the home you and your family want, you may let your emotions do the talking for you when it comes to negotiating. As a result, it may take longer to get a deal finalized. By having your real estate agent handle all negotiations, your deal will more than likely get done much faster and at a better price than you probably could have negotiated yourself.

Know the Local Area

When you find a home in which you may be interested, you may not stop to think about its location. However, a smart REALTOR® will already have a thorough knowledge of the local area and neighborhoods, and can perhaps steer you in the right direction. For example, if you want a home with plenty of privacy, an agent may know that a home you’re interested in is near a spot where a new road will soon be built or a shopping center will be under construction. In these situations, they can help you locate other similar homes that offer the privacy you desire.

Handle the Paperwork

Finally, any real estate transaction involves tons of paperwork. If you try to handle this on your own, mistakes will be made and the transaction may never get completed. By letting your REALTOR® take charge of the paperwork, your purchase can be done quicker and with no mistakes being made along the way.

Rather than let months go by only to see a home of your dreams slip away, allow an agent to take charge of the situation and help you find your new home quickly and easily!

Anica Oaks is a freelance writer who hails from San Francisco. When she’s not writing, she’s enjoying her time outside with her dogs. Oaks recommends working with the Deborah Sumey Team if you’re looking to work with an agent in the Ocala, Florida, area. Keep up with her on Twitter @anicaoaks.