Are you thinking about selling your current home and/or buying a new one this spring? If so, the time to speak to a Realtor and start the process is now. Let’s look at the timeline for the process if for example you would like to sell your current house and move by June 15. The process from getting an accepted offer until the time you close generally takes 45 days, which means that you will need to have received an accepted offer by May 1. Working back from that, the current inventory of single family houses in Dane County stands at 1.72 months. This equates to an average days on market of approximately 7 weeks for houses that are selling this spring. This means your house needs to be listed by the middle of March to get an accepted offer by the end of April on average. Before your house can be listed you are going to want to…
- Hire a Realtor who you trust
- Make any necessary repairs to your house
- Make any necessary repairs
- Clean and declutter your home
- Hire a stager to make your home more appealing to potential buyers
- Have photographs taken
These items are likely to take one to two weeks, and you may well want to give yourself more time than that so you are not rushed. A good Realtor will advise you on which of these you should be doing prior to listing your home.
If you are looking to buy a home this spring it will be vital to speak to a good lender and get pre-approved before you start house hunting. The current inventory of 1.72 months equates to a very strong sellers market. As an aside, a market that is balanced between sellers and buyers has 6 months of inventory. This strong sellers market means that many of the most desirable homes that come on the market will receive multiple offers very quickly. If you as a buyer have not received a pre-approval from your lender prior to making your offer, it is unlikely to be accepted by the seller. Why would a seller that is looking at two very similar offers accept one from a buyer that has not been pre-approved yet, when they could accept one from a buyer who has been approved by a lender? If you don’t speak to a lender prior to starting your house hunt, how are you going to know how much you are willing and able to spend on your new home? You don’t want to fall in love with a house only to find out later that it costs more than you want to spend monthly on your mortgage, or worse yet, more that the bank will approve you to borrow.
OK, so we covered the reasons that you should get pre-approved. Now, given the low inventory levels it is not difficult to imagine that it may take more than one or two weekends of searching to find the perfect home in your price range. As a buyer, you should hire a good realtor to be your buyers agent and represent you and your best interests. Your agent can help you find houses the moment they hit the market and get you in to see them if you are interested, before everyone else looking sees them on Zillow or Trulia. This is important because many of the most desirable houses for sale are receiving multiple offers within a day of being listed for sale in this strong spring home market. The house you want may have an accepted offer on it before it even shows up on Zillow as for sale. You can search the multiple listing service for homes here.
It is also important for you to know that under Wisconsin law, that as a home buyer unless you enter into an agency agreement with your agent, that agent is actually working in the sellers interest, whether or not that agent is the agent who listed the home for sale. When you enter into a buyer agency agreement, your realtor can then provide you with advice that is in your interest rather than the sellers, and negotiate the best possible deal on your behalf. This representation is almost always paid for by the seller, meaning it costs you at the buyer nothing.
If you are ready to buy or sell call me today at 608-239-3433 or email me at email@example.com. I am happy to answer any questions that you have and I can connect you with a great lender if you do not have one already.