You’ve taken a look at your finances (check). You’ve done your due diligence with downsizing (check). Now comes the kicker – it’s time to sell your current home so you can move into senior living. With everything that’s happened in the last 12 months, what does the real estate market look like for sellers – and buyers?
“Ready for a surprise? The housing market remains as strong as ever – perhaps even stronger,” says Barbara A. Keller, Vice President of Marketing and Sales at Peter Becker Community. “Although the COVID-19 pandemic upended many aspects of life and even caused the housing market to stall in early 2020, real estate has rebounded significantly – meaning that, more than ever, it’s a seller’s market.”
The Pennsylvania Association of Realtors predicts that home sales will be 7% higher than they were in 2020, with spring and summer expected to be the strongest seasons for selling. Inventory will continue to remain an issue, although the rise of retiring Baby Boomers may help balance the supply and demand.
Mortgage rates will continue to be reasonable (having reached historic lows in 2020) – it’s predicted the average rate for 2021 will be 3.2 to 2.4%. However, home prices will also increase as well – approximately 5.7% year-to-year.
As the Baby Boomers start to exit the buyer’s market, Millennials and Generation Z individuals will be ready to scoop up a great deal in the real estate market. Older Millennials may be ready to upgrade their home to a large house, while younger Millennials and the oldest of Gen Z will be ready to purchase their first home.
Currently, home values (along with home prices) are much higher now than they were a year ago. That means that if you list your property at the beginning of the year, you’ll more than likely get a strong offer even if your home doesn’t end up in a bidding war. Buying a new home, especially a smaller “starter home”, will continue to be difficult – but if you’re an older adult moving into senior living, you can reap the best of both worlds.
Making Your Home a Buyer’s Dream
Although we may be in a seller’s market right now, experts urge caution when it comes to listing your home. Today’s buyer is a savvy consumer and is ready to negotiate (after all, many of them remember the 2008 housing crash and are hesitant to get in over their heads). Here are some expert tips for how to make your home as seller-friendly as possible:
Work with an expert.
A “seller’s market” can conjure up the image of sticking a “For Sale” sign in your yard and sitting back, waiting for the offers to roll in. However, if you really want to get your home sold in the least amount of time for the most amount of money, you should hire a licensed REALTOR®. These professionals uniquely understand the real estate landscape and often have a lot of resources at their disposal to make sure your home is as enticing as possible.
Get ready for your close-up.
Your home’s close-up, that is. Because of the pandemic, video tours and social media walk-throughs are the top tools for selling homes right now. Many workplaces are allowing their workers to be 100% remote, so there is an influx of working families who are ready to move across the country – and who also might not be able to visit a home in person. Look at social media as your primary tool for showcasing your homes – if buyers are hooked, they’ll schedule an in-person tour to see everything up close and personal.
In order to make your house as visually pleasing as possible, make sure that you’re using best practices for social media. Use vertical photos (which display the best on mobile phones), and understand how contrast works on a small screen. Declutter and depersonalize your space and add interesting touches to be eye-catching and intriguing. As we’re spending more time indoors, make sure that your home feels homey and welcoming – a place where someone would love to spend the majority of their day.
Highlight a home-school or home-office area.
The American worker has undergone a radical shift (as has the American schoolchild). No more is the 8-5, on-site workday the norm. Instead, many people are working from home or learning from home, which means that it’s important to highlight dedicated spaces in your home where potential buyers can visualize themselves (or their children). The obvious choice for a home office is a spare bedroom, but creativity can make any space (a nook, a corner or even a closet) a haven for learning and working. Creating a dedicated workspace and highlighting it in your listing will make your home stand out from the others.
Yes, we’re in a seller’s market, but that doesn’t mean your home should be listed at an incredibly high price. As we mentioned before, today’s buyer is a savvy shopper, and they know when they’re being taken for a ride. It’s a common mistake for sellers to start off with a high price and assume that someone will bid for it. However, a smarter tactic is to set a price that’s reasonable for your market, allowing potential buyers to bid against one another and drive up the price organically. Because interest rates are so low, many sellers will be willing to go a little higher than their bid – which spells nothing but good for you.
When it comes time to move into senior living, you want to make sure you have everything in order so you can kick off this next chapter of your life in style. By making sure your finances are in order, your belongings are organized and your house is buyer-ready, you’ll ensure that you’re set up for success, wherever the journey takes you.
Your Moments Are at the Heart of What We Do
At Peter Becker Community, it’s our mission each day to celebrate your individuality, whether you reside here full-time or are here as a temporary resident of our Health Care Center. Our support and encouragement are always expressed one-on-one. As a Continuing Care Retirement Community, we provide an environment that empowers you to remain active and independent, while ensuring your future needs will always be met. As a not-for-profit community, we are focused exclusively on the well-being of our residents.
We offer a full range of services – from independent Residential Living, to Personal Care, to Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation services, to compassionate Memory Care in our secure Memory Care neighborhood. Life here is good – it’s enriched by the time, choices, connections and involvement you’ll discover at our Continuing Care Retirement Community.
With our spectrum of activities, amenities, dining options, maintenance-free living and so much more, you’ll discover you spend more time enjoying our lifestyle and less time worrying about the details of life. You’ll find choices to build a secure life, connections that build closeness, involvement in the world at large and time to explore it all.
For more information about the services provided at Peter Becker Community, or to schedule a personal visit to our Continuing Care Retirement Community in Montgomery county, please contact us at (215) 720-1087 to begin the conversation.