The time is right for sellers. According to the National Association of Realtors, sales have continued to increase compared to prior years for the last six months straight. Combined with the fact that inventories are low, the time is perfect for undecided sellers to list their homes. If you are a realtor, you are probably asking, “How do I get that message out?” Motivating potential sellers gets you only half-way to your goal. Landing them as your clients in a fiercely competitive market is the other half of the challenge. Use your blog to jump both hurdles. Translate confusing statistics and percentages reported on by the media into layman’s terms. Use hard data to show potential sellers you understand and have your finger on the market. Become their trusted resource by providing quality content. Here’s how.
Undecided About Listing Your Home? Read These Five Reasons to Sell Now
To sell or not to sell. That’s a question many homeowners are asking across the country. The condition of the real estate industry over the last several years has made buyers and sellers reluctant to take the plunge. However, data indicates a steady climb in existing home sales over the last six months and many experts, including Zillow’s Chief Economist Stan Humphries, is saying it is still a seller’s market. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), March sales increased 6.1 percent over February, the highest monthly increase since December 2010. Total sales have increased for the last six months straight over the previous year, and are up 10.4 percent from where we were this time last year. While data tells us a lot, there are numerous other factors driving growth too. Consider five reasons why the market is continuing to favor sellers.
- There are fewer cash buyers. Cash buyers made up about 31 percent of sales in 2014 and 34 percent of sales in 2013, according to RealtyTrac. Why does this matter? All-cash and investment buyers played a huge role in real estate sales over the last couple of years. They are the reason the majority of the foreclosures have now cleared the market, and why sales initially saw greater gains than what we are seeing now. So, while numbers of sales might be lower, there are more traditional buyers out there. “We are predicting a more stable and sustainable housing market in terms of price growth,” said Ralph McLaughlin, Trulia’s housing economist. “A lot of the growth we saw was from cash buyers, but now we are thinking those buyers will play less of a role.” In other words, there are a lot more families out there looking for their dream home and willing to pay for it as opposed to investors looking for the cheapest price on investment properties. That equals more leverage for sellers.
- Supplies are low. Low housing inventory is the leading factor in keeping sellers in the driver’s seat. Now that foreclosures have cleared the market and many sellers are reluctant to list, buyers are low on options. According to NAR, a normal housing market has enough homes for a five to seven month supply. Currently, that rate is 4.6 months. That means it would only take 4.6 months for all the homes on the market to sell if no others were added. As is true in any industry, when demand is high and supply is low, prices increase and buyers are willing to pay. In real estate, that usually results in multiple buyers bidding on your home.
- Interest rates could increase. Mortgage rates have been historically low over the past few years. However, many are speculating that the Federal Reserve will finally raise interest rates later this year. While investors predict if an increase comes it will be “slow and small,” the potential is enough to motivate more buyers to try to make a move now before rates increase. Even a quarter of a point can make a difference on monthly mortgage payments, a threat that is motivating many to start their house hunt. In short, the rate increase means more buyers will be entering the market, driving demand for existing homes.
- Rents are increasing. Another factor driving more buyers to the market and increasing demand is rising rental prices. Research from 70 metropolitan areas shows that rents have increased faster than income in 66 of the 70 cities. In places like New York City, rents have increased by 50 percent over the last five years, while income has only gone up eight percent. Sadly, some areas have seen a decline in income while experiencing increases in rents. Nationwide, rents have increased 15 percent over the past five years. Higher rent motivates more renters to look into buying. Combined with first-time buyer programs and increasing loan access, rental increases will trigger more buyers, leading to more demand. In fact, according to NAR, first-time buyers made up 30 percent of the sales in March.
- The job market is stabilizing. The April jobs report showed 223,000 jobs added during that month, and unemployment has dropped to 5.4 percent, its lowest since May 2008. Adding to the good news, nearly half of the jobs were in high-paying industries, including health care, construction, marketing, accounting and business consulting. NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun explained, “The combination of low-interest rates and the ongoing stability in the job market is improving buyer confidence and finally releasing some of the sizable pent-up demand that accumulated in recent years.” People are feeling confident about venturing into home ownership, increasing the pool of buyers and the demand for your home.
The biggest concern of most sellers is how much their house is worth. There is good news on that front as well. According to NAR, the median existing-home price for March was up 7.8 percent from March 2014. This means home prices have been increasing for 37 months straight. Additionally, foreclosures and short sales made up only 10 percent of sales in March, removing many sellers’ fear that foreclosures will bring down their sale price. Talk to a trusted real estate advisor about the value of your home. [Agent name] monitors the market in [region] tirelessly to ensure his/her clients receive top dollar for their homes, while being realistic about the state of the market in our area. Let him/her help you sell your home. Contact [agent name] to get started.
Blogging for real estate provides an ideal opportunity to be a valuable source of information for potential buyers and sellers in your region. Use reports from NAR and other organizations to provide readers with pertinent news. However, take the data a step further by telling them how it applies to them. This sample blog targeted sellers. The same data could be used to draft content that targets buyers as well. However, having a relevant blog requires that you regularly post. Providing new content at least once per week will keep your readers engaged and demonstrate that you are keeping a finger on the pulse of the industry.
Don’t have time to write a weekly blog? Check out more real estate example posts and get in touch with us for more information.