Housing Market, 2011 vs. 2013

I’m sure I’m not the only veteran Twin Cities Realtor who lost — at least temporarily — a prospective Seller sometime in the last 18-24 months relaying unwelcome housing market news.

When I delivered the shocking — but accurate — information about prevailing prices at the time, the reaction I got from at least one such Seller was:  1) you’re wrong about the messengermarket, i.e., prices can’t possibly be that low; and 2) you’re lying, so that you can get a quick sale (at my expense).

Not much you can really say in response, except that people who know me know that I don’t make up market data (how can you, really?), and that I don’t lie to get listings.

On the contrary, I’ve probably lost a few listings (if not deals) because I’ve been candid with would-be Sellers about what they could realistically expect.

Fast Forward 2 Years

Happily, Sellers who were able to wait for a better market are now in a much stronger position.

Inventory is (WAY) down; prices are up; and (too?) low mortgage rates means that Buyers have record purchasing power (in industry lingo, “home affordability” is at an all-time high).

As you might expect, that’s a lot easier message for Realtors to deliver to prospective Sellers than the one they told in 2010-2011.

Silver Black Lining to a Recovering Market*

The only downside(s) to today’s improving housing market?

cloudUnrealistic Seller expectations, and the fact that Sellers who are also Buyers will have to pay more for their next place.

Exception:  Major ‘Fixers

Of course, the other caveat that would-be 2013 Sellers need to be mindful of is that there is still a steep discount for homes needing significant updating (“sweat equity”).

That’s because, while lots of Buyers now can handle a modest downpayment and very cheap monthly mortgage payment, relatively few have another $50k (or $150k!) to remodel the Kitchen, Baths, etc.

Not to mention the time and skill to tackle/oversee those projects.

*Every silver lining has a cloud??

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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