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New Year – New Home Buyers

Wednesday, January 18, 2017   /   by Marion Franke

New Year – New Home Buyers

While the highest volume of home sales happens in the summer, every season is a great time to buy and sell a house.  This year has brought in a new group of motivated buyers in the middle of winter.  These buyers are different than the young family with a goal to move during the kids summer vacation.  As a home seller, it’s important you understand why they are in the market to buy right now.

First-Time Homebuyer

When someone is buying their first home it usually comes with a bit of procrastination.  Today’s buyers may spend months (some even years) studying listings on the internet. They are knowledgeable about communities, prices and feel confident about what is available.  Still, many have not been able to “pull the trigger” and seriously look for a home.

Since the election, interest rates have trended upward.  Since each uptick in mortgage interest means a higher monthly payment, many will be prompted to stop thinking, studying and preparing.  It’s time for them to get serious.

Corporate Relocating Buyers

Relocation is a large part of our area’s growth.  A recent survey by Atlas Moving Company showed 38% of companies with more than 5,000 employees relocated 400 or more employees last year.  Less than 3% reported not relocating anyone.  Moving employees, as needed, is proven to add company profitability.

Frequently these transfers occur in the first quarter of the year.  Often, the decision to move an employee is made immediately before the person is expected to be working in the new location.  When a family is moved to a new city, they are given an small time allowance to visit the new location.  Generally, the relocated employee will spend as little time possible to locate a home, negotiate price/terms and settle into the new community.

According to CNN Money, the U.S. economy just posted the best growth in 2 years.  Growing companies need to maximize potential by moving employees.  If you are selling, don’t be surprised to get a relocating buyer interested in your home.

Move-Up Homebuyers

One of the “catch-22” experiences of selling a home is timing.  Anyone who recently sold their current home will be looking for the next one now.  If they moved into temporary housing after closing, they will want to find something quickly for the same reasons as the first time homebuyer.  Interest rates will push them to move as soon as possible.

These buyers are different though.  They have the expertise of a seasoned home buyer and, contrary to the relocating buyer, they already know the area well.  Most have been thinking about what community they want for years and now is the time to find their way home. 

Both the relocating buyer and the move-up buyer tend to buy in a higher price range than the first-time buyers.  It’s important for sellers to carefully stage the house for these more sophisticated buyers.

Whichever type of  home buyer you are…or whichever type of buyer is interested in your home…it is time to make the move.