Knowing the Real Estate Market When You are Looking for a Home

Life is always changing – with the ups and downs life brings our way, sometimes these changes involve needing to move. Whether it’s simply to a new space in town, or somewhere across the country, looking for a new home is probably one of the biggest transitions any of us will experience.

It’s important as you begin the process of looking for a home that you familiarize yourself with the real estate market. This is important because the “market activity at any particular time” is a defining factor of the real estate market.

Where do I start?

It’s first important to understand the details of a “CMA” (Comparative Market Analysis) since a CMA is a report of ‘sold’ properties. The challenge is, if a home just closed “today,” the time that the market value was actually established for that home is actually TWO, THREE, FOUR months old… or more.  Why you ask?  Because the actual market value of a home is established at the time a buyer and a seller agree on a price, not at the time the home “closes.” And the time frame between the buyer’s and seller’s accepted offer and the eventual closing date is actually many, many months.

The reason for this is that there is a long time-span starting from the process of negotiating, performing an inspection, receiving the inspection report, possible renegotiation due to items found at the inspection, to contract review by the attorneys; and then all the way thru the mortgage process to procure a loan, title review, municipality review, walk thru and then close.  All that can take months and months.  And, if the property is a distressed property (short sale, divorce, estate, etc.) the length of time from “negotiation” to “closing” could be SIX months to a year or more.

Why is this important?

This is important because you need to understand activity of the market you are currently in when looking for a home. There may be more homes available and not as many people looking to buy – therefore the prices may be at a lower value, with no bidding wars. Or, it could be just the opposite whereby there may be  more competitive negotiations and bidding wars because more people are buying while there are fewer homes to sell (limited inventory).  In the case of “more buyers” and “less inventory,” prices are going up and at a faster rate than the “past sales” are showing for CMA’s and bank appraisals.  Bank appraisers can only pull from sold data to come up with a value of a home.  So, what happens if the market is going up on a weekly or monthly rate, but the sold data that an appraiser has to use is based on a “negotiated price” from THREE, SIX, NINE months ago?  That is a problem, isn’t it?

What’s the best way to go about it?

We’ve compiled a short list of steps for the best times to buy a home and how to go about it to make looking for a home a little easier …

Go on a spree when no one else is shopping.

The best time to begin looking for a home is when there are fewer buyers looking. There still may be a limited number of homes available, however with fewer people looking to purchase homes, you’ll be able to walk through the process a little more smoothly without having to participate in a “bidding war.”

Look during the “hot summer months”.

The best time for buyers shopping for real estate is typically late spring through August. There are a few reasons for this, but the most common is because families are looking to get settled before the school year begins. And due to the length of time it takes to buy a home, most buyers are already in contract to buy a home by May or early June in order to close before September. By July or August, most of those buyers have already bought a property, so there are many fewer buyers looking during the late summer months.

Get some help.

It is never a wise decision to go looking for homes on your own. Having a professional and licensed Realtor who knows the “ins and outs” of the real estate market season you’re about to “dive into” is key in order to have the most success when looking for a home and understanding the market as a whole.

Contact our office today for more information on how to connect with one of our agents. We are proud to have professionals who have earned the trust and respect of many of our clients and team members. We’ll be happy to help you, and you’ll see that finding a trusted and reliable real estate resource has never been easier with the Mark Seiden Real Estate Team in Westchester!

Go to NOW!  We wish you the best of luck on your home search!

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