HOME IMPROVEMENT: House buyers can expect complex market these days – The Tribune

Selling or buying a home can be a tough proposition at the best of times.

These days, the market is very different than it has been for a long while.

One thing is that federal interest rates have gone up a little after being fairly low for years.

“Nothing huge,” Donna Gannon, a Realtor with Century 21 Homes & Land Real Estate Inc. in downtown Ironton said. “Typically, you could get 2.8 percent on a conventional mortgage. Right now, it is going at 4.2. It has climbed some. But it has not affected buyers from purchasing, because it is still a great rate.”

She said buyers seemed to be okay with it.

“Buyers expected it and the rates were at historical lows for the last several years,” Gannon said. “Maybe things are going back up to normal.”

And the higher interest rate may affect home prices.

“Maybe it will bring home prices down in our market,” she said.

One shift in what home buyers are looking for in a house in this area is that they are looking for single floor houses.

“It depends on the person, but a very popular home right now is the comeback of the one level floor ranch home,” Gannon said. “It is in high demand right now, you just can’t get enough of ranch homes with a one floor plan. Age has a lot to do with it. People thought they wanted two levels, but it is inconvenient sometimes.”

She said that that while buyers are looking for home that is move-in ready, they should have a pre-approval for their loan ready to go because demand is high right now.

“In this market, we are getting multiple offers on a home,” Gannon said. “If you have a buyer that doesn’t have a pre-approval letter ready, they will not get the house.”

And as always, the buyer needs to be educated on the market, have a Realtor show a list of houses in the neighborhood that have recently sold so they know what a good price is and communicate with their Realtor.

“Houses are overpriced right now,” Gannon said. “And this day and age, I have found more homes after they are under contract fall through because they buyer can’t get a loan or the appraisal didn’t come in or the seller refuses to come down, the buyer refuses to go back and make adjustments.”

She said she is recommending for the buyer to have a back-up offer and negotiate with the seller.

“I’ve seen more deals fall through in the past two years than I have ever have and I’ve been in the business for 18 years,” Gannon said. “Be prepared.”

On the side of selling a home, people need to have their house ready and staged to appeal to potential buyers.

That means creating curb appeal when people drive up to the house, cleaning and decluttering the inside of the house and making it look like a place the buyer can see themselves living in.

“Do what is budget friendly,” Gannon said. “Try to do some updates, but don’t go overboard. A fresh coat of paint goes a long way and is just labor intensive. Expect to put some labor into your home.”

On the outside of the house, it is time to pull weeds, put some flowers out if it’s the right season and power wash the outside if you can.

“And clean! Don’t smoke in the house. Eliminate pet odors. You are competing with other homes and buyers today are looking for move-in ready where they don’t have to do a whole lot,” Gannon said. “You are competing with other properties…you want to be ready for buyers to choose your home.”