If you own a home, hearing that "it’s a seller’s market" may pique your curiosity. For months, the limited supply of homes on the market has given sellers an advantage as buyers looked to lock in historically low mortgage rates.
But is that still the case? In January, Fannie Mae released a study on consumer confidence in the housing market that found consumers had adopted an increasingly pessimistic view of home buying and selling conditions amid ongoing pandemic-related uncertainty.
In fact, the percentage of respondents who say it’s a good time to sell a home decreased from 59% to 50%, while those who believe it’s a bad time to sell increased from 33% to 42%. This sell-side drop, the first since April, suggests that potential sellers may wait to list their homes.
As homeowners hunker down to weather COVID, inventory could tighten further, creating an opportunity to fetch top dollar for your property. Visit Credible to get in touch with experienced loan officers and have your mortgage questions answered.
Is now the right time to sell your home?
Are you considering selling your house? It may still be the right time. As existing-home sales in 2020 reached their highest level since 2006, prices followed. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported the median existing-home sales price was $309,800 in December, up 12.9% from one year earlier. With prices surging, homeowners wonder if this is the right time to make a move.
Tania Isacoff Friedland of Warburg Realty believes it is.
"In the last few weeks, I’ve represented both buyers and sellers on several bidding wars," she said. "There are motivated buyers out there eager to purchase."
Whether you're looking to buy a new home or refinance your existing mortgage, use online marketplace Credible to crunch the numbers. Insert some simple information into Credible's free tools to see what mortgage rates you'd qualify for.
Real estate broker Michael J. Franco of Compass Real Estate agrees.
"There is an inventory shortage in many markets, which makes it a good time to sell because you’ve got limited supply, and demand is still out there," he said.
While it might sound like the perfect time to sell your home, once you do, you’ll need to figure out where you’ll live. Remember, the same limited supply that increases your home’s desirability may impact your new home search.
Whether you’re mulling a move or ready to refinance, use Credible to browse mortgage companies and compare loan rates without affecting your credit score.
How can I add to my home's value?
If you’re opting to wait before selling your house, you may be looking for ways to add to your home's value.
Homebuyers are intrigued by listing photos and want to make sure the selling price is right. Upgrades that are considered capital improvements are tax-deductible. Not to be confused with repairs, capital improvements, as defined by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), are permanent improvements of a structure or property that enhance features, use, or prolong the useful life of the building.
Are home improvements worth the investment?
Home improvements may be worth it if you want to rope in a potential buyer. Examine whether your home is in a marketable condition before uploading listing photos. A few tweaks here and there could lead to price growth and help you sell your home fast.
"Upgrading the kitchen and bathrooms may make a meaningful difference in getting you the highest possible price when you go to sell," said Isacoff Friedland.
Installing new windows or exterior doors increases your home’s value while making it more comfortable for the duration of your time there.
Interested in making renovations? Visit Credible to compare personal loan rates and find a lender to fund your next home project.
How to take advantage of today’s mortgage interest rates
If you’re considering selling, now may be the time.
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, mortgage rates dropped to historic lows. While rates inched higher in January, the Federal Reserve announced that it intends to keep long-term borrowing rates low indefinitely. Since the 2008 recession, mortgage rates have barely risen above 5 percent, and the NAR anticipates rates will average 3.1% for 2021, up from 3% in 2020.
"Mortgage rates are slightly higher now than when they bottomed-out last summer," said Melissa Cohn, an executive mortgage banker at William Raveis Mortgage. "The Democratic-led Senate and the release of COVID vaccines are the main reasons that rates are increasing. Mortgage rates will likely hover where they are now for a few months as the pandemic continues to ravage the economy."
"The only way is to get a new mortgage," said Cohn. "If you already own your home, then it is time to look at refinancing. Refinancing rates are not quite as low as purchase mortgage rates. But for a homeowner with good credit and a decent loan to value — generally where the mortgage is less than 75% of the value of the house — then you can definitely lock in a rate below 3%. Or even close to 2.50%, today."
Use an online mortgage refinance calculator to estimate your new monthly payments. You can also compare mortgage interest rates and lenders using Credible's free tools.