Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

Nov. 4, 2020

Do I need A Realtor?

It's relatively easy to look at home for sale. Anytime you can hop onto the inter, and even our website for a quick search. You can enter the criteria you want or need and with a tap or a click receive a plethora of available homes for sale. However, is that what you really need or want? Do you really have time to exhaust your energies on these multiple listings?

Do you really enjoy Amazon search results that come back with 500 viable options? Most of us apply filters and narrow it down. Even still, what good does it do, are we finding exactly what we need for the price we really want it? We also know all to well that some shopping finds don't come out exactly as planned. That cute little dress looked great in the pictures, but it arrived cute and little...for a doll.

When was the last time you purchased a product because you had a friend recommend it or because you knew exactly what you were looking for and exactly how to filter the search results based on someone guiding you? When it come to chopping for a house, a Realtor® is that friend. 

Everyday consumers and Realtors® both have access to many of the tools out there to search for homes, but only a Realtor® is going to take the time to listen to your needs, desires, and wants in a particular property. They are your search filters and more importantly your personal shoppers that will find properties that truly suit you.

Aside from honing in perspective properties, another service provided by a Realtor® is the that of advocate. A buyer's agent is dedicated to representing their client and protecting their client's interest. With hunting season coming into our area,  think of it like this... Buyers who use a Realtor are like wearing both Hi-Vis and Camo. The Realtor helps the buyer be seen as vetted and capable to respective sellers, but they also protect them from seeing too much. A Seller does not need nor should know exactly HOW capable a buyer is, just that they CAN. Not having a representative could leave you alone in the woods. 

 

 

Posted in Why A Realtor®?
Oct. 23, 2020

Saving Time

Have you ever looked for a house online? How long did you spend doing so? 30 minutes, an hour? Are you a week out still surfing around for homes?

You have all the free time in the world just like the rest of us right? 

This question is to point out the obvious, real estate agent save you valuable time. Scrolling the world wide web looking at homes can become a rabbit hole, and before you know it you're looking at a quaint country cottage in Maine, when you started out trying to find a family home in Grand Rapids.

In that initial 30 minutes that ended you in Maine's vacation rentals, you could have chatted with a local real estate agent who would have listened to what all you were looking for, wanting, and needed in a home. They would have gathered that information and found you a simplified list of excellent potentials. From there you could have actually seen the houses themselves and made informed decisions as to what was the right one. As you are reading this, you could have been in the process of closing on your new house. Your Realtor might have even connected you with another real estate agent in Maine who is helping you diversify your income with cute little summer cottage opportunities.

Connecting with an agent is worth your time, because they will save you the time you'll need and want elsewhere, like deciding what show to binge on.

 

Posted in Why A Realtor®?
April 15, 2020

Ready for Spring

The arrival of spring typically means the start of home buying season, where sellers prep their homes for “a new beginning” and buyers keep their eyes peeled for the perfect new home. This year, however, the bulbs are blooming and the fresh coats of paint coincide with what the World Heath Organization has declared as a national pandemic.

Can Michigan’s housing market weather COVID-19?

I’m sure a question on the minds of many: Is the market entering a crisis? Maybe, but it will be nothing like last time.

Here is the thing, the market is entering this “crisis” on solid footing, unlike the market of 2006-2008 and as the stock market declines, real estate may be a more appealing investment.

In the last 30+ days, COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on every facet of our lives. But that isn’t disastrous news, we have survived hard times before, and this is nothing like the last time. For now, the housing market is proving more resistant to the pandemic than other sectors of our economy. In 2007, the economy was already in a weakened state and there was a HUGE insolvency with the banks. But in this case, the fundamentals of the economy were strong until COVID-19 swept the nation leaving the effect to be different in each city, and we all know that the West Michigan market was “on fire before this,” a sellers market, with “less than a month of inventory” says Michael Childress of GRAR.

Arguably the biggest challenge for real estate agents, buyers, and sellers is social distancing, which is an uncharted territory. Never before have agents had to operate in a market where they were unable to physically meet with their clients and tour homes, thus taking to digital solutions to keep the market running. Yes, many listings have gone the route of the virtual tour- but it is much easier to commit to a property via virtual tour for a weekly rental vs. buying your next family home. If you are already in the market for a house, all of this uncertainty must have you worried about the direction of  the market. The reality of the situation, home sales will/have dropped dramatically, BUT it’s difficult to do business as usual with a shelter-in-place order, therefore putting the market on PAUSE.

So now what? Take advantage of time. Never before have sellers had so much time to prepare their homes for sale.

Sellers: Do all of the things leading up to listing your home that you never had “time” for.

Take the time to declutter, make your move effortless by organizing all of those cupboards and drawers now. Make a donation pile for all of those kitchen gadgets you haven’t used in a year and clothes you have saved for nearly a decade “hoping to get back into” Marie Kondo your home BEFORE moving, don’t take that stuff with you. It will make packing your things so much easier.

Take the time to pre-pack. While you are preparing to stage your home for photos and open houses, depersonalize it and pack those items away asking yourself if the items “spark joy” prior to putting them in a box.

Take the time to finish that project list. Put a fresh coat of paint here and there (yes the paint stores are still open- call ahead, they will mix your paint and have it ready for pick up. (They even bring it out to your car, just share the make, model, and color at the time of your order.)

Take the time and get out the magic erasers and deep clean. Power wash your deck, clean those windows, rake the lawn, add some curb appeal…you could get more money in your pocket at the time of sale.

Most importantly, take the time to reach out to an agent, let them know your intentions, send them photos of your home, or take them on a FaceTime tour and ask them what they think and/or have them offer suggestions on how to increase your bottom line.

Buyers:

Take the time to reach out to an agent. They have time and want to talk to you. Pick their brains, after all they are the experts. Talk school districts, commutes, neighborhoods. Give them your “wish list” and budget so when the market opens up they are prepared.

Last but not least, take the time to breathe: its a scary time for all of us, but West Michigan is a community filled with hard working people who rise to a challenge.

Lastly, We leave you with this...“The last time housing led the recession…This time it’s poised to bring us out.” Ali Wolf, Chief Economist with Meyers Research. We are not in a recession yet, we’re about to be in one. BUT this time all signs point to the housing markets leading the economic recovery. Use your time to prepare for when we hit the pause button again, and the market opens up but in the meantime stay safe West Michigan.

Posted in Market Updates
July 31, 2017

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Curious about local real estate? So are we! Every month we review trends in our real estate market and consider the number of homes on the market in each price tier, the amount of time particular homes have been listed for sale, specific neighborhood trends, the median price and square footage of each home sold and so much more. We’d love to invite you to do the same!

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We can definitely fill you in on details that are not listed on the report and help you determine the best home for you. If you are wondering if now is the time to sell, please try out our INSTANT home value tool. You’ll get an estimate on the value of your property in today’s market. Either way, we hope to hear from you soon as you get to know our neighborhoods and local real estate market better.

Posted in Market Updates