What’s the latest news from our Houston area real estate market? The day before the recording of this video, the existing home sales report was released and relayed some interesting information from October.
Home sales, for instance, are up 26.6% year over year, which is an all-time record. Meanwhile, inventory is down 19.8% year over year, which puts us at just a two-month supply. Clients, friends, and family keep asking me whether or not now is still a good time to sell a home, and the answer is an unequivocal yes. Low inventory is pushing prices upward, as the median home price is $313,000 throughout the country. Part of the reason the median price has been pushed upward is the lack of inventory in the lower price ranges. Roughly 14% of home sales went to investors last month, which means investors are still buying in metro markets despite rising prices. Also, 19% of all October homebuyers paid in cash.
What if you’re a home seller who has to deal with the other 81% who buy using financing? You should know that important changes are taking place in the mortgage appraisal process. It’s important for you to be proactive, prepared, and patient when dealing with the appraisal process. Here are five tips to increase your home’s potential appraised value:
1. Make small repairs you’ve been holding off on. When an appraiser visits your house, they’ll notice the little things that need to be fixed. Also, make sure the home is clean and tidy. Many people don’t realize that appraisers take photos of a home’s interior and exterior, so be prepared for that.
2. Enhance your curb appeal. Freshen up the flowers and mulch, trim any trees and bushes, and fix up the rest of your exterior.
3. Create a file for the receipts of upgrades and updates you’ve made. When the appraiser comes over, give them this file and review its information with them. If you have a previous appraisal on file, you’re helping them do their job by sharing it with them.
4. Know the comps in your area. Your Realtor should be able to help you with this. By knowing the comps, you should also know whether or not there are any outliers (e.g., homes that have been foreclosed on or experienced flood damage). You should expect your appraiser to have competent geographic knowledge of your area, but that’s not guaranteed. You have no idea who’ll be assigned to your home’s appraisal, so be prepared by knowing the comps in your area.
5. Let the appraiser do their job. In other words, don’t be too pushy or in the way. When the appraiser walks through your door, share what information you have available with them, answer any questions they have, and get out of the way. Let them take their measurements, snap their photos, etc. It’s amazing how far a pleasant attitude can go in this situation.
If you have questions about our Houston area market or the appraisal process, don’t hesitate to call or email me anytime. I’d love to speak with you.