At this time of year people just aren't thinking about real estate. They're starting to think about the holidays and spending time with the family. There's usually no reason for them to even consider doing something this late in the year. They'll just wait until Spring to start thinking about buying or selling a home.
I get it, but this year is different from all others and I've been doing this for 35 years. It might really make sense for you to make your real estate move now rather than waiting for next year. I'll lay it all out as I see it, and by next Summer, I'll know if I called it right.
If you're thinking about buying a home now vs next year here are a couple of things to consider ...
Interest rates are at all time lows. We're seeing rates in the mid to high 2's and frankly, I believe that's the only thing that's keeping our real estate industry churning. People are excited about those rates and are taking advantage of them but they won't stay at that level forever. Eventually, they'll start to creep up and that will negatively impact our housing industry. When that starts to happen is anyone's guess.
If you close on your new home home this year, you can file for a homestead exemption for 2021. December 31st is the deadline in most cases and if you miss it, you'll have to wait until 2022 to file your exemption. On a million dollar home, that might be as much as a $700 savings on a million dollar home at least in this area so that's a nice little perk.
If you're trying to decide whether to sell your home this year or next here are some things you might want to consider ...
We're in a very strong real estate market. It's been like this for us non-stop since early June when the covid panic seemed to have subsided a bit. We have plenty of excellent sale comparables that will support higher prices at appraisal time. By Spring and maybe even into summer, we might not be so lucky.
There may or may not have a new administration next year. If it happens there will be a lot of uncertainty. If there's one thing both the real estate industry and wall street have in common, neither does well when there's instability and uncertainty. It breeds fear and people start pulling back from making moves. It can happen quickly and often without real justification, but the real estate market is sensitive to it.
We've already been through one wave of Covid in the Dallas area and we might have another in the making. If we're get hit hard again, like El Paso, it's going to really hurt our economy again. When people lose confidence in the economy, they tend to stay put rather than buying or selling.
Currently there is a moratorium on foreclosures backed by Freddie Mae and Freddie Mac. That was a defensive move to protect homeowners who had been laid off due to the covid crisis. That's why we're not seeing more now, but many real estate analysts have been predicting the number of foreclosures could easily double sometime in 2021 and that wasn't even taking into account what a new wave might do to the economy
If you decide 2020 is a good time to sell your home, you can still get it done. Homes typically take around 30 days from initial contract signing to closing. The most important thing is not to drag your feet. Not only do you have to move quickly, you should make sure you hire an agent who can move quickly. They must have the resources and a team around them that can react quickly to a new listing and getting it on the market.
Worst case, your home doesn't sell by January 31st but you'll still have the exterior pictures with leaves on the trees (mostly) and some green grass instead of barren shots which will appear all the way through March.
If you have an interest in trying to buy or sell a home before the end of the year, we'd be happy to visit with you and help you decide if it's the right move for you, not us.