The real estate market has been quickly changing nationwide. As we move through 2023, interest rates have climbed and a low inventory of available homes has led to homes going under contract in a shorter amount of time.
Doug Gardiner, the managing partner at The Maryland Group of Long & Foster, shares a recap of this summer’s real estate updates and trends, plus the changes he sees ahead.
“Currently there’s a huge shortage affecting real estate in drastic ways,” Doug said. “Over time, rates should have been inching up, but instead, we saw higher interest rates all of a sudden.”
Doug continues selling many homes around Frederick County and he’s noticed a lot more competition. His key to standing out from the crowd is educating clients on the current real estate market and ensuring they come well prepared.
Be Prepared For Competition
"Inventory is down significantly this month over last year," Doug said. "Additionally, we
saw a notable rise in properties with a price increase."
In this real estate market, Doug sees people doing what it takes to close a deal, including waiving home inspections, appraisals and other contingencies. Waiving contingencies—which refer to specific requirements set out in a contract in order for a real estate deal to close—can come with serious repercussions.
“Real estate is a communication market,” Doug said. “If a buyer doesn’t have everything they need, like additional cash, then hopefully the situation has been explained so that they understand what effect it can have on their buying power.”
The majority of Doug’s clients continue to complete home inspections, but sometimes people are comfortable with taking a risk to get what they want. Doug will craft an offer in a way that will get a homebuyer what they need. He does, however, recommend keeping the bigger picture in mind—rather than just the home in front of you—to avoid potential buyer’s remorse.
It is important for homebuyers to have clear goals in mind before finding potential frustration by trying to learn as you go. Doug is a firm believer in having conversations with buyers to determine their level of knowledge about the real estate market trends and what to expect along the homebuying process.
“I would rather not sell the home than do things that people aren’t comfortable with,” Doug said. “But buyers need to take the right steps and need to know the process. You can’t jump into this market and not know what’s currently going on.”
The Return To Office Effect
“Frederick seems to hold its value and it’s an extremely competitive area,” Doug said. “COVID-19 changed things drastically and the trend now is to move back to the more urban areas.”
Homes that enjoy separation from city areas with more wide, open spaces were in high demand during the COVID-19 pandemic. But for many, the additional home office and homeschooling spaces no longer fit their needs after the pandemic began to wind down, and people began to return to a city lifestyle.
“There are people going on waiting lists because the city is so competitive,” Doug said. “The convenience of walking to restaurants and other things is something that I expect will continue to appeal to buyers for a while.”
Luxury Home Trends
The trends in the current luxury home market are moving in a new direction than ever before. Additions, such as an electric charging station for cars, can increase the value of the home and make it more appealing to potential buyers.
“It’s interesting to begin to see the trends change. These days, people are seeking the larger windows on the home and the larger doors, too,” Doug said. “They’re looking for a 10-foot door now, not a regular eight-foot.”
Modern amenities are sought after, incentivizing more people to boost their homes with outdoor kitchens, upgraded technology, and other additions. There’s also been a shift in the attitude of homebuyers when it comes to pools.
“It used to be that when buyers would see a home with a pool, the first thing they would say is that they’re going to need to fill that in,” Doug said. “Then COVID-19 came around, and pools started becoming a request. Pools still increase value of a home, and they provide a 50-60% return on the overall value of the pool.”
The Frederick County real estate market remains seller-friendly while inventory has been tight. Doug predicts that Downtown Frederick, Urbana, and other areas with a more urban feel will continue to experience high competition in the coming months.
“Sure, the market is competitive, but that’s why it’s important to have an agent who can make sense of what you’re able to do and communicate well with other agents,” Doug said. “Building a good relationship and explaining things the best you can is very important, but especially for first-time homebuyers.”
Doug Gardiner, the Managing Partner of The Maryland Group of Long & Foster, is a trusted real estate advisor. As a resident of Frederick County, Doug is attentive to the changes in the real estate market, and is driven to respond quickly to what is needed for his clients. Doug recognizes the value and trust his clients place in him, and takes time to ensure that every client is well prepared before reaching an offer in this current market. MarylandExperts.com