In June my daughter learned her pandemic work-from-home arrangement would be permanent. She decided to sell her condo here and buy a home with land and more space for a home office.
Since she was out of state and we were living in her condo we threw ourselves into readying it for market and didn’t worry much about where we would live, figuring it would take months to sell.
Within hours of listing it in September she had a cash offer for close to asking price from a couple who wanted to move in within three weeks.
We were stunned.
But according to real estate experts, our situation had become closer to the norm across Connecticut in 2020 as the pandemic raged. More people were forced to work from home and many big city dwellers decided to move out to the country.
While the hot real estate market has meant easy, fat sales for some, it doesn’t automatically confer quick and easy deals across all price points and home types, says Bob LaPerla of Glastonbury, a Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services.
“Though it’s a very hot market the buyer today is significantly more savvy and much more aware of style and value and what’s happening in the market,” Bob says. “Their experience and demands for their money are pretty high and their willingness to negotiate or give up on some things is not as likely. They are looking for properties that are completely move-in ready or to be of such exceptional value that they can alter it themselves.”
But while buyers are pretty smart these days and know what their money can buy, it’s still a seller’s market and homeowners realize they can command top dollar for their property if they’re willing to make it shine.
“There are fewer homes on the market and there are more buyers than sellers right now,” Bob says, and that disparity has meant that in some cases there can be multiple offers on a home, sometimes within a day of hitting the market.
But the notion of a seller’s market sometimes is enough to make some sellers expectations overly optimistic.
“When the market is very hot, if you’re coming in with the right price, if it’s competitive with the marketplace, you’re probably going to have several offers. But if you’re coming into the market with the idea that you can inflate your price because it’s hot, your property might sit for a while without any offers.”
His advice to buyers out there right now searching?
“Be patient, be willing to look beyond your expectations, look beyond what you think you might want and into styles of homes you may have passed on. You need to be prepared to move, have your pre-qualifications, your downpayment, anything you need to buy the house. You need to be ready, you can’t just go look and then decide to make an offer.”
For sellers, Bob says, your home needs to be properly priced when it comes into the market if you want a quick sale.
“Sellers also need to be realistic, yes the market is hot but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to make your home look nice. I’ve seen ‘as is’ deals where the home sells for full price but then the buyer wants $20,000 worth of improvements.”
For more information: Bob LaPerla, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services. 860-918-1337. https://www.bhhsneproperties.com/real-estate-agent/2781/bob-laperla