For many Americans, the new realities of working remotely have opened up possibilities for relocation that they had not considered before. Open House searches are on the rise, and people are figuring out ways to make moves. Our team was curious about where people are moving- here’s what they found.
On the popular real estate website redfin.com 27% of searchers were looking to move to an area outside of their immediate metro area. In the second quarter of 2020, the most popular places people were looking to move included Phoenix, Sacramento, Las Vegas, Austin and Atlanta.
Why are people looking to move? Many potential buyers from out of town are now working remotely, so affordable options that include office space, a big backyard, and good weather are now a much higher priority.
Tech workers are making up a large portion of the new buyer pool. A realtor in Austin was quoted stating that he had buyers from New York, San Francisco and Portland buying homesites in Austin, sometimes site unseen!
Even areas that have been thought of traditionally as ‘vacation’ towns, or ‘places to retire’ are now also seeing an influx of full time residents with Palm Springs, CA as a perfect example. With nice homes priced between $350k and $600k- it’s no surprise that urban dwellers are ditching their apartments for more space and sunshine.
Only time will tell if this trend becomes permanent, but one thing is for sure- with the many new realities we all face, considerations about moving are top of mind these days.
If you are looking to sell your house- consider the following:
When you are ready to sell your home, there are a few steps that you must keep in mind. Knowing how these steps work and being prepared for them is one of the best ways to get the most out of the sale and ensure that you can get moved out quickly. Some of the steps to take to get the most out of your real estate investment includes:
Working with a Real Estate Agent
One of the first things that you should do when you are ready to sell your home is find real estate agents near you. Some people want to go the “for sale by owner” route, but this can take a lot more time and effort to complete than doing it with an agent. Be aware that it does cost a commission, or a percentage of the sales price, to hire a real estate agent. But considering they often take on all the work and can handle the showings, the legal documents, and more, they are often worth it to get results.
How an Agent Can Help You
There are a number of benefits to hiring a real estate agent rather than trying to do it all on your own. Some of these include:
- They help you list your home at the right price. This helps you to get the highest price possible, without your home sitting on the market forever.
- They can present your home in a way that makes it more appealing to potential buyers. You love your home and that is great, but a real estate agent knows how to make it shine to a buyer.
- They can bring in more potential buyers. Most buyers like to work with an agent. And many times your agent will already have a list of people who may have some interest in the home. This helps you to get the best offer possible.
- They handle all of the paperwork for you. This is one of the most difficult things to do when you try to sell your home on your own. With the help of a real estate agent, you will not have to worry about all of the paperwork and legal stuff because they will do it all.
- The agent can get the best offer from each buyer. When the home sells for more, the agent earns more. This incentivizes them to get a better offer on your home.
- Can negotiate after the inspection. While you most likely will need to get a few things done on your home after the inspection, an agent will make sure the work is kept to a minimum.
- Speeds your closing time. This helps you to get the home closed on and the money in your account so much faster than before.
Typical Costs for a Real Estate Agent
There are several factors that will come into play when you have to pay for your real estate agent. Some agents will charge more if the sale price is below a certain threshold and then will lower the rate if the price is higher. Some may have other deals and incentives to get sellers to work with them. The average commission for most real estate agents is 6%.
Before you sign with an agent, take the time to ask about the commission they will earn. This helps you be prepared and can make it easier to factor in this cost when you finally get an offer on the home. You as the seller will be the one who will pay the commission to the real estate agent. This 6% is often split between the buyer’s and the seller’s agent, but the seller is still responsible for the whole amount.
Picking a Good Sale Price
The next thing that we need to take a look at is how to pick out a good sales price for your home. There are a lot of different things that go into determining a price for your home. While you want to get top dollar for your home, you do need to be realistic about what a buyer is willing to pay.
To determine the price of your home and what to sell it for, you must consider its location, how big the home is, how many rooms and bathrooms, any upgrades, and even what other homes in the area are selling for as well. And since each home is a little different and very unique, this can be hard.
One way to figure out a fair sales price on your home is to perform a “comps” analysis. This is when you and your agent will look at some of the recently sold comparable homes on the market. While it may be hard to find one exactly like your home, it can give you a better idea of how much similar homes in your area have sold for.
This is also why it is important to work with that real estate agent we talked about earlier. They know how to handle the pricing of your home and will help explain it along the way. They can take in all of the factors for you and come up with a fair price that is likely to sell your home quickly.
Staging Your Home
If you have already moved out of your home and no longer live there, one way to sell it faster is to stage the home. This helps to give your potential buyer a look for how the home can be used and gives them a vision of all the potential in the home. Never leave the home completely empty because this slows down the process.
List the Home and Start Showings
When you are ready, your agent will come over and sign some paperwork with you. This helps both of you be on the same page the whole time and can avoid confusion later on. The agent will also take pictures of the inside and outside of the property so they can show potential buyers, both online and in person. It is then time for the agent to list the property and wait for the calls to come in.
At some point, you will need to show your home. The days of an ‘Open House’ are gone for now, and most agents will hold private showings. The agent can handle this, but you must make sure the home is clean and ready to go. And you may have to be out of the way for a bit. Sometimes it only takes a few showings and sometimes you may need to deal with quite a few showings. But these are the best way to sell your home. All buyers will want a chance to look through the home and see if it is right for them.
Accepting an Offer
At some point, you will get an offer on your home. If the offer sounds good to you, you can accept it and move on with some of the inspections and other things that need to get done. You can also provide a counteroffer to better meet the needs you have if the buyer’s offer is close to your original offer. If the offer is way off, you can choose to decline the offer.
The offer will often include information on what the buyer expects. They will say what they want to purchase the property for along with the preferred closing date, any inspections they want, and other contingencies. The most common contingencies including the buyers securing their financing and the buyers selling their other home.
The Different Types of Inspections
Your buyer may choose to do a few different inspections to make sure the home is safe and secure. If there are some major problems with the house and they are found during the inspection, then you will be responsible for them. Most home buyers choose to do a full home inspection that checks out quite a few different things, but they can also do a few other inspections based on their needs. The most common inspections include:
- Pest and rodent inspection
- Radon inspection
- Chimney inspection
- Roof inspection
- Lead-based paint inspection
- Flooding damage inspection
- HVAC inspection
As we mentioned, the full-home inspection is the most common, though some may choose the others if these problems are common in your area. The buyer will usually put this in their offer so you can decide which inspections you want to participate in ahead of time. The cost of the inspection falls to the buyer. The cost to fix anything falls to you.
If there are some repairs necessary on the home, you can typically negotiate these. When the buyer has some minimal repairs to do, you may consider doing them and finishing the process. Other options are to offer the home “as is” so you won’t do any repairs or offer a credit for the work to be done. The credit may work if there is a time crunch on the sale and you don’t have time to get it done. Homes sold “as is” often take a lot longer to sell.
Closing On Your Home
Once all the inspections are done and you have moved out of the home, and your home buyer has secured their financing, you can close on the home. These often happen at two different times. You will meet with the lender or a title company to sign off on the home and agree to the sale.
Later, sometimes the same day and sometimes later depending on the schedules, the buyers will go in and complete their paperwork to buy the home. The funds will go to pay off the rest of your mortgage, your real estate agents fees, and any other closing costs that are necessary. Whatever is left will be deposited in your account and can be used for purchasing your new home, paying off debt, or other uses depending on your needs.
Typical Closing Costs
There are a few closing costs you will need to pay before you get any money from your home sale. Some of these include:
- Any attorney’s fees for writing up the documents.
- Credits towards the closing costs that you and the seller agreed on.
- Any HOA fees if applicable.
- The prorated property taxes.
- Any escrow that is agreed on and other closing fees.
- Title insurance
- Transfer tax
- Agent commission.
There are some other fees that may be required based on the bank you work with and where you live. You and your agent can discuss these fees before closing so you aren’t caught by surprise.
Are the Rules Different in Each State?
There are a few things about selling a home that will vary based on the state you live in. In fact, depending on where you live in each state the rules may be slightly different as well. Knowing what these differences are in your local area can be tough, but this is another benefit of working with a real estate agent to get things done.
First, the amount in taxes you pay will vary based on one state to the next. Some states will require the seller to pay taxes on the home up to a certain point and others will require the buyer to handle this. Some states, including California, have a special tax on any home sold that may add to the closing costs you must work with.
Most states have requirements that the seller needs to include any information about the property that may deter the buyer from making the purchase. This is often presented to a potential buyer before they even put an offer in on the home. This could include any updates you did on the home, along with any potential problems that you know about.
You may also need to work with an escrow account. The way that this is used will depend on the state you live in but allows a little protection on both sides. It ensures that both parties know where the money is and they can get it back if things go south during the deal. Talk with your real estate agent to find out if an escrow account is necessary for you.
Where is Everyone Moving During the Covid-19 Pandemic?
Due to Covid-19 pandemic many Americans are ready to live the cities and move somewhere more rural. This is great news if you have a home for sale in a rural area as you are more likely to attract a good buyer for a good price.
In fact, six out of ten Americans have said that they would consider moving to a less populated area. Some may have been considering this before. Some may be tired of living with all of the health mandates. And some see these rural areas as safer areas to be because with fewer people there, it is a much safer place to be right now.
This is a common trend no matter which state you live in. Rural homeowners who are looking to make a switch and get out of their home into a new one will find that is a sellers’ market and they will do well. In fact, it is likely that you will have a few offers to sweeten the pot.
Selling your home is a big experience. You have to get the home prepared and looking nice while cleaning. You need to find a good realtor who will work with you and find the best deal. And you need to finish all of the inspections and other work after you accept an offer. But when you have things organized and ready to go, you will find that it is easy to sell your house quickly.