How do agents view the current state of the housing market?

by Steve Randall08 Jul 2019

Curb appeal and the right price point are key to home sales in the current market according to a new report.

The quarterly HomeLight’s Top Agent Insights Survey asked 400 of America’s top performing real estate agents for their opinions on the market.

If found that in Q2 2019, 63% of top agents describe their local market conditions as a “seller’s market,” an 8% increase over those polled in the first quarter. In addition, 50% of respondents indicate that inventory is lower than anticipated.

More than half of agents (56%) said the potential mortgage savings from lower interest rates has boosted demand in their area.

But 61% of agents predict that home values will either stay level or decline throughout the rest of the year as the rate of appreciation stabilizes and 70% believe the biggest mistake sellers make in today’s market is overpricing on the coat-tails of past years’ rapid gains.

“Although agents see how price growth is slowing down, most respondents think we’re still in a ‘seller’s market,’” said HomeLight COO Sumant Sridharan. “Summer is a time when people come out to house hunt, so sellers who list now can expect more offers and traffic as long as their homes are priced right and staged well.”

Curb appeal

Among the other highlights of the report, 94% of agents said great curb appeal adds value to a home at resale with 76% saying it’s the most important thing a homeowner can do to boost the marketability of their home.

That said, 70% of agents say spending less than $1,000 on curb appeal should suffice.

Among the other highlights:

  • Over 75% of agents believe that well-landscaped homes sell for more money. Over 50% say a well-landscaped home sells for 1-5 percent more than a home with no landscaping.
  • According to top agents, basic lawn care service and fresh mulch can add, on average, a combined $2,000+ to the value of a home at resale. Larger projects, such as a new patio and high-end landscape, are riskier, with an average ROI that’s closer to breaking even.
  • Nearly 68% of agents say it’s easier to sell a house in the summer than it is in the fall. 48% of agents contribute that to summer home buyers being more motivated than fall home buyers.

92% of agents say summer buyers are particularly motivated to get settled before the next school year starts. However, agents report that some summer buyers might be distracted by busy social calendars and vacation schedules, so presentation is critical to catch their attention.

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