Hello People! I was in a coffee shop not too long ago and I wasn’t exactly eavesdropping but people sometimes talk really loud and there’s nothing I can do about that. These two lovely people were clearly talking to their prospective Realtor but were simply chit chatting about what they were looking for in a home, rather than finding out if their Realtor was qualified. They asked some basic questions like how many houses have you sold and how long have you been a Realtor. Those are good questions but I want you to ask great questions! It was at that point that I got inspired to share a few great questions that will help you determine if your Realtor knows their stuff.
- “Is now a good time to buy or sell?” Great question! For any given zip code, Realtors in the know will refer to the MARKET ACTION INDEX. This is an indicator of whether the market favors sellers or buyers. The INDEX is based on a 0 to 100 scale. When the number is above 30, this indicates that the market is favoring buyers. That means you’re less likely to be able to negotiate on price or ask for Seller Concessions. Right now, in my zip code the INDEX is at 42, so it slightly favors sellers. In other words, it’s a seller’s market but not by much.
- “How quickly is the market moving in my price range.” Another great question! For any given zip code, Realtors obsessed with numbers should know the answer. For example, in my zip code, 85207, I know the average number of days homes within certain price points remain on the market before they are sold. So, if a property is priced under $240,000, it will stay on the market an average of 41 days. If the property is between $240,000-$400,000, it will stay on the market an average of 59 days. Do you notice the trend? Cheaper houses move faster. More expensive houses stay on the market longer. Consider houses priced between $400,000-$600,000. This group will stay on the market an average of 121 days! Quite the difference! Remember, these are just averages!
- “What can I get in my price range?” Great question! This saves buyers a whole bunch of frustration if they know what they can expect to find in their price range. Let’s consider my zip code again. If you want to stay in the lower 25% price point, which is below $240,000, you’ll likely be able to find a 1,400 square foot home with 3 bedrooms/2 baths sitting on a 6,500-8,000 square foot lot. The house will likely be about 20 years old, which means original roofs and a/c units might need to be replaced but your home inspection will tell you about those issues. Again, these are averages and a general idea of what you’ll find for this price point.