SAN FRANCISCO (STL.News) – Low inventory, falling interest rates, and a strong seasonal backdrop are encouraging signs that a robust summer home-selling period lies ahead, according to findings from HomeLight’s Top Agent Insights Survey for Q2 2019.
The quarterly survey polled over 400 top-performing real estate agents in the United States to gain the collective expertise of the industry’s leading professionals. Agents were selected to participate in the survey based on the same performance data HomeLight uses to identify top real estate agents for hundreds of thousands of buyers and sellers nationwide.
“There’s enormous value in having an opportunity to regularly extract trends and selling insights from HomeLight’s exclusive network of top performing agents,” said HomeLight COO Sumant Sridharan. “Their deep knowledge of the market and direct conversations with clients help tell the story of what’s happening in housing every quarter and what that means for buyers and sellers.”
Results from the study show that 63 percent of top agents describe their local market conditions as a “seller’s market,” an 8 percent increase over those polled in the first quarter. In addition, 50 percent of respondents indicate that inventory is lower than anticipated. As for those low interest rates? 56 percent of agents say the potential mortgage savings has boosted demand in their area.
Nevertheless, home price gains have tempered off, with 61 percent of agents predicting that home values will either stay level or decline throughout the rest of the year as the rate of appreciation stabilizes. In addition, homeowners should be prepared for pushback from buyers on lofty pricing. 70% of agents believe the biggest mistake sellers make in today’s market is overpricing on the coattails 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 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.”
Sellers should also keep in mind that real estate varies by locale (9 percent of agents described conditions as favoring buyers, not sellers). While demand is high for homes in more affordable price points, agents have reported softness in the upper tiers of the market.
Other key findings from the survey shed light on how to prepare your house for a summer sale and the expected returns on common outdoor home renovation projects:
94 percent of agents say great curb appeal adds value to a home at resale. In fact, 76 percent say it’s the most important thing a homeowner can do to boost the marketability of their home. Though, 70% of agents say spending less than $1,000 on curb appeal should suffice.
Over 75 percent of agents believe that well-landscaped homes sell for more money. Over 50 percent 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 percent of agents say it’s easier to sell a house in the summer than it is in the fall. 48 percent of agents contribute that to summer home buyers being more motivated than fall home buyers.
92 percent 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.
For additional findings, download the Top Agent Insights Report for Q2 2019.
HomeLight empowers people to make smarter decisions when buying or selling a home. Through analyzing public and proprietary data on millions of transactions, HomeLight connects home buyers and sellers with the top local real estate agents who are likely to get them the best offer on their properties. HomeLight’s complementary Simple Sale™ marketplace, with over 100 pre-vetted iBuyers, lets home sellers and agents compare and request instant offers for homes. Simple Sale also gives agents a tool to refer clients to instant buyers, skipping the traditional listing process while earning the industry-leading commission on the sale.
Since launching in 2012, HomeLight has connected thousands of clients with top local real estate agents, investors and online resources. With offices in San Francisco, Seattle and Phoenix, HomeLight conducts business nationwide. HomeLight is backed by Zeev Ventures, Menlo Ventures, SGVC, Citi Ventures, Bullpen Capital, Crosslink Capital, Montage Ventures, GV, Innovation Endeavors and more. For more information, visit https://www.homelight.com.