Fall Home Selling Checklist

Fall Home Selling Checklist [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

Some Highlights

  • When it comes to selling your house, you want it to look its best inside and out so it catches the attention of buyers. A real estate professional can help you decide what to do to make that happen.
  • Focus on tasks that can make it inviting, show it’s cared for, and boost your curb appeal.
  • Let’s connect so you have advice on what you may want to do to get your house ready to sell this season.

Watching the Stock Market? Check the Value of Your Home for Good News

Watching the Stock Market? Check the Value of Your Home for Good News. | MyKCM

While watching the stock market recently may have started to feel pretty challenging, checking the value of your home should come as welcome relief in this volatile time. If you’re a homeowner, your net worth got a big boost over the past few years thanks to rising home prices. And that increase in your wealth came in the form of home equity. Here’s how it works.

Equity is the current value of your home minus what you owe on the loan. Because there was a significant imbalance between the number of homes available for sale and the number of buyers looking to make a purchase over the past few years, home prices appreciated substantially. And while rising inventory and mortgage rates have cooled the market some in recent months, home prices nationally remain strong.

That’s why, according to the latest Homeowner Equity Insights from CoreLogicthe average homeowner equity has grown by $60,000 over the last 12 months. While that’s the national number, if you want to know what happened, on average, over the past year in your area, look at the map below from CoreLogic:

Watching the Stock Market? Check the Value of Your Home for Good News. | MyKCM

Why This Is So Important Right Now

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), helps explain why this matters so much today:

“. . . the decline in the stock market has dented overall net wealth. It has fallen by $6 trillion from the first to the second quarter. Only housing wealth has held on, with homeowners’ real estate wealth (home value minus mortgage balance) rising by $1.2 trillion.”

While equity helps increase your overall net worth, it can also help you achieve other goals like buying your next home. When you sell your current house, the equity you built up comes back to you in the sale, and it may be just what you need to cover a large portion – if not all – of the down payment on your next home.

Bottom Line

There’s volatility in today’s stock market, but home equity is still incredibly strong. To find out just how much equity you have in your current home, let’s connect.

Expert Forecasts on Mortgage Rates

Expert Forecasts on Mortgage Rates

Expert Forecasts on Mortgage Rates | MyKCM

If you’ve been thinking of buying a home, you may have been watching what’s happened with mortgage rates over the past year. It’s true they’ve risen dramatically, but where will they go from here, especially as the market continues to slow?

As you think about your homeownership goals and decide if now’s the time to make your move, the best place to turn to for that information is the professionals. Here’s a summary of the latest mortgage rate forecasts from housing market experts.

Experts Project Mortgage Rates Will Stabilize

While mortgage rates continue to fluctuate due to ongoing inflationary pressures and economic uncertainty, experts project they’ll start to stabilize in the months ahead. According to the latest projections, mortgage rates are expected to hover in the low to mid 5% range initially, and then potentially dip into the high 4% range by later next year (see chart below):

Expert Forecasts on Mortgage Rates | MyKCM

That could bring you some welcome relief. So far this year, mortgage rates have climbed over two percentage points due to the Federal Reserve’s response to inflation, and that’s made it more expensive to buy a home. And wondering if the rise in rates will continue is keeping some prospective buyers on the sidelines.

But now that experts say mortgage rates should stabilize, this gives you a bit more certainty about what they think the future holds, and that may help you feel more confident about your decision to buy a home.

Bottom Line

Whether you’re looking to buy your first home, move up to a larger home, or even downsize, you need to know what’s happening in the housing market so you can make the most informed decision possible. Let’s connect to discuss your goals and determine the best plan for your move.

What Sellers Need to Know in Today’s Housing Market

What Sellers Need To Know in Today’s Housing Market | MyKCM

If you’re thinking about selling your house, you may have heard about the housing market slowing down in recent months. While it’s still a sellers’ market, the peak frenzy the market saw over the past two years has cooled some. If you’re asking yourself if you’ve missed your chance to sell your house and make a move, the good news is you haven’t – motivated buyers are still out there. But you do need to price your house right for today’s market. Here’s why.

As Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), says:

Homes priced right are selling very quickly, but homes priced too high are deterring prospective buyers.”

It’s true buyer demand has slowed over the past few months as higher mortgage rates made it more expensive to buy a home. The result is fewer bidding wars and less competition among buyers (see visual below):

What Sellers Need To Know in Today’s Housing Market | MyKCM

But don’t forget – that’s compared to the severely overheated market we saw over the past two years. According to the latest Confidence Index from NAR:

“. . . 39% of homes sold above list price, down from 51% a month ago and 50% a year ago.”

While this is a slower pace than even one month ago, serious buyers are still actively in the market, and they’re buying homes that are priced right. In fact, the Confidence Index also notes the average home is selling in just 14 days.

If you’re aiming to sell your house, be sure you’re working with your agent to price it for today’s housing market. As buyer demand softens, it’s important to understand this isn’t the same market as last year. It’s not even the same market as just a few months ago. But it is still a sellers’ market.

If you’re ready to sell your house, seek the advice of a real estate professional. In some cases, you’ll need to adjust your expectations accordingly to meet the market where it is today. Selma Hepp, Interim Lead, Deputy Chief Economist at CoreLogicexplains what’s happening and what it means when you sell:

Signs of a broader slowdown in the housing market are evident, . . . This is in line with our previous expectations and given the notable cooling of buyer demand due to higher mortgage rates. . . . Nevertheless, buyers still remain interested, which is keeping the market competitive — particularly for attractive homes that are properly priced.”

Bottom Line

While the housing market has cooled from its overheated frenzy, it’s still a sellers’ market. Let’s connect so you understand what’s happening with buyer demand and home prices in our local area as you get ready to enter the market.

What Are You Asking Potential Real Estate Agents to Represent You in the Sale of Your Home?

Question for you! What questions are you asking real estate agents you are considering representing you as a seller?

Selling your home is one of the most important and usually stressful decisions you’ll ever make in your life and it’s important that you choose an agent that checks the boxes that are valuable to you. Here are some potential questions to ask:

“How long have you been a real estate agent?” Though not always the case, a good track record and level of experience usually makes someone a better representative in the selling process.

“Are you full time?” This is a must as you want someone working on your behalf full-time.

“How long have you lived in the area?” This type of knowledge is invaluable when pricing, marketing, and even bringing potential buyers.

“What marketing systems will you use?” Consider everything from the quality of photography to their print marketing campaign, how they let the neighbors know, and online marketing.

We would be happy to share our answers to these questions for you. Put us to the test!

Experts Increase 2022 Home Price Projections

Experts Increase 2022 Home Price Projections | MyKCM

If you’re wondering if home prices are going to come down due to the cooldown in the housing market or a potential recession, here’s what you need to know. Not only are experts forecasting home prices will continue to appreciate nationwide this year, but most of them also actually increased their projections for home price appreciation from their original 2022 forecasts (shown in green in the chart below):

Experts Increase 2022 Home Price Projections | MyKCM

As the chart shows, most sources adjusted up, and now call for more appreciation in 2022 than they originally projected this January. But why are experts so confident the housing market will see ongoing appreciation? It’s because of supply and demand in most markets. As Bankrate says:

“After all, supplies of homes for sale remain near record lows. And while a jump in mortgage rates has dampened demand somewhat, demand still outpaces supply, thanks to a combination of little new construction and strong household formation by large numbers of millennials.”

Knowing that experts forecast home prices will continue to appreciate in most markets and that they’ve actually increased their original projections for this year should help you answer the question: will home prices fall? According to the latest forecasts, experts are confident prices will continue to appreciate this year, although at a more moderate rate than they did in 2021.

Bottom Line

If you’re worried home prices are going to decline, rest assured many experts raised their forecasts to say they’ll continue to appreciate in most markets this year. If you have questions about what’s happening with home prices in our local area, let’s connect.

The Market is Shifting – What Does That Mean For You?

The housing market over the past couple years has been fast paced and extremely competitive, but we are finally seeing a shift as residential inventory grows. For the first time since January 2019, residential listings in the Northwest Multiple Listing Service have reached 2.01 months supply. Sellers are now starting to realize that pricing above market just isn’t in the cards right now and it feels like things are starting to normalize.

According to the NWMLS, active listings have nearly doubled from a year ago, jumping 93.5%. Pending sales on the other hand have retreated about 24% from a year ago and nearly 30% decrease in closed sales. Despite fewer sales, prices are still rising but at a slower rate.

The market balancing is favoring buyers which is a relief after competing with multiple offers, little to no inventory, and leaving out inspection or financing contingencies just to get noticed. Buyers now have some breathing room a some power back in getting a home under contract.

Most sellers are still receiving offers within 15 days, although that is also expected to increase as inventory grows. The rise in inventory will also encourage sellers who may have been on the fence about putting their home on the market to go for in since there are more options of new places to go.

Local July Activity for Single Family Homes and Condos:

Single Family + CondosNew ListingsTotal ActivePending SalesClosed SalesAverage PriceMedian PriceAverage Days on MarketMonths of Inventory
Whatcom County568733361286$636,468$582,50018$636,468

A Window of Opportunity for Homebuyers

A Window of Opportunity for Homebuyers | MyKCM

Mortgage rates are much higher today than they were at the beginning of the year, and that’s had a clear impact on the housing market. As a result, the market is seeing a shift back toward the range of pre-pandemic levels for buyer demand and home sales.

But the transition back toward pre-pandemic levels isn’t a bad thing. In fact, the years leading up to the pandemic were some of the best the housing market has seen. That’s why, as the market undergoes this shift, it’s important to compare today not to the abnormal pandemic years, but to the most recent normal years to show how the current housing market is still strong.

Higher Mortgage Rates Are Moderating the Housing Market 

The ShowingTime Showing Index tracks the traffic of home showings according to agents and brokers. It’s also a good indication of buyer demand over time. Here’s a look at their data going back to 2017 (see graph below):

A Window of Opportunity for Homebuyers | MyKCM

Here’s a breakdown of the story this data tells:

  • The 2017 through early 2020 numbers (shown in gray) give a good baseline of pre-pandemic demand. The steady up and down trends seen in each of these years show typical seasonality in the market.
  • The blue on the graph represents the pandemic years. The height of those blue bars indicates home showings skyrocketed during the pandemic.
  • The most recent data (shown in green), indicates buyer demand is moderating back toward more pre-pandemic levels.

This shows that buyer demand is coming down from levels seen over the past two years, and the frenzy in real estate is easing because of higher mortgage rates. For you, that means buying your next home should be less challenging than it would’ve been during the pandemic because there is more inventory available.

Higher Mortgage Rates Slow the Once Frenzied Pace of Home Sales

As mortgage rates started to rise this year, other shifts began to occur too. One additional example is the slowing pace of home sales. Using data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), here’s a look at existing home sales going all the way back to 2017. Much like the previous graph, a similar trend emerges (see graph below):

A Window of Opportunity for Homebuyers | MyKCM

Again, the data paints a picture of the shift:

  • The pre-pandemic years (shown in gray) establish a baseline of the number of existing home sales in more typical years.
  • The pandemic years (shown in blue) exceeded the level of sales seen in previous years. That’s largely because low mortgage rates during that time spurred buyer demand and home sales to new heights.
  • This year (shown in green), the market is feeling the impact of higher mortgage rates and that’s moderating buyer demand (and by extension home sales). That’s why the expectation for home sales this year is closer to what the market saw in 2018-2019.

Why Is All of This Good News for You?

Both of those factors have opened up a window of opportunity for homeowners looking to move and for buyers looking to purchase a home. As demand moderates and the pace of home sales slows, housing inventory is able to grow – and that gives you more options for your home search.

So don’t let the headlines about the market cooling or moderating scare you. The housing market is still strong; it’s just easing off from the unsustainable frenzy it saw during the height of the pandemic – and that’s a good thing. It opens up new opportunities for you to find a home that meets your needs.

Bottom Line

The housing market is undergoing a shift because of higher mortgage rates, but the market is still strong. If you’ve been looking to buy a home over the last couple of years and it felt impossible to do, now may be your opportunity. Buying a home right now isn’t easy, but there is more opportunity for those who are looking.

Should I Buy a Home Right Now?

Should I Buy a Home Right Now? | MyKCM

If you’ve been thinking about buying a home, you likely have one question on the top of your mind: should I buy right now, or should I wait? While no one can answer that question for you, here’s some information that could help you make your decision.

The Future of Home Price Appreciation

Each quarter, Pulsenomics surveys a national panel of over 100 economists, real estate experts, and investment and market strategists to compile projections for the future of home price appreciation. The output is the Home Price Expectation Survey. In the latest release, it forecasts home prices will continue appreciating over the next five years (see graph below):

Should I Buy a Home Right Now? | MyKCM

As the graph shows, the rate of appreciation will moderate over the next few years as the market shifts away from the unsustainable pace it saw during the pandemic. After this year, experts project home price appreciation will continue, but at levels that are more typical for the market. As Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), says: 

“People should not anticipate another double-digit price appreciation. Those days are over. . . . We may return to more normal price appreciation of 4%, 5% a year.”

For you, that ongoing appreciation should give you peace of mind your investment in homeownership is worthwhile because you’re buying an asset that’s projected to grow in value in the years ahead.

What Does That Mean for You?

To give you an idea of how this could impact your net worth, here’s how a typical home could grow in value over the next few years using the expert price appreciation projections from the Pulsenomics survey mentioned above (see graph below):

Should I Buy a Home Right Now? | MyKCM

As the graph conveys, even at a more typical pace of appreciation, you still stand to make significant equity gains as your home grows in value. That’s what’s at stake if you delay your plans.

Bottom Line

If you’re ready to become a homeowner, know that buying today can set you up for long-term success as your asset’s value (and your own net worth) is projected to grow with the ongoing home price appreciation. Let’s connect to begin your homebuying process today.