At this point, it’s no secret: The Texas real estate market continues to defy expectations, with a boom brought on before the pandemic — and certainly accelerated by it — that doesn’t show signs of slowing. The seller’s market that skyrocketed in the summer of 2020 has led to homes being listed for extremely short periods of time, often hours, before an offer rolls in. In many circumstances, buyers are submitting contracts for well over asking prices, too.
At the moment, no longer are spring and fall the best times to sell, thanks to current circumstances that have turned the North Texas market into a year-round season. Things will likely return to twice-yearly seasonality once the COVID-19 pandemic gets under more control, but if you’re looking to sell, the expert agents of Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty have some tips for getting the most out of your property, whether it’s during this current uptick in sales and valuation or in the coming months and years, when things may get back to a more normal pattern.
Texas’ big luxury-home boom
Homes selling for more than $1 million apiece accounted for more than $10 billion in revenue from November 2019 through October 2020, a rise of 23.5 percent, according to a report from Texas REALTORS. The data also shows that during this period the average price per square foot increased by 3.5 percent, but record-low interest rates for mortgages meant that most buyers weren’t fazed by the jump. Luxury homes experienced a significantly higher increase in sales since the pandemic than moderately priced homes, as well.
The end of the springtime tradition?
Historically, spring has been an ideal time of year to put a luxury house on the market. Not only are things more visually appealing — with vibrant flowers, green lawns and lush landscaping coming into their full glory, along with the weather’s cooperation when looking at homes in different neighborhoods — but many Americans also are looking to put their tax refunds toward the purchase of a new property for move-in by summer. But the current combination of low-interest rates and even lower inventory has changed everything.
Supply and demand and more demand
With demand for homes on the rise across Texas — as people from California, New York, and other high-price real estate markets move to the state — the home supply has dwindled significantly, which is great news for sellers. It’s not uncommon to hear stories about buyers offering well over the asking price before ever seeing a home in person.
Should you sell your home, this minute?
Perhaps the idea of selling your home has been discussed around the kitchen table in recent months. If you’re even remotely thinking about selling your home, now may be the best time to list it and test the market while it’s red-hot. The possibility of receiving multiple offers at or well above the asking price has rarely been greater, and the notion of a sizeable profit could be the motivation you need to initiate the listing.
Look closely at the market trends
Evaluating market trends is always a smart move when you’re looking to sell (or buy), and your agent can give you the kind of statistics you need to feel confident that you’re putting your house on the market at the right time. This common-sense approach applies no matter what time of year it is, but, as we’ve stated, the market right now dictates that it’s still a lightning-in-a-bottle situation that shouldn’t be underestimated.
Make those home upgrades now
It also bears mentioning — regardless of how obvious the concept — that an updated home will yield the highest offers. Contractors continue to be in high demand, but a small investment in getting your home in the best possible shape could easily translate into an over-asking-price offer. Homes selling as-is are also fetching top dollar, but any extra effort to make home improvements could be worth it, several times over.
Set your expectations realistically
Even though countless stories of rapid home sales and above-value offers from buyers abound, the Texas REALTORS Report from 2020 also explains that the average time a luxury home stays on the market is an average of 86 days. That’s an average decrease of one day compared to 2019, but helps set expectations a little more conservatively. Of course, as the current demand remains high and Texas continues to lure new home buyers from all over the country (and the world), the main takeaway remains: Be prepared for anything.