Are you a Houston homeowner considering selling your house? If so, now is the time to act. That’s because, according to experts, home prices are likely at their peak right now, and prices will begin to fall in 2020 with an expected recession. This recession is likely to hit during Q1, after initial predictions that said it would hit in late 2019, and job numbers will fall when it does finally arrive. Wait too long and you’ll be stuck with a house that won’t sell, or at least you’ll have to take a much lower price than you would if you sold now.
A Peak In Prices
Home prices rise and fall based on a variety of factors, and recently Houston has been performing especially well. In fact, headed into summer 2019, over 100,000 homes were sold in the area, and prices are up in the city by 3.8% year-over-year. As an owner, then, the market looks great – but it’s not likely to last long. And the same is true in many major cities. Experts believe home prices have also peaked in Boston, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Portland, among other cities. Seattle has already seen prices start to fall, as has San Jose.
The main factor that could benefit Houston, however, is that the city’s population may continue to grow over the next year, putting pressure on the available housing stock. If the job market isn’t strong, enough, though, more individuals may opt to rent, rather than apply for a mortgage.
The Affordable Housing Crunch
One key reason why Houston home sales are likely to slow despite a growing population is that, like many major cities, there’s a shortage of affordable housing. In fact, the issue of affordable housing is something of a reciprocal problem – high housing costs are eroding consumer spending power and hurt the economy, and a slowed economy leads to a downturn in the housing market. This cycle tends to continue until the job market improves again, and Houston could suffer longer than most in a downturn, as Hurricane Harvey only worsened the existing housing crisis.
Preparing For A Sale
With economic pressures on to sell quickly, homeowners need to be strategic. Luckily, at Green Residential, we know what it takes to appeal to buyers in Houston, and we’re here to guide you. These 5 strategies will help you move your home quickly, before the next recession strikes.
- Clean And Declutter: Before you even list your house, it’s vital that you go through and deep clean the entire property. This includes commonly overlooked areas like overhead lighting, hardware, and weather stripping, as well as more visible spots. You’ll also want to box up clutter and put it away out of sight. Not only will this make it easier for you to clean, but it will make your home more visually attractive. Putting away all of those extras will make it easier to stage your property for viewings.
- Give Your Home A Refresher: In addition to surface cleaning, before you put your home on the market, you’ll want to take the time to give certain elements a refresher. For example, giving your walls a fresh coat of paint, replacing the carpets if that’s within your budget, and swapping outdated cabinet and sink hardware for more current models can all make your home more appealing, without costing you much. If you’ve got a bigger budget for updates, it can also be beneficial to replace your home’s siding or put in new appliances, as these are all superficial changes that can help you attract a higher price.
- Work On Your Curb Appeal: If your home looks great on the inside but the grass if overgrown or the fence is falling over, potential buyers will pass you by. Prepare your home for sale by straightening up your yard – you can even hire a landscaper if you need to. A tidy yard with shrubs, flowers, and well-maintained grass will encourage buyers to look more closely and will present your home in the best possible light. People are more likely to see the potential in a home if the exterior looks beautiful than if the yard appears to have been ignored.
- Prepare A Photo Finish: The homes that sell the fastest tend to be the ones that are presented well online, and that means you need to both stage your home and take high quality professional photographs. You might even create a virtual tour. People look at properties online before they come to see them in person, and if your home doesn’t make a good impression in the photographs, it will be passed over for homes that look better.
- Mind Your List Price: Depending on your sector, it’s important to be flexible about your listing price, which is why most homeowners start their property at a higher price point than they expect to sell at. This is particularly true for luxury homes; more affordable homes have continued to see an overall gain in price. If your home’s starting price is above the market average, top sales prices have already come and gone.
Cut Your Days To Market With Green Residential
As of this June, Houston homes took an average of 49 days to sell, just a day longer than the average a year before. That’s relatively quick turnover, and it’s about ten days faster than the national average. If you want to sell your home before 2020, then, you should have plenty of time, but every home is unique. Depending on your circumstances, it may also serve you to consider renting out your single-family home, as both the rental rate and average rental price for such properties are up year-over-year. Townhome and condominium leases are also up, despite purchases in the same sector slowing by more than 16%
If you’re looking for support selling your Houston area home, Green Residential is here for you. With decades of experience serving Houston property owners, we know the best ways to stage a property, provide professional photography services, and arrange showings and contracts.