What spring home buying, selling season means for you

The first day of spring isn’t technically until next month, but we’re already entering the spring home buying and selling season.

Home sales don’t typically start rising until March and April, but now is when people start making their moves, and there are some things you need to know if you’re in the market.

First, experts say, don’t wait around too long for better prices or rates.

“It’s always a difficult call in terms of timing, but one constraint to the market has been inventory limitation, simply not enough homes for sale,” said Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist with the National Association of Realtors. “Therefore, as a consumer, just be on the lookout. If a right home within the right budget shows up, maybe go for it.”

Mortgage rates are down from their highs last fall, hovering around 6.6% since December, resulting in less uncertainty and improving affordability for homebuyers.

In fact, homeowner optimism is at its highest level since March of 2022, according to a survey by Fannie Mae.

“This year, more inventory will be showing on the market. That’s definitely good for consumers — seeing more choices,” Yun said.

If you’re planning to buy this spring, experts suggest building a homebuying team consisting of an agent, lender and even title company, because each part is crucial in what can be a complicated, multi-month process.

“The home-buying process is not a simple decision,” Yun said.

Agents also advise people to search for homes knowing what their conservative monthly payment is. That makes it easier to move other variables, like price, location or condition of a house to have the best chance to buy the home.

The key, experts say, is being flexible and having your finances ready to go.

“You want to show that you have the financial capacity and getting that mortgage approved letter certainly demonstrates the financial capacity to make the move,” Yun said.

One in five houses listed on Zillow last month included a price cut. The site says shoppers can negotiate a better deal on a house that’s been sitting on the market for a long time.

Those types of deals are drying up on the West Coast, but there are still deals to be found in states like Florida.

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