When the pandemic hit more than two years ago, no one predicted at the time that a side effect would be a large upswing in housing prices as homeowners got restless in their current residences as they adjusted to spending much more time at home.
Now, as Las Vegas and the rest of the world continue to return to normal, you may be wondering if the housing market will stay as strong as it has been or start returning to pre-pandemic activity.
In today’s market, prices are still higher than average, but the pace of price decreases has accelerated. Many of the price decreases are from homes that were priced above comparable homes to start with, which was completely normal a year ago. Demand for homes is also still high, but higher interest rates make the buyer pool smaller. Sellers that expected the sale of their home within a week are more likely to drop the price to stay competitive with the changing market.
The biggest shift you’ll need to make is adjusting to the mindset that homes aren’t going to sell in a day anymore. Buyers have more options, and are starting to take time to weigh all of them more carefully. If you try to reach for prices outside of comparable homes, you could be on the market for months, which was completely normal two years ago.
With similar houses becoming priced comparably again, key pre-pandemic necessities are coming back. Your home will need to show well, be in good shape and be reasonably priced for the market. Gone are the days of excessive bidding wars resulting in sales prices $50,000 over the list price.
Before you list a property for sale, make sure you’re putting its best foot forward. To achieve the highest value, it helps to be clean, painted and staged, especially for your higher end homes. These are things that have been forgotten these last few years, as properties were scooped up after being listed for only a day, with home inspections routinely waived.
As home inspections are coming back again, this means homes need to be in good repair as well. Make sure all the small issues around your property are taken care of before listing, to get the best offer possible. If you don’t have the money for the small repairs, make sure you’re willing to give the buyers a credit towards some repairs.
And be mindful of the cost vs. benefit of adding amenities to add value to a home. Take a pool for instance. Adding a pool currently can be a $100,000 expense, if you can even find a contractor to build it in a reasonable amount of time. But your investment would be for nothing if a buyer doesn’t want or need a pool. We always caution sellers to make sure whatever upgrades or repairs they plan to do, will have the best chance of increasing the value of the home. This is where consulting an experienced and trusted real estate professional can really help maximize your profits.
Once all repairs are finished, move on to getting your property staged. Staging a home means decluttering and depersonalizing a property. Remember, prospective buyers are there to look at your house, not your family, your heirlooms or your artwork. Decluttering prior to home showings will maximize the space in your house, making it seem larger. We also recommend getting air fresheners so your home smells amazing to potential buyers. Everyone wants a clean house that smells good! Before someone sees the entire house, they smell it as soon as they walk in. First impressions are important!
Are you wondering if you should stage your home or completely empty it? Some buyers may want to see a home furnished in person to help with visualization, while others would like to see it empty to imagine their own furnishings. It can vary buyer to buyer so don’t invest too much time, money, or energy on this.
A quality Realtor can help you with staging and listing a home for sale. Their skill sets are needed to help homes stand out and make sure you get the most money possible from the sale of your house. When selecting one, make sure to look at their history to see if they’ve been around in past adjusting markets, and have the experience you want in a real estate partner.
Overall, Las Vegas is still one of the country’s hottest real estate markets, as people from all over the world come here to live. Real estate is a long-term appreciating asset, just make sure to set your expectations and be aware of the changing marketplace.
While the market is starting to cool, it’s definitely still a sellers market and a great time to sell your house in our personal opinion. After the last couple years of unprecedented appreciation, you likely have substantial equity that we would expect to see lower as more homes hit the market and less buyers qualify due to climbing interest rates.
As far as purchasing a home goes, we’d recommend proceeding with caution as price decreases become more prevalent and we expect to see home values continue to drop to “normal” level. We think the best deals still lay ahead in the coming year or so. As always, make sure to consult a trusted real estate professional or financial advisor to examine your personal situation and what your short and long term financial goals are. Every situation is unique!