Real Estate 101 for Baby Boomers
Are you a baby boomer, i.e. someone born between the years of 1946 and 1964? There’s a good chance you might be thinking about entering the housing market soon. Research from the annual NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers shows that an increasing number of individuals in this demographic are looking to sell their homes. If you find yourself in this situation, it could be for a variety of reasons.
Maybe you’re looking to sell your home because your kids have grown up and moved out and you no longer need as much space as you once did. Perhaps retirement or other career changes have caused you to want a different type of home. Or maybe you are looking to sell so you can move closer to family, including those adorable grandkids.
No matter what reason you have for thinking about selling your home, it’s a great time. We’re experiencing a seller’s market, which means inventory is low. Buyers are competing for the same properties, which gives sellers a great amount of leverage.
But it’s important to keep in mind that baby boomers entering the housing market today will find it a very different experience than they had thirty years ago. If the last home you bought was purchased in the sixties, seventies, or eighties, a lot has changed.
You have more control over your home buying experience -
Not only has the Internet changed the way business works, it has also changed the entire consumer experience, including real estate. In fact, for 44 percent of recent buyers, the first step that they took in the home buying process was to look online at properties for sale.*
Instead of having to wait to schedule appointments with a real estate pro to check out properties you might be interested in, you can now take virtual tours of homes from the comfort of your living room. You’re tech savvy and you know what you want. This will definitely be to your advantage when working with a real estate professional to list and sell your current home as well to buy your next one.
Using the internet, you can find out a lot of what you need to know. But that’s just the first step.
Where do REALTORS fit into our DIY World?
Everything is DIY these days. You can search for just about any project imaginable on the web and find a how-to video with clear instructions from start to finish. This might work for fixing your own plumbing problems or rewiring that faulty garage door, but when it comes to real estate don’t try to go it alone.
Working with a real estate professional will help ensure that a transaction involving your largest investment, your home, is handled with care. A licensed agent has knowledge and experience you just can’t get no matter how long you research the industry or the housing market. They know all the rules and laws you might miss and pay for later. They have access to data to help you understand trends in the housing market, and more importantly they have the experience to put it into a meaningful context.
Baby boomers may be tempted to try and sell their home without an agent to save money by avoiding a commission. But did you know that according the NAR report, the median selling price of FSBO homes was about $60k less than homes sold with a real estate professional last year? That’s a significant difference, especially if you are looking to use the proceeds from a sale to buy another home or property.
There’s No Time Like the Present -
As we said before, we’re experiencing a seller’s market. At the time of this article’s publication, we were seeing about a four month absorption rate. That means, at the current rate of home sales, inventory would be dried up in four months if no additional properties came on the market.
If you’ve been waiting for your best opportunity to sell, this could be it. Just do your homework and make sure you work with a real estate professional you know and trust.
It may have been awhile since your last home purchase. Even though baby boomers will find their experience very different compared to the first time they purchased a home, that doesn’t mean it has to be daunting. By partnering with a CBWW professional, you can sleep easier knowing your next home purchase and sale will be carried out with professionalism and integrity.