Buy a home or sell one now? Fall Real Estate Guide

Real estate guide for fall l Austin real estate market l home buyer advice l home seller adviceSome homebuyers and sellers had their fill of the Austin real estate market this past year. There are reasons to stay in the market, to get in the market, and certainly reasons to step away for now. As the song goes, you gotta know when to hold ‘em, fold ‘em, and walk away. Here is a real estate guide to navigate the fall market with home buyer and home seller advice.

Why stay in the market?
Home buyer advice if you are already shopping in this market: You’ve already done the work, know your numbers and what you can afford. There is no reason to leave the market unless the reason you got into it has changed. You can consider changing the market you are looking in, but don’t stop looking.

Home seller advice: Your neighbor left the market. In mid-November 127 Austin real estate listings were withdrawn from Travis County in just one week. That number will rise the deeper we get into the holiday season. This market may be slow, but you have to be in it to win it. While inventory is the best it has been in years, there aren’t many choices in any given neighborhood. You want to be the oasis in the desert.

Why get in the market?
Home buyer advice if you want to feel heard, seen, and appreciated. You will feel all three in this market. You may not always get to yes, but if you haven’t already heard option periods are back, as are seller concessions like closing cost allowances. I have seen listing price reductions five and six digits long recently and I’m not seeing a line to get in outside anyone’s door. Sellers don’t want to just list their homes this time of year – they want to sell them.

New home buyer advice: If you are considering a newly built home, home builders are rolling out the red carpet. When the market is hot – the carpet gets rolled up and put away. I saw six home builders last week and all have a menu of specials to offer right now from upgrades to interest rates to flex cash and they aren’t waiting for you to show up. There is inventory out there ready to go.

Home seller advice: Your home will not look any better than it will look in the next two months. I don’t care what holiday you celebrate. Your home will be clean enough for your mother-in-law, which means it is sparkling for potential buyers.

If your home has some deferred maintenance this may be a better market as well. Homeowners who think spring will be the best time to sell – need to know they have more competition. Less competition means fewer choices for buyers, which may work to your advantage.

Why leave the market?
Buyer and home seller advice: whether a buyer or seller, we move for two reasons: love or money. If your heart isn’t in it or you can’t make the numbers work – this isn’t your market. If you are a seller, your home is where the market is so there is not much you can do. If you are a buyer the location you are looking in may not be your market, but the one next door could be a head-turner.

Real Estate Guide: Housing Predictions for 2024

Mortgage predictions for 2023 weren’t quite accurate in that they were reported to fall somewhere between 5% and 6%.  The forecast for spring of 2024 is that they are predicted to drop back down to start with a six again. 

Home buyer advice:  If mortgage interest rates start with a six – it is gonna be a hot spring. Buyers who are sitting on the fence are going to get off of it which is going to increase demand. The buyer’s dollar will go further with an interest rate drop, but an increase in home prices is going to offset that.  I think the cost differential to buy now and refinance later might make sense because even the downpayment expense with a home price increase could be significantly more than the cost to refinance a home.  That’s my two cents.

Are you looking for more data on the Austin real estate housing market?  See Austin real estate news for November here.