With a year of the COVID-19 pandemic behind us, stay-at-home restrictions are finally starting to soften, mask orders are decreasing across the country, and vaccinations are heating up state by state.
While 2020 might’ve been a year of financial hardships, there’s plenty of opportunity to make up for any losses in 2021, especially if you’re a homeowner eager to sell, as sellers are primed to take advantage of the housing market and win big in the coming months!
COVID-19 sparked the seller’s market: high buyer demand & low inventory
As the whole world reeled at the start of the pandemic, real estate agents were quick to adapt — developing new digital closing technology and virtual tours that make the home buying and selling process doable from home!
However, despite the assurances of selling safely, sellers were still hesitant, which is completely understandable as the home selling process normally includes plenty of foot traffic in and out of the home — something not ideal when owners fear bringing a deadly virus into their family home.
So did buyers have this same hesitance? In actuality, buyers entered the market in full force in 2020 — perhaps more so than before the pandemic’s beginning, and not without reason, as buyers were given unprecedented incentives to jump head first into the market.
As the world grappled with remote work and school, homeowner needs shifted. Buyers might have initially wanted to steer clear of the virus and postpone their real estate plans, but the pressure to provide more space for their family and better work-from-home and school-from-home environments won out.
In addition, now that commuting into work was no longer an issue, buyers sought out cheaper accommodation outside of larger cities.
But perhaps the most influential incentive driving buyers to the market is the low mortgage rates, which reached an all-time low back in December. While these rates are slowly rising, they’re still low in comparison to normal market rates, and buyers are now finding the process more affordable.
So as buyers flocked to the market, sellers continued to press pause on their real estate plans. This led to extremely high demand and extremely low inventory. In fact, according to HomeLight’s Spring 2021 survey, 97% of real estate agents would describe their local market conditions as a seller’s market.
Bidding wars are increasing across the country and home prices are rising, according to top real estate agents. If you put your home on the market now, you’ll have buyers knocking on your door in no time!
What renovations buyers want to see
While the seller’s market almost guarantees you’ll sell for a favorable price, small renovation projects will only increase your sale price and give you some extra money in your pocket. Buyer needs have shifted dramatically during the pandemic, so your main focus should now be spent in the kitchen and outdoor areas.
Top kitchen amenities, according to top real estate agents, include extra bar seating, large kitchen islands, storage space, and wine fridges. Outside, focus on entertainment-focused amenities, including fire pits, built-in grills, outdoor lights, and comfortable outdoor furnishings. Beware of hefty investments — like installing an in-ground pool or adding a home office — as these investments may not offer the same return as others.
So long as you find an experienced, professional realtor to have on your side, you’ll have no problem selling — especially under the current market conditions, so don’t postpone and contact a real estate agent today!