Spring is a time when many people think about buying or selling a home, as it’s typically considered a peak real estate season in San Antonio and across the United States.
Whether you are a buyer or a seller, you may be wondering how you can get ahead and successfully understand and navigate the housing market. Doing your homework about the market is a necessary first step, and insights from real estate agents can help.
Study the market to set your goals
No matter how the market is shifting, one of the most important tips for navigating it is to study it and not just broadly in San Antonio, but in your target neighborhood and home niche. As a seller, a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA or comps) can help you see what similar homes sold for in recent days or weeks.
As a buyer, the same can be done researching potential homes that meet all of the criteria you’re targeting to see how much home you can afford and to understand how long it might take to get there. Zillow reported in April 2023, that 20 days was the median number to get to pending status, but that could shift for cash buyers or other circumstances where concessions or last-minute repairs come in.
Be ready for anything
Agents in the South Central area were divided at the beginning of 2023 about whether the market would be balanced or in favor of buyers or sellers in 2023. Among the real estate agents polled recentlyin the region, 41 percent considered the market balanced, while 32 percent said sellers could have an advantage. Without a clear answer, buyers and sellers should both be ready to face competition in the market.
Watch for concessions
If the market turns in buyers’ favor, that could mean concessions for sellers such as accepting a lower price or offering repairs or other credits. This is another area where there’s no clear prediction, as agents said that 50 percent of transactions included a seller concession in spring 2023.
However, in markets where the average home price is under $250,000 (and in San Antonio the median is at $265,000 as of April 2023), 66 percent of agents reported a sellers’ market. Another factor to consider is that if you need to sell your San Antonio home, you’ll want to work with your agent to develop the best strategy. For example knowing the types of concessions that you are willing to accept to avoid a lengthy negotiation process.
Expect the list price to shift
While San Antonio home prices rose slightly over the last year, more than half of the homes sold are coming in at under the list price. As Zillow reports, 56 percent of homes were selling for under the list price, and only 19 percent were selling for over the list price as of the end of March 2023.
Sellers and buyers may need to be flexible
Even with the average cost of homes rising slightly over the last year, 54 percent of real estate agents said sellers are a bit less confident about their ability to sell quickly and for a good price than they were in late 2022.
With increased inflation and the talk of a recession by July 2023, sellers and buyers may need to change their expectations about how much they’ll get for their homes or how much they can afford. Honestly assessing finances and knowing their limits can help buyers and sellers make informed decisions about what they can accept to plan for their future real estate goals.
Narrow your search (for an agent or a house)
With more than 11,000 active real estate agents in San Antonio it can be hard to know where to begin finding one if you don’t already know a real estate agent who you can trust. Whether you are a buyer or a seller, to help narrow your search, you can start by tapping into your network. Navigating the housing market will be easier if you are working with someone who is an expert in the neighborhood you’d like to live in.
If you are starting your house search on your own, the same can apply by asking among your network about houses for sale. Beyond that, using a site which curates listings, and allows you to search by specific parameters, and armed with a strong list of your must-haves in a house, can help you get an idea of your dream home faster.
There’s no doubt that the internet is a necessary part of buying or selling a home in 2023. But going digital means more than searching for a home or an agent, it also is being open to viewing listings virtually to save time. That way you’ll see homes in person only if you are truly interested. For sellers, considering the option of selling a home for cash using an iBuyer site can be a route to sell quickly.
One of the best strategies to navigate the housing market as a buyer or seller is to make a list of your must haves and to know your budget, whether that’s to buy or how much you’ll take in from selling. Studying the market and also working with a trusted agent can then help you stay on top of the market and understand which homes are the best fit and when is the ideal time to start looking or putting your home on the market. These tips apply in almost any type of market and as everyone faces rising inflation and a potential recession, there’s no doubt that the real estate market will shift.