Is the Housing Market Finally Cooling? A Guide to Home Buying This Winter

nyone who has bought a house last year (or tried to) knows how hot the market has been. But as we head into 2022, the housing market may — finally — be starting to cool.

Let’s recap, briefly, how we got here.

A record-low supply of homes for sale and near record-low mortgage rates have propelled U.S. homes prices to an all-time high. The median sales price of a single-family existing home jumped about 23% in the third quarter of 2021, hitting $363,700, according to the National Association of Realtors’ quarterly report. Those rising home prices forced buyers to duke it out for a limited number of homes.

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5 Signs It’s Time to Break up With Your Real Estate Agent

Your real estate agent can’t make more housing supply appear out of thin air or double the value of your home overnight. But they should make you feel supported and well represented in a crazy market. If not, it may be time to cut ties.

This is not a decision to make lightly, but if you do you certainly have no shortage of options. As of October, the National Association of Realtors, the real estate’s largest trade group, had 1,564,547 members — a 7% jump from the end of 2020. And many more real estate agents aren’t NAR members.

With all the competition, real estate agents are fighting tooth and nail for clients. “It’s a dog-eat-dog industry,” says Jason Gelios, an agent with Community Choice Realty in Southeast Michigan. Considering that you have plenty of agents to choose from, there’s no reason to stay with your agent if you’re not happy with their service.

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How to Win in a Red-Hot Housing Market

Laura Gross knew that she’d be facing fierce competition this spring when she was getting ready to bid on a four-bedroom house in Troy, Mich., a suburb of Detroit. So she pulled out all the stops: She waived an appraisal contingency, offered $30,000 above the home’s $285,000 list price, wrote a letter expressing why she loved the home (it reminded her of the house she grew up in a mile away), and offered the seller a free 60-day rent-back.

The seller chose Gross’s offer over seven others. “I knew I had to offer above list price and waive con­tingencies to even have my offer considered in this market,” says Gross, an accounting manager at a manufacturing company.

Gross is just one in a tsunami of house hunters who have flooded the housing market since the coronavirus pandemic began. She experienced firsthand how tough today’s housing market is for buyers.

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Half of Homes Are Selling for Over Asking Price. Here’s How to Decide What to Bid

Home prices have always been negotiable. Usually, that has meant buyers pushing sellers below their asking price. But lately, in a nation marked by a record-low supply of homes for sale, the opposite has been happening.

Consider: half of U.S. homes sold for more than their list price during the four-week period ending May 16, according to Redfin. That marks a record high since 2012, when the brokerage began tracking.

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Selling Your Home in a Seller’s Market

By the time they got the last offer, Quinn and Daryn Shapurji had received 54 bids on their four-bedroom, single-family house in Fishers, Ind., in just three days. Ms. Shapurji said they felt totally overwhelmed — and a bit melancholy.

“We felt bad that we had to say no to so many people, because we got a lot of beautiful letters from buyers saying how much they loved our house and why they wanted to live in the area,” said Ms. Shapurji, 32, a closing coordinator for a home builder. “Some buyers had already struck out on five or six homes.”

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Can the Housing Market Get Any Hotter? A Guide to Home Buying This Spring

The words “spring home buying season” carry a very different meaning this year than they did last year.

Normally spring is the hottest time of year for home sales — more buyers surface when the warmer weather emerges and families prefer to move before the next school year begins. Last year’s spring market, though, was an anomaly. The coronavirus crisis ground the housing market to a halt in mid-March, as states locked down and house hunters put their home search on ice while following stay-at-home orders.

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How Homebuyers Can Win a Bidding War

If you’re buying a home right now, you might find the competition is stiff: More than 60 percent of homes faced a bidding war, a recent Redfin report found, thanks to low mortgage rates and scarce inventory.

Your offer will need to rise to the top. But how? We asked some real estate pros how to make an offer that will win a bidding war.

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Why This Winter Should Be One of the Best Ever for Home Sales

The temperature may be going down as we inch closer to winter, but home prices in the U.S. are still heating up — and there are few signs of cooling.

Normally, home sales peak in the summer and slow once kids start returning to school. That was not the case this year.

In the third quarter of 2020, median single-family home prices rose in all 181 metropolitan areas tracked by the National Association of Realtors. Of those, 117 saw double-digit price growth from a year earlier. Meanwhile, the median sales price of an existing home sold in October 2020 hit $313,000, up from $271,100 in October 2019 and $310,600 in August, according to NAR.

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Where Home Prices Are Heading in the Age of Coronavirus

Baltimore realtor Nicole Callender had five homes scheduled to hit the market April 1. Then the coronavirus struck and all of her clients decided to postpone. Now with home sales picking back up in the last two weeks, Callender is urging sellers to move forward, betting that life — and her city’s real estate market — will soon be back to normal.

“I have a listing coming up in Locust Point, which is a very desirable location,” says Callender, who hopes the house will soon fetch the $485,000 asking price. “The seller was on the fence…but when I sat down with them and showed them how quickly homes are selling in the city, they decided they want to list their home now to avoid missing out on a hot market.”

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6 Things You’ll Love—and Hate—About Buying a Home This Spring

Welcome to the best—and worst—time to buy a home: spring! Yes, it’s peak home-buying season. However, it’s no bed of roses.

Knowing what to expect is half the battle, and can help you use these highs and lows to your advantage!

So consider this an essential prep course. Ready to dive into the best of times and the worst of times for home buying?

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