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market_predictionsAs a real estate agent, people look to you for all of the answers about what’s happening in the market. While you’re well versed in all matters real estate, you don’t have a crystal ball that can predict the future. Since many potential clients ask you to share your knowledge about the future of the real estate industry, we reached out to top agents, like yourselves, across the country to see if we could bring together some of the best predictions for 2016. Responses were compiled from thousands of agents to better prepare you for how to answer these five top questions from consumers.

Is it a good time to buy or sell?

Buying or selling a home is a big decision, and there’s a lot to consider. Check out some of the predictions from these top agents about why 2016 is a great time to buy or sell.

  • “With mortgage interest rates finally starting to rise, 2016 may be the last time in the foreseeable future to take advantage of these historically low rates. Now is the time for first time buyers to make their move.” – Dee Allen
  • “The volume of homes on the market has declined – this means there are often more buyers and not enough inventory of homes for sale. If staged well, properly priced, and professionally marketed – it’s possible to get multiple offers and in some cases buyers overbidding the list.” – Michael Bishop
  • “Values are up. There is demand in the market. According to the National Association of REALTORS’ (NAR) Foot Traffic report, there are more buyers out in the market right now than at any other time in the past three years. Buyer demand continues to outpace supply of homes for sale.” – Rick Coco

What should I do if I’m ready to sell?

If you’re working with a client who is ready to sell their home, here are some tips to prepare them for the selling process.

  • “Don’t overprice your home, great choices still exist!” – Millie Gil
  • “Make it shine and stand out from the competition. With inventory being low, in order to get top dollar quickly, a few updates or touches that make the home feel more higher end will yield more in the long run.” – Lisa Revis
  • “Declutter! Also, hire a home stager and listen to what they have to say. The return on investment is worth the cost.” – Kevin Paradis

What should I look for if I’m ready to buy?

The real estate market can be difficult for clients to navigate alone. That’s why they have you. Here’s the best advice we’ve gathered for people ready to start the buying process.

  • “First make sure you are qualified, get your credit in order if needed and find yourself a qualified REALTOR with credentials to prove it. Look for a home that is already existing, one that you would want to come home to, raise a family in or just be proud to own. Make it a dream come true!” –Esther Chambers
  • “Focus on your must-haves and don’t be too picky.” –Janice Tittel
  • “Do it earlier in the year so that you have a larger choice of inventory when people list after the holidays.” –Rebecca Reilly

Should I make any changes in my home before I sell?  What are buyers demanding?

Do your clients need to make a few changes in their homes before they’re ready to sell? While doing so might help them move their home faster, some renovations won’t add much to their bottom line. We asked what real-life buyers are looking for in their dream homes. Out of the hundreds of responses we received, here are some of the top sought-after features from an agent’s perspective.

  • “Buyers and sellers are starting to demand amenities that are energy-efficient, low emission and cost-effective like tankless water heaters, solar panels, Nest-type thermostats, low-water toilets and the like.” – Sue O’Kane
  • “Quiet neighborhood. Good schools and close proximity are a plus. Updates in the kitchen. 2+ baths. A slice of ‘Americana.’” – Michael Bishop
  • “Buyers want open floor plans, hardwood floors and granite countertops. They also prefer a split bedroom plan. The downsizing baby boomers want ranches or at least the master on the main floor.” – Ellen Messerschmidt

What’s happening in the real estate market this year?

It can be hard for homeowners to figure out what’s going on with the real estate market. That’s a big part of why real estate professionals are so crucial in a successful real estate transaction. How do you know if now is the time to buy or sell? Here’s the advice we received about what to expect with market trends in 2016.

  • “I agree with most economists that interest rates, housing prices, and rents will continue to rise in 2016.” – Naomi Selick
  • “I think supply may get closer to demand in 2016 and with interest rates rising, it may slow buyer activity somewhat, but I think it will still be a strong market with prices and inventory beginning to stabilize.” – Karen Disbrow
  • “As more Baby Boomers are able to sell the family home, they will continue to seek new, usually active lifestyle communities as their children leave the nest. Both urban and suburban lifestyle-based communities will become increasingly more popular with these empty nesters as they look beyond their child rearing years and into the future.” –Deborah Siefkin

These are just a small selection of the answers we received in response to these top real estate questions. You can view even more predictions by viewing our blog post.  Feel free to share some of the responses with your current and potential clients, so you can be even more of an expert. Do you have your own real estate predictions? Tweet them to us!

If you’re looking for ways to take your business to the next level, make sure you’re actively positioning yourself in front of new potential local prospects early in the year who are searching for real estate in your area. Follow these 3 easy steps to connect with quality leads in your area and close more deals in 2016!