Selling a Home in Today’s Market

Selling a longtime family home so you can move into an independent living retirement community can be a challenge under the best of circumstances. Real estate markets are highly localized and timing the market to get the best possible price can be tricky. With the assistance of qualified real estate sales professionals, however, reviewing market trends and local sales statistics can help you make informed decisions. 

For example, according to the Oklahoma City Multiple Listing Service (OKCMLS), the average price of homes sold was $215,990 in the month of April. Up from $204,609 in April of 2019. OKCMLS also reports that the average days on market is 41 as compared to 51 days on market this time last year. Zillow considers the Oklahoma City real estate market to be “very hot,” making it a good time to sell.

But will it stay that way?

It’s hard to say. As of this writing, Oklahoma City’s real estate market, like other cities around the country, has been greatly influenced by COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus). COVID-19 has spurred low interest rates that are ideal for individuals who require home loans. This has caused many real estate markets, particularly those in moderate to low price ranges, to boom.

That trend isn’t likely to continue forever, however, as markets fluctuate based on overall local and global economic conditions. There is also the question as to whether mature homeowners feel that it’s safe or wise for them to make a move due to health concerns surrounding the current pandemic. Older adults who are more at risk may choose to wait until the pandemic has run its course before taking on a residential change. Some retirees, however, are electing to relocate sooner than later, seeking to live in community settings where healthcare and personal care needs can be met should the pandemic cause additional concerns later in the year. 

What You Need to Know About Selling Your Home

The good news is that you have options. Whether you elect to take advantage of today’s hot real estate market or wait until the COVID-19 situation further stabilizes, there are a few things you will want to better understand, including the most common ways in which to sell a home. 

4 Ways to Sell Your Home in Today’s Market

1. Professional full service real estate agents

While there have been changes in the field, hiring an experienced and knowledgeable real estate agent is still the most common option for most individuals and families. A full service agent will take care of:

  • Helping you price the home accurately
  • Marketing and advertising
  • Pre-qualifying and coordinating showings with prospective buyers
  • Collaboration with other agents when necessary
  • Presenting offers and helping you evaluate them
  • Negotiating terms with the buyer
  • Overseeing inspections and appraisals
  • Coordinating with title companies 
  • Making sure the sale goes through as planned

The typical real estate option operates on a commission-based model. The commission is usually around six percent of the final sales price of the home. As such, if a home sells for $200,000, the brokerage fee would be $12,000. The commission is paid at closing. 

2. Benefits and Disadvantages of a Full Service Real Estate Professional

Benefits and Disadvantages of a Full Service Real Estate Professional. 

Many longtime homeowners who are selling their family home prefer this type of arrangement because they have representation and the guidance of professionals who understand current market trends and can help them navigate an otherwise very complex transaction. In fact, there are now a number of agents with specialized training in helping people downsize and make late-life moves.  These Certified Senior Housing Professionals (CSHP) often provide comprehensive support beyond that of the list above including space planning, move management, estate liquidation, and more. 

Other benefits of using a full service agent or Certified Senior Housing Professional may include comprehensive support and consultation during the marketing, sales, and closing processes, as well as access to marketing tools and the multiple listing service (complete database of interested buyers). 

While some homeowners may see paying a commission as a disadvantage of hiring a real estate agent, when hiring an effective agent, the end result should be a net gain to the home seller and more importantly, assurance of a smooth relocation experience. 

3. Limited Service Brokerages

Some real estate brokerages provide limited services offered for a discounted fee. These companies often offer to include your home listing in the local multiple listing service, but do not provide fiduciary services such as full service brokerages. The services offered by limited service brokers vary, so it is important to read the contract carefully and understand the limitations of their services. 

Benefits and Disadvantages of a Limited Service Brokerage

One benefit of the limited service option is the potential of cost savings. A potential challenge, however, is that while they may provide access to the local multiple listing service, they often do not offer competitive compensation to area brokers, therefore some traditional brokerages may not cooperate, thereby limiting the exposure to your home. Safety can be another challenge since many limited service brokers do not show the property and require the seller to meet potential buyers.

4. iBuyers

Online companies that either purchase or facilitate the purchase of a home direct from the owner are sometimes referred to as iBuyers. These sales are typically as-is and offers are generally made based on computer generated sales data. iBuyer programs are not available in every market, however, they are becoming increasingly popular. The entire transaction is typically completed online and sales prices are generally well below market value as compared to traditional sales. 

Advantages and Disadvantages of iBuyers

The simplicity of the marketing and sales process is generally the appeal of selling through an iBuyer program. However, offers generated by iBuyer programs are typically less than offers generated on the open market. For those who are selling a home with deferred maintenance or who have a short timeframe in which to get the home sold and closed, the iBuyer method may be a useful option in markets where available. 

5. For Sale By Owner (FSBO)

Selling a home by owners means marketing, showing, negotiating, contracting, and closing on the home without the support of an agent or representative. Sometimes hiring a real estate attorney to draw up contracts and transfer deeds can be a substitute for a real estate broker who would handle such details. 

Benefits and Disadvantages of Selling Your Home Yourself

In some cases, someone you know (i.e. friend, neighbor, relative) may be prepared to purchase your home. If you feel comfortable negotiating the terms and ensuring all the necessary legal paperwork is done to facilitate the sale, this can be a cost saving option. When offering your home to the general public, however, safety should be a prime consideration. Furthermore, purchasers interested in buying a home “buy-owner” often request owner-carry and lease-to-own financing options. 

Reviewing Senior Living Options

While precautions being taken to limit the spread of the Coronavirus might make selling a home more difficult in some markets, other markets are surprisingly unaffected. According to local real estate expert and Certified Senior Housing Professional, Nikki Buckelew of Buckelew Realty Group with Keller Williams, the Oklahoma City real estate market is moving. “Our housing inventory is low and well-priced homes are selling in only a few days in select areas. On average, we have a contract on most homes within 30-40 days at the most.” 

“Many sellers are receiving multiple competing offers as buyers try to lock in historically low mortgage interest rates before the tide turns”, said Shannon Stiger, listing manager for Buckelew Realty Group. The current real estate climate, despite COVID-19 pandemic concerns, can be an advantage for longtime homeowners wanting to downsize and move to a supportive living community such as a continuing care or life plan community CCRC.

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If you are considering your residential options, researching 55+ senior living apartments, or think a move may be in your future, be sure to visit Concordia Life Plan Community located in Northwest Oklahoma City. Providing everything from independent living to assisted living and memory care for active and community-minded senior adults. At Concordia, we provide a full continuum of care along with amenities and services to support your well-being and ensure you live your best life. Contact us today to learn more!

Retirement & Planning