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Expert Tips for Navigating the Real Estate Market

Our mission at Yoder Real Estate is to be your best resource for real estate advice. Whether you are a buyer, seller, or investor, our team of professionals can answer any questions you might have about real estate. Subscribe to this blog to get the latest news on local market trends and receive expert tips for buying or selling a home.

What Needs to Be Done to Your Home Before You List It?


You should focus on a few specific tasks when getting your home ready for the market if you want to sell it quickly and for top dollar.

Call me at (616) 942-2449 for a FREE home buying or selling consultation

If you’re thinking of putting your home on the market, there is a short list of important things you need to do to it first. These strategies will allow you to sell your home for the highest price, in the shortest amount of time, and with the least amount of hassle. 

First: declutter, declutter, declutter. The homes that cause a person to ask “Does someone actually live here?” are the ones that sell fast. Don’t let the prospect of decluttering freak you out. It’s not a matter of completely emptying your home—it’s a matter of simply depersonalizing it. Your home should look like something the buyer can envision themselves living in. Use your garage or a storage facility to store the items you don’t have room for. You can also give away what you don’t need to the Goodwill or hold a garage sale.
Decluttering is 70% of the home listing preparation equation.
Second, have a professional market prep consultation. This means meeting with either a home staging expert or someone who understands what needs to be done to each room in terms of furniture placement, paint, carpet, and miscellaneous or minor repairs. The idea here is to take what you have and make the most out of it. This should be done before you take any photographs or have any showings. 

Third, order a home inspection. If you get your home inspected before you put it on the market, you’ll be able to take care of any repairs that aren’t visible to the naked eye. Let’s face it—if you’ve lived in your home for more than 10 years, there are likely things going on that you’re not aware of. Without having your home inspected in advance, a surprise repair will cost you more money once the buyer is involved. 

Lastly, do some basic landscaping. Plant some nice plants out front, clean up the entryway, paint the door, and make everything else crisp and clean. This is the first picture buyers get when they pull up to your house, and first impressions are critical. 

If you have any questions about what to do to your home before putting it on the market or you have another real estate topic on your mind you’d like to chat about, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d love to speak with you!

What’s the Latest From Our Grand Rapids Market?


As we enter August 2017, it’s a seller’s market - but interest rates are keeping homes affordable for buyers.

Call me at (616) 942-2449 for a FREE home buying or selling consultation

What do the latest numbers say about our Grand Rapids market as we enter August?  

First, mortgage interest rates stayed steady at 4.6%. Remember—this is 3.5% lower than the 30-year average. This makes homes way more affordable for buyers. If interest rates rise by just 1%, that can impact your payment by hundreds of dollars—don’t lose sight of that. 

What else is different? Let’s look at some other numbers from this past July and see how they stack up compared to where we were at this point two years ago. 

The median sales price currently stands at $190,000, which is an increase of 23% from July 2015. 

Inventory sits at 3,370 active listings, which is down 37%. 

The average days on market is 24 days, which is a decrease of 34%.

These numbers add up to a very strong seller’s market. Homes are selling quickly out there—some in less than 24 hours with multiple offers being thrown at them. 
Grand Rapids is in a strong seller’s market.
Lastly, our month’s supply of inventory is down 48% to just 1.5 months, which means that’s all it would take to sell those 3,370 active listings if no other new homes came on the market. 

If you have any questions about our market or are thinking of buying or selling a home, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d love to talk with you.

Average 30-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgages


Median Sales Price

Properties for Sale


Average Number of Days on The Market


Months Supply of Inventory


It's a Seller's Market, so Where Are All the Listings?


We’re in a seller’s market, but we aren’t seeing any listings. There are a couple reasons why that is.

Call me at (616) 942-2449 for a FREE home buying or selling consultation

It’s a seller’s market and people are aware that now is a great time to sell their homes, so why aren’t we seeing more listings? There are three distinct reasons.
  1. Lack of inventory. Sellers are wanting to sell their homes, so they go out and look on the MLS for homes to purchase. But they aren’t seeing a lot of options. They don’t want to get stuck and be homeless. 
  2. Lending guidelines have tightened up. When sellers are trying to move up, lenders are seeing a higher debt-to-income ratio that may have been left over from the housing crash and they see it as a challenge.
  3. A lot of folks are trying to “time the market.” They want to get a little more equity out of their current home so they want to wait so they have more to bring to the table for their next purchase. The problem with that is both homes are going up in value at the same time, so you’re not really gaining anything by waiting. Additionally, interest rates are also rising which if you wait and they go up, your monthly payment will be larger as well.
How can we navigate through this market without getting stuck? One thing to look at is off-market listings, which are generally comprised of folks who are getting their homes ready for the market. Ask your Realtor for those listings so you can see what’s going to come on the market when you’re ready to sell.
To navigate the market without getting stuck, try looking at off-market listings.
Another option is to look at homes that haven’t been listed on the open MLS. Generally these homeowners want their homes on the market but aren’t open to showings due to certain situations arising, and are only interested in ready, willing, and able buyers. If you’d like access to these listings or are looking for a comprehensive market analysis, give us a call.

If you have any other questions about this topic or you’re looking to buy or sell your home, give us a call or shoot us an email. We’d be happy to help!