By Jake Breen
In early April I sent clients a market video that sparked a lot of interest. This video detailed Salt Lake County appreciation rates from April through June. Most locals in Salt Lake know it’s a seasonal market and often we experience a real uptick in sales in the spring and early summer. What most don’t know is how seasonal swings will affect a typical real estate transaction.
During that same period in 2013, the median price in Salt Lake City rose 12%; it added another 4% in 2014. Think about that movement over just 12 weeks and consider statements often heard from potential buyers.
“We are not in a rush.” “We will wait for the right house to come along.” “We’ve seen everything on the market and don’t like any of it so we will wait for something to pop up.”
I suggest that hesitant consumers take a second look. When the market moves at a rapid pace as it did in 2013 and is doing now, the last thing serious buyers should do is wait. Consider a $300K purchase in a hot market like 2013. By the end of the quarter that property was valued at $336K. Of course, this doesn’t include down-payment increases resulting from rising prices nor the impact of rising mortgage rates.
The point is real estate does not operate like most other things we buy yet we tend to act like it does. Furthermore national media and stats quoted in the macro market don’t always paint a true picture of what’s going on locally. A skilled agent is essential in this or any other market. He or she understands price movement and will pinpoint opportunities and pitfalls. The agent will guide you through the real estate process, negotiate price and other variables, represent your best interests and ultimately help you make the best decisions for your goals and circumstances.
As I wrote this post in early April – a little more than 60 days into our 12-week comparison – Salt Lake City’s median price had already jumped another 7.54%. Serious buyers should act. Together with your agent, assess what’s on the market, inspect all properties that match priorities, narrow the selection and make an offer.
Happy house hunting!
JAKE BREEN, MBA, is a managing broker with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Utah Properties in Cottonwood Heights, UT. Visit his website, UtahCribs.com.