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Expect a Busy Spring on the Real Estate Front

Research shows May and June are the busiest months for home sales. If you plan to buy or sell in 2019, here’s what the market experts are predicting:

  1. Interest rates will edge up a little higher. For many buyers, this will not be a deciding factor, but for those on the edge, it may force them to lower their expectations or wait to buy.
  2. Buyers will have more inventory to choose from than they did in 2018, but homes may take longer to sell, and sellers may not get multiple offers.
  3. Millennials are expected to be the largest group of buyers, accounting for 45% of mortgages. Many, but not all, will be first time home buyers. Expect this group to start their home search online. If you are selling a home, the online presence (high quality photos or a video tour) will be very important. They may also prefer homes in walkable neighborhoods.
  4. Home prices last year increased faster than incomes. This, combined with the interest rate increase, means affordability will remain an issue, especially for first time home buyers. They may need to look at smaller homes, townhouses, or manufactured housing.
  5. The new tax laws related to real estate may impact some buy/sell decisions for those with bigger mortgages and people living in states with high tax rates.

Buying or selling a home can be an exciting time for many people. Understand that the process can take a little time. Buyers may not find a home they love on their first outing, while sellers may expect their beloved home to prompt an immediate offer only to wait for weeks or months to get that offer. Once the buyers offer has been made and accepted, the typical time to closing is around 30 days (though this can sometimes run shorter or longer).

If you have bought or sold a home before, you likely know that a real estate attorney will be involved in the closing transaction. This attorney will work to ensure the property being sold does not have any liens or encumbrances that might prevent the sale. A mortgage lender will not typically fund a loan unless the title is clear. Liens may include such things as:

• First or second mortgages
• Legal judgments against the homeowner(s)
• Tax liens
• Liens for unpaid HOA dues
• Mechanic liens for unpaid work

The attorney’s property search may also uncover border or easement disputes or land condemnation proceedings that would interrupt the sale. Some of these things are resolved at the time of closing (for example, liens are paid); others may require additional investigation or resolution outside the closing process. Once clear title is verified, the attorney will work with the title insurance company to provide appropriate documentation to the lender, coordinate with all parties, handle documentation for the closing, and, finally, complete the transaction by collecting and disbursing funds and recording the sale of property with the county.

If you are planning a real estate transaction and need a closing attorney, contact the real estate attorneys at Brinkley Walser Stoner to learn more.