Century 21 Affiliated
Barry Shaw - CENTURY 21 Affiliated - Hudson WI

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It may not feel or look like spring in many areas yet, but as of Monday March 20th, it’s here! So does that mean the spring real estate market officially begins that day as well? Or does it kick off the weekend before or the weekend after since the first day of spring falls on a weekday? None of the above actually.

In fact, the spring market has already begun! Many people in the industry consider January to be the start of the spring real estate market. At least that’s when buyers who plan on buying in the spring often begin their search, and some even end up buying before spring arrives.

But there is truly a seasonal uptick when more sellers tend to list their houses, and more buyers are actively out looking in most areas. But when that officially begins depends on where you’re looking to buy or sell. If you’re in an area where winter weather is still packing a punch, like us here in Western WI for instance, you probably have a few more weeks before it picks up. But in the south, you might already be seeing the activity. So if you’re looking to either buy or sell this spring, check with your local agent for advice on the best time for you to list or start looking.

Pro tip: You’re probably safer just listing your house or starting your home search ASAP at this point, regardless of when the activity typically picks up in your area. Waiting for everyone else to jump into the mix won’t necessarily help your cause if you’re selling or buying, because then you’re just dealing with more competition.

Will This Spring Market Be Different Than the Past Few?
While the spring market is almost always a busier time of year in real estate, the past few years were more hectic than usual. Mortgage rates were at an all-time low, and there weren’t enough houses listed to satisfy the amount of buyers in the market for one.

So if you put your house on the market, it wasn’t uncommon to see a line of buyers and their agents waiting for a chance to see your house, and there was a good chance your house would sell within days and for over asking price. On the other hand, buyers had to be quick to see new listings and make an aggressive offer — and they still weren’t guaranteed their offer would be chosen.

Well, as you’re probably aware of, some things have changed in the real estate market since then… yet, other things haven’t. Here are the key factors that will affect both buyers and sellers this spring:

Mortgage rates are higher. 
This is obviously the biggest change. We went from historically low interest, to rates that are more in line with where they tend to be historically. They’re not necessarily “high,” but they’re higher than they had been for some time, which affects how buyers feel, and how much they can actually afford to pay for a house.

Houses are taking longer to sell in some areas and price ranges. 
It’s not like houses aren’t selling, but it may take more time to get offers and go under contract with a buyer. It depends a lot upon your price range and area, so you might find that you can get your house sold quickly and for over asking with multiple offers still, but in some areas your house may take some time to sell and you won’t get over asking price for it. Your local agent can give you insight into which is more likely to happen with your house.

Inventory is still low. 
Again, this depends upon where you live and the price range you’re selling or buying in, but overall inventory hasn’t grown considerably. There are still too few houses for the number of buyers who want to buy one.

Buyer demand is still pretty high. 
Despite rates having gone up, there are many buyers who are glad to finally be able to look for a house and not have to contend with as many other buyers as they would have over the past few years.

Buyers are more cautious. Even though buyer demand is still high, and there aren’t that many houses to go around, buyers are being more deliberate and cautious. They won’t necessarily make offers as high as they had been, and they might not be willing to waive contingencies like a home inspection.

The spring real estate market has probably already begun (even as far back as January) to some degree in your local market, but it’s surely about to ramp up in the next few weeks with the official arrival of spring.

This spring market will probably not be quite like the past few since mortgage rates have risen, causing houses in some areas to take longer to sell. That said, inventory is still low, and buyer demand is still high.

So, if you’re planning to sell your house:
Make sure it shows as nicely as possible.
Price it appropriately against the competition.
Make it easy for buyers to get in and see.
Be flexible on your price and terms when negotiating. (Buyers may not be willing to pay the prices they were paying, or forgo contingencies as they were in the past few years).

If you’re looking to buy a house:
Take advantage of less competition from other buyers than there was over the past couple of years.
Don’t hesitate when you see a house you like; if you like it, someone else likely will too. Make a strong offer before anyone else does.
Keep eye on rates and lock in your rate if it goes down a decent amount.

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What my clients are saying  

Barry is the best in the business! He exceeds expectations and truly cares about the people he is working with! Thanks Barry, we look forward to working with you again.


~ Kelli Joy

"Great experience would use Barry again. All worked out well. Excellent experience."


~ Collette

First time home buyer, and he was great to work with! I will definitely be using Barry in the future! Best guy in the business!


~ Jon K.

"Pleasure to work with. Answered all of our questions and always responded promptly. Made his schedule flexible to fit ours. Overall great experience."


~ Brad

"Barry helped my husband and I buy our first house. A lot of people advised me when I started talking about the home buying process that it was very stressful and time consuming. Yes, it felt a little stressful but I have to say buying our first house was a smooth transaction. Barry was excellent with communication. I prefer using my email since I don't always have my cell phone on me. Barry was very quick at replying to all my emails and was always very polite. Barry was also very professional when setting up showings for us, showing the house and at closing. When we received a counter offer on the house from the owner I wasn't sure how to go about it. Barry walked me through all possible options. The options he gave with his opinions felt trustworthy (he wasn't just trying to make the sell). I also really liked that Barry was laid back. He has a calm and friendly demeanor, made him a pleasure to work with!"


~ Katarina

I chose to work with Barry because he was recommended by a good friend. Barry was amazing. The process went smoothly because he constantly kept us up to date on EVERYTHING. I have already recommended Barry to a few people.


~ Liz

I was purchasing this home from out of state and Barry carefully chose a beautiful home for me and my price range.He carefully listened and answered all questions and was always available.I would highly recommend him!This was the perfect place to come home to.


~ Mike

This realtor is more on selling your home and investing his time and money into it. He works with you and is very respectable of your home. I have not found another realtor that cares about you selling your home instead of how much money they make. He is the best by far!! I have also heard from others how nice this person is and how helpful he is; who goes out of his way to please!


~ KT N

Barry was wonderful to work with, especially as I was a first-time home buyer and being completely novice with the home buying process. From working with me on affordable homes and proffering advice, and knowing when it was right to delegate concerns as appropriate, Barry definitely knew my needs and interests in a home. His approach is no-nonsense. Definitely not pushy. On the contrary -- On the day I saw the home of my dreams, there were still a couple homes on the list to check out and he had asked me if I was sure I didnt want to see them. I'd said no, but it was fantastic he encouraged me to try one or two other homes. But even my mum has an old adage - when the right house is found, one knows straightaway that is the one. And he was very helpful for a post-sale issue too. Am most grateful! And he's right - living in Wisconsin is fantastic. Barry is highly recommended - again, much thanks!


~ David

If you are looking for a new home Barry Shaw is your guy. He is excellent! He found us the home of our dreams and helped us with all of our questions through closing. Thank you Barry!!


~ Robb

Barry understands all the emotions you go through when buying/selling your home. He responded to emails quickly. He set up home showings quickly for my husband and I to view. His negotiation skills are excellent. I highly recommend Barry to sell your house or find the house you always wanted! He found the perfect house for my family.


~ Jennifer

It was very enjoyable to have Barry show us houses in Prescott,WI. and surrounding areas. He was responsive in showing us the homes we were interested in, with no pressure. He was very helpful.


~ MC

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