Saturday, May 21, 2016

The Housing Forecasts Through The Economic Storm! Team Thayer #realestate #housing #market #forecast #investor #news #oregon

Forecast One BHThe recent economic slowdowns, which include April job growth of only 160,000 and 0.5 percent Q1 GDP growth, seem to have darkened everyone’s view of the economy for the remainder of the year. Despite this, both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have stood their ground on their positive outlook for housing for the remainder of 2016.
The Fannie Mae Economic & Strategic Research (ESR) Group this week further downgraded its forecast for the full year of 2016 down to a 1.7 percent growth rate—from last month’s forecast of 1.9 percent and the 2.2 percent at the beginning of 2016.
While the ESR group believes that the economy will bounce back somewhat during the remainder of the year, with consumer spending as an engine for growth, they don’t think it will be enough to make up for the weak first quarter.
“Consumers and businesses showed caution at the end of the first quarter,” said Fannie Mae Chief Economist Doug Duncan. “Job creation slowed in April and participation in the labor force gave back some of the recent gains. Nevertheless, the uptick in both hours worked and average hourly earnings should boost labor income and help support consumer spending in the current quarter.”
Likewise, in the May 2016 Monthly Outlook released Wednesday, Freddie Mac downwardly revised its forecast for economic growth for the remainder of the year from 2.0 percent down to 1.8 percent. Freddie Mac did say, however, they expect a “strong rebound” in subsequent quarters.
Despite the more pessimistic views about the economy for the rest of 2016, both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac kept positive on the outlook for housing. Freddie Mac stuck to its prediction that 2016 will be the best year for home sales in a decade as near-historically low mortgage rates—averaging 3.7 percent for a 30-year fixed rate at the end of the first quarter and floating between 3.57 and 3.66 percent in April and May—work to offset rapid home price appreciation and tight inventory.

5-18 Freddie Mac Graph
5-18 Freddie Mac Graph  Team ThayerSource: Freddie Mac
“Even with tight inventories and rising house prices, we still forecast 2016 to be the best year for home sales in a decade,” Freddie Mac Chief Economist Sean Becketti said. “The first quarter of 2016 had the second-fastest first-quarter pace of home sales in the past decade, narrowly edging 2015. Home sales typically rise in the spring and summer months so we’re anticipating an acceleration in home sales, which will allow us to surpass 2007's pace by late summer.”
According to Fannie Mae, pending home sales and low mortgage rates are likely to result in a rise in home sales in the near-term.
“Home sales are expected to pick up heading into the spring season amid the backdrop of declining mortgage rates, rising pending home sales and purchase mortgage applications, and continued easing of lending standards on residential mortgage loans,” Duncan said. “Meanwhile, the homeownership rate showed signs of stabilizing during the first quarter of this year, as the relatively high homeownership rates among baby boomers have helped offset low homeownership rates among millennials, many of whom remain on the sidelines due to ongoing affordability issues.”
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A Decline In foreclosures and REO properties nationwide! Team Thayer #foreclosure #reo #realestate #market #housing #news #oregon

jarofcashThe lengthy, sustained nationwide decline in the number of foreclosures and REO properties nationwide in the last five and a half years has been largely responsible for a similar decline in the share of residential home sales that are all-cash transactions, according to data from CoreLogic released Thursday.
The share of home sales that were all cash dropped by 2.5 percentage points in February down to 35.7 percent and have averaged 35.6 percent over the first two months of 2016—the lowest share to start any year since 2008, immediately prior to the crisis.
By comparison, the cash sales share peaked at 46.6 percent in January 2011 and averaged about 25 percent prior to the crisis. CoreLogic estimates that at the rate of decline experienced in February 2016, the cash sales share should return to its “normal” pre-crisis level in the middle of 2018.
“Foreclosure completions have fallen substantially over the past few years across the nation.  This has led to a drop in REO sales,” CoreLogic Chief Economist Frank Nothaft said recently. “Roughly one-half of REO homes are bought for all cash. Thus, the drop in REO has been an important reason for the national decline in the cash share of all sales.”
5-19 Cash Sales GraphAbout 59.2 percent of all REO sales in February were all cash, giving REO the largest cash sales for the month, as historically has been the case. The category with the second-highest cash sales share was resales, with 35.6 percent, followed by short sales with 32.6 percent. Newly constructed homes had a cash sales share of 15.2 percent in February. Though the share of REO transactions that were all cash remained high, REO accounted for only 7.8 percent of all residential home sales in February—about one-third off of its peak of 23.9 percent from January 2011. Resales make up the largest share of total home sales (about 79 percent in February) and therefore have the largest impact on cash sales share.
The state with the highest cash sales share in February was Alabama, with 51.7 percent, followed by Florida with 49.2 percent. The metro area with the highest cash sales share in February was Philadelphia with 54.8 percent, followed by Detroit with 53.4 percent, according to CoreLogic.
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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Distressed Borrowers Keep Their Homes! Team Thayer #realestate #housing #market #economic #news #oregon

Loss Mitigation BH Oregon The gap is growing between the number of foreclosure prevention actions that were home retention actions and the number that were home forfeiture actions, according to FHFA’s February 2016 Foreclosure Prevention Report released Tuesday.
The increased number of home retention actions and the decline in home forfeitures is good news for families and for a housing market that is still in the process of healing nearly eight years after the crash.
According to FHFA, home retention actions outpaced forfeiture actions by nearly a 5 to 1 since the start of the conservatorships in September 2008 through the end of February 2016. During that period, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac completed 3.03 million non-foreclosure solutions that kept families in their homes, which included loan modifications (the most common, at 1.92 million), repayment plans, forbearance plans, charge-offs-in-lieu of foreclosure, and Fannie Mae’s HomeSaver Advance program.
By comparison, during that time, the GSEs completed 644,846 non-foreclosure solutions in which the home was forfeited, including short sales and deeds-in-lieu of foreclosure.
The total of non-foreclosure solutions completed by the GSEs, which includes all home retention and forfeiture actions, was 3.674 million over the seven and a half year period from the start of the conservatorships until February 2016.
The gap has been widening between the two over the last four years. For the full year of 2013, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac completed 341,899 home retention actions compared to 105,829 home forfeiture actions—approximately a 3 to 1 ratio. The next year, the ratio expanded to approximately 5 to 1 (254,054 compared to 53,124). In 2015, the ratio approached 6 to 1 (196,815 compared to 35,251), and for the first two months of 2016, the ratio has been more than 6 to 1 26,836 compared to 4,564).
If home forfeiture actions continue on their monthly pace from the first two months of 2016, there will be only 27,000 of them for the full year 2016.
Also indicative of a healing housing market is the fact that fewer non-foreclosure solutions have been needed since 2013 mostly due to a sustained substantial decline in delinquencies on mortgage loans in the last few years. The total number of non-foreclosure solutions (including forfeitures and retention actions) has gone from 447,728 in 2013 to 307,218 in 2014 to 232,066 in 2015. If the number continues to decline at the rate of the first two months of 2016, there will be 188,000 foreclosure prevention actions for the full year of 2016.
5-10 FHFA FC prevention
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What is the reason for the Foreclosure Decline? Team Thayer #realestate #housing #market #economic #news #oregon

Foreclosure Three BHThe decline in foreclosures and other default-related metrics has been steady over the five-plus years since the monthly total of completed foreclosures peaked at 117,782 in September 2010. March 2016’s total of completed foreclosures (36,000) was nearly 70 percent off of that peak total, according to CoreLogic’s March 2016 National Foreclosure Report released Tuesday.
CoreLogic reported that the national foreclosure inventory rate for March 2016, which was 1.1 percent of all residential mortgages (about 427,000 homes), was the lowest since October 2007. Year-over-year, foreclosure inventory declined by 23 percent (from 1.4 percent and 556,000 homes) and has declined year-over-year now for 53 months in a row.
The number of mortgages in serious delinquency (90 days or more past due or in foreclosure or REO) for March 2016 was 1.2 million, or 3.1 percent—the lowest serious delinquency rate since November 2007.
What is really driving this lengthy, sustained decline in foreclosures? Why have completed foreclosures been falling since peaking nearly six years ago, and why are both foreclosure inventory and serious delinquencies at their lowest levels since before the crisis?
A number of factors have resulted in the decline. A main driver has been tighter underwriting and lending standards that have resulted in higher quality loans being made, and which has in turn resulted in fewer defaults. Home price appreciation, which has also approached or surpassed pre-crisis levels in many areas, has also played a role.
“Delinquencies and foreclosure rates are now at pre-crash levels as the benefits of higher home prices, improving economic fundamentals and years of cautious underwriting are being felt across the country,” said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “Longer term, as loans made since 2009 account for a larger share of outstanding debt, we anticipate that the serious delinquency rate will have further substantive declines.”
Economic improvements have also been partially responsible for the sustained foreclosure decline over the past few years.
“Nationally, the economy added 609,000 jobs during the first three months of 2016, and average weekly earnings grew 2 percent over the past year,” said Dr. Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic. “Job and earnings growth have helped bring serious delinquency rates down in nearly every state. However, serious delinquency rates increased in North Dakota and West Virginia, two states affected by the drop in demand for the fuel each each produces. 

CoreLogic FC graph
While foreclosure inventory and serious delinquencies are below pre-crisis levels, completed foreclosures have a long way to go. March’s total of completed foreclosures represented a decline of 6,000 over-the-year from March 2015’s total of 42,000. By comparison, the monthly pre-crisis average was about 21,000 from 2000 to 2006.
Completed foreclosures represent the true number of homes lost to foreclosure. Since the crisis began in September 2008, approximately 6.2 million homes have been lost to foreclosure. Since Q2 2004 when homeownership rates peaked, approximately 8.2 million homes have been lost.
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The Future Hold for Existing-Home Sales! Team Thayer #realesatate #housing #economic #market #News #oregon

Hand Grabbing House BH
Even with headwinds facing the housing industry such as  Team constrained inventory and home price appreciation outpacing wage growth, the National Association of Realtors (NARbelieves that 2016will be the best year for existing-home sales since the pre-crisis year of 2006.
NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun, in presenting his midyear economic and housing forecast at the 2016 Realtors Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo on Thursday, said that even though existing-home sales were uneven in the first quarter, they are still ahead of last year’s overall annual pace (5.29 million compared to 5.26 million).
Yun also noted other factors that will help make 2016 the best year for existing-home sales in a decade, such as persistently strong demand, especially in the areas that have produced the most jobs, and mortgage rates near a three-year low. Also, since 2010, 14 million jobs have been created.
All this points to a forecast of an annual pace of 5.40 million for existing-home sales in 2016, which would be the best year since 2006 (6.48 million). Yun expects home price appreciation to moderate to between 4 and 5 percent after rising to 6.8 percent last year.
“The housing market continues to expand at a moderate pace in spite of the fact that home prices are rising too fast in some areas because of insufficient supply fueled by the grossly inadequate number of new single-family homes being constructed,” Yun said. “The good news is that pending sales in recent months have remained stable and should support a modest gain in home sales heading into the summer.”
Yun also noted that the absence of first-time buyers in the market was preventing a “full housing recovery,” despite conditions being ripe for homebuying such as strong job growth, soaring rents, and historically low mortgage rates. Factors keeping first-time buyers out include student loan debt, a lack of available starter homes, and prices appreciating amid flat wage growth.
“Spectacularly low mortgage rates mean today’s prospective homebuyers are the luckiest in a generation but the unluckiest in actually becoming homeowners because of the roadblocks hampering their ability to buy,” Yun said.
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) joined Yun onstage to talk about student loan debt and the obstacle it presents for younger would-be homebuyers. Warren cited data published by the NAR last year indicating that the first-time buyer share was at 32 percent, its lowest point in nearly three decades.
“Student debt is crushing young people, it’s hurting the nation's economy and delaying the opportunity for many to buy their first home,” Warren said. “Every monthly payment going to reducing their student debt could instead be money going toward saving for a down payment on a house.”
NAR will release its next existing-home sales on May 20 and the next pending home sales report on May 26
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How Far Has the Economy Fallen in a Month? Team Thayer #realestate #housing #economic ##market #news #oregon

Depleted Money BHIf the May Wall Street Journal economist survey is any indication, the economy is a lot worse off than it was as recently as a month ago.
In the last three surveys conducted by the Journal in which economists are asked when they think theFederal Reserve will next raise the federal funds target rate, the consensus answer has been June. In April’s survey, three-quarters of economists surveyed said they believe that a rate hike by the Fed will be announced at the next FOMC meeting on June 14 and 15.
May’s survey told a different story, however. Less than a third (31 percent) out of the 70 economists surveyed said they believe the rate hike will take place in June; 21 percent said they believe it will take place in July. The same percentage of economists who believe that a June rate hike will take place (31 percent) said they think it will take place in September.
What happened to the economy in the last month? A couple of setbacks—first, in late April, the Bureau of Economic Analysis announced GDP growth for the first quarter was a mere 0.5 percent (in their advance estimate). Then, last week, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that labor market gains fell short of expectations with just 160,000 jobs added during April.
Following the April FOMC meeting, the Committee announced that it would “closely monitor inflation indicators and global economic and financial developments,” to determine when would be the appropriate time to raise the federal funds target rate from its current range of 0.25 percent to 0.5 percent. The minutes from the FOMC meeting will be released on Wednesday, May 18.
Even before the economic turbulence experienced April, Fed Chair Janet Yellen suggested in late March that the Fed was in no hurry to raise rates further after the historic rate hike in December.
“Reflecting global economic and financial developments since December, however, the pace of rate increases is now expected to be somewhat slower.”
Fed Chair Janet Yellen
“A key factor underlying such modest revisions is a judgment that monetary policy remains accommodative and will be adjusted at an appropriately gradual pace to achieve and maintain our dual objectives of maximum employment and 2 percent inflation,” Yellen said. “Reflecting global economic and financial developments since December, however, the pace of rate increases is now expected to be somewhat slower.”
Yellen also noted at that time that “the housing market continues its gradual recovery, and fiscal policy at all levels of government is now modestly boosting economic activity after exerting a considerable drag in recent years.”
Also, in mid-April, Fannie Mae announced it had downwardly revised its forecast and was now expecting only one rate hike by the Fed for the rest of 2016 instead of two.
The Journal noted that it is rare for economists to be divided as to when the Fed would raise rates, with Capital Economics North American Chief Economist Paul Ashworth stating that a June rate hike by the Fed would require “stronger incoming data and no renewed market turmoil.” There will be one more employment situation released by the BLS before the next FOMC meeting.
Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari said in a speech earlier this week that financial markets’ focus is in the wrong place if they are concentrating on what the Fed does with the short-term interest rates.
“Given all the attention market participants pay to every FOMC statement, one would think the Fed could control a lot,” Kashkari said. “But the truth is that central banks can’t influence many of the things that really matter to the long-term well-being of a society. We can’t influence trend productivity growth. We can’t influence competitiveness. We can’t influence educational performance.”
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Monday, May 16, 2016

There Is A New Way to Qualify for an Investor On Single Family Homes. #realestate #housing #news #oregon

Money Jar BH
In order to achieve lower default rates on single-family rental investor loans, many single-family rental originators have enhanced their underwriting criteria and are now qualifying borrowers for SFR investor loans based on property income rather than personal income, according to research fromMorningstar Credit Ratings.

The traditional way to underwrite single-family, single-property investor loans has been to do them as residential instead of commercial loans. Borrowers typically include information on projected rental income from the property and add a portion of this to their personal income; however, lenders of residential investor loans commonly qualify borrowers for loans based on the borrower’s personal income and credit instead of whether or not the projected rental income from the property can cover the debt service.
One of the main factors that prompted lenders to start focusing on property income when considering approval for a residential investor loan is the lower default rates on properties where the income from the rent more than covers the debt. Research from Morningstar found lower-than-average default rates among investor loans where the property income is greater than 1.2 times the debt service.
5-12 Morningstar“This approach makes sense: borrowers should be less likely to default if a property generates enough rent to cover debt obligations and are more likely to default if the debt service exceeds the rent,”wrote Morningstar Credit Ratings RMBS Managing Directors Brian Grow and Becky Cao. “It is common practice for commercial lenders to look at debt service coverage ratios as a key driver of default, and it seems logical to apply this approach to single-property investor loans.”
Morningstar examined approximately 900,000 nonagency investor property loans originated from 2002 to 2007 in order to determine the how debt service coverage affects default rates (using regional rent estimates from RentRange to individual investor properties in the CoreLogic In. nonagency loan-level data).

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ver debt obligations,” Grow and Cao wrote.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Can the Federal Reserve Influence the Economy? Team Thayer #realestate #housing #market #news #oregon

Federal Reserve BHThe weak April jobs report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics last week has fueled speculation that a rate hike by the Fed in June is now off the table. But according to the president of one Fed bank, financial markets’ focus is in the wrong place if they are concentrating on what the Fed does with the short-term interest rates.
Neel Kashkari, president of the Minneapolis Fed since November, has mostly focused on an initiative to end “too big to fail” since he took his post. On Monday, Kashkari spoke at the Economic Club of Minnesota and addressed monetary policy for the first time in his six months as president of the Minneapolis Fed.
Kashkari said he believes the “current accommodative policy stance (keeping the federal funds target range at 0.25 to 0.5 percent) is appropriate” given the lack of notable price and wage pressures and the possibility of drawing more people back into the labor market. He also stated, however, “I think market participants are too focused on the Fed, and I am reluctant to draw even more attention to short-term monetary policy decisions, when attention should be focused on solutions to longer-term issues.”
“But the truth is that central banks can’t influence many of the things that really matter to the long-term well-being of a society.”
Neel Kashkari, Minneapolis Fed President
Kashkari compared the market’s preoccupation with “every short-term move the Fed might make” to the Summer of the Shark in 2001, when on the surface it seemed that sharks were biting people more than usual. This prompted television crews to camp out at beaches waiting to catch the next bite on film. There was widespread speculation as to what caused the seemingly higher number of shark attacks, but in the end, it turned out that they were not biting people any more than usual; it was just a slow news summer
“Given all the attention market participants pay to every FOMC statement, one would think the Fed could control a lot,” Kashkari said. “But the truth is that central banks can’t influence many of the things that really matter to the long-term well-being of a society. We can’t influence trend productivity growth. We can’t influence competitiveness. We can’t influence educational performance.”
Kashkari reminded the audience that central banks can “really do only three things”:
  • Create a long-term stable monetary environment
  • Respond to an economic crisis
  • Influence short-term economic performance
Kashkari noted that the legislative and executive branches of the government have a great deal of influence on the long-term trajectory of the economy, and that Congress determines how much public money is dedicated to educating the workforce. He noted, however, that despite the Fed’s lack of influence on the economy’s long-term trajectory, market participants seem to be focusing on the Fed and what move it will make next as far as interest rates. He speculated that the reason people are paying more attention to the Fed is because of the Fed’s increased transparency and because of fewer policy actions by Congress and the executive branch due to a lack of political consensus in Washington; hence, the “slow news summer” in the shark comparison.
“The Federal Reserve has a role to play, but we shouldn’t be the only player nor the most important one,” Kashkari said.
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Negotiate Like A Pro & Winning A Stalemate! Team Thayer #realestate #housing #market #news #oregon

Learn how you can not only play the negotiation game, but also win.

When my husband and I first started the hunt for Eugene, Or, real estate, I cringed at the tough negotiating he was doing, as did our agent. “You sound like a fast-talking big-city businessman,” she said to him in her smooth drawl. But as cringe-worthy as it seemed at the time, he was just engaging in some tried-and-true horse-trading — trying to make a deal that both sides could feel good about.
You might be the type of person I was; the kind who never questions the price of an item. If that sounds like you, it can’t hurt to brush up on your negotiation skills, whether you’re buying or selling real estate. When selling your home, your first reaction might be a big “oh heck no” when you get a lowball offer, but take a deep breath and at least consider your options.

Here are six negotiation skills for doing more than just playing the game: for winning.

Price your house right

There’s a difference between the price you want to get (or what you think the house is worth) and what the market will bear. “Pricing is not based on how much a seller needs to net,” says Brian Horan, a broker who specializes in Los Angeles, CA, real estate. “Sellers always seem to need a certain amount, but that has nothing to do with the price of tea in China.” Look into neighborhood comps to give yourself a more realistic idea. A savvy real estate agent will also be able to provide a benchmark for asking prices that reflect market valuations.

Consider the first offer

“Really pay attention to your first offer,” says Justin Lee Thayer,  Million Dollar Broker“Because that will probably be your best one.” Leavitt, who once sold a Team Thayer , Or, condo for $34 million, the highest condo sale in Florida history at the time, knows a little something about negotiating. “Your best offers usually come at the beginning, so it would be a mistake to not listen to those offers, regardless of what they are,” he says.

Think like a salesperson

“All home sellers should establish their BATNA before listing their house for sale,” says Patrick Malone, senior partner at The PAR Group. (No, he isn’t telling you to become Batman.) “BATNA” stands for “best alternative to a negotiated agreement” and serves as a negotiator’s fallback option in case there’s no deal. Having a BATNA puts you in a stronger negotiation position. Maybe you’ve decided that if you don’t get your bottom line, you’ll rent the place and try again later, or maybe you’ll renovate and stay. Keeping your BATNA in the back of your mind can help prevent you from agreeing to a bad deal out of desperation.

Don’t be an emotional seller

It’s probably best not to listen to Miranda Lambert’s “The House That Built Me” before you enter negotiations with a potential buyer. Jennifer Korn, Buyers Broekr broker with the Key Realty Group Inc, advises buyers to do their best to stay level headed throughout the process. “This is business, simple as that,” she says. “Rational thinking, business skill, and negotiation skill are what it’s all about.” Hasenstab also recommends that your real estate agent find out the buyer’s prequalification amount from the bank or what the buyer’s desired purchase price is. The more information you have about a buyer’s financial situation and needs, the better position you’ll be in when it comes time to negotiate.

Be realistic

Being stubborn is usually not the best strategy in any negotiation. If your goal is to sell, taking less than your ideal price is usually better than not selling at all. “Sellers must account for the real cost of not selling — not just a monthly mortgage payment, but utilities, insurance, maintenance, yard work, and risk of vandalism or theft,” says Glenn S. Phillips of Lake Homes Realty in Eugene, OR . Once you know the total cost of keeping your home on the market each month, it might put offers, even the lower ones, in better perspective.

Embrace creativity

If you and your potential buyer are at a stalemate regarding price, it might be time to entertain some out-of-the-box ideas. Chris Leavitt suggests you offer to throw in the furniture. Phillips asked for some extras when buying his first home: the riding lawn mower, the window treatments — and even the dog. It paid off: “Mikey the Mortgage Dog has been one of the best dogs ever.”
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Why May is one the best time to sell a house? Team Thayer #realesate #housing #market #news #oregon

Why is May the best time to sell a house? We’ve asked real estate agents from several metro areas to chime in on why it’s such a magical month for home sales.

1. The timing aligns with the new school year

If they intend to move, families really want to close on a new home before the end of summer. Why? Changing school districts after the school year starts is no picnic for anyone. “If you take the month of May to search for a home, you can be closed in July or August, which gives you a little time to settle in before school,” says Team Thayer, a New Jersey agent.

2. Buyers are getting serious

When the spring housing season begins, typically right after Presidents Day in mid-February, many buyers feel as if they have plenty of time to find their perfect home and perfectly time their summer move. So they might bid more aggressively and offer less than asking price. If no sellers bite, though, by the time May rolls around, these same buyers may relent to submitting more competitive offers in the hopes of finally sealing the deal.
Remember, though, that May is typically a seller’s market. When buyers are just starting to look at this point, “They are excited and have not experienced the agony of defeat by being outbid once, twice, or three times — at which point deal fatigue sets in,” says Justin Lee Thayer, an Eugene, OR, agent. “After missing several deals, buyers begin to feel as if they are settling and then begin to think that it would be better to just wait. As we move into late June and early July, in addition to being weary of looking, buyers make house hunting less of a focus for this year and more of one for next year.”

3. The weather is beautiful

People normally discuss the weather for two reasons: When there’s a huge weather event or natural disaster, such as a hurricane or tornado, or when they have nothing else to talk about. But there’s actually a third reason: Weather plays an important role for home sellers and their open houses. “Here in New Jersey, we can have tough winters where people just don’t want to be going from home to home in the snow,” says Gibbons. But as temperatures get into the 60-degree range, “People want to get out.”
Lovely weather also means lovely homes. “Your home will look its best [in the spring] as flowers start blooming and the lawn is green,” says Gibbons. Even Miami, FL, real estate, which enjoys hot weather year-round, sees extra action in May because of international buyers. “Our clients from Brazil, Peru, Argentina, and Chile have their winter months during our summer months,” says Justin Rubin, a South Florida agent. “They tell us time and time again that they would rather be warm in Miami on the beach than cold in their city.”

4. People haven’t left yet for summer vacation

If you’re selling to a clientele that typically “summers” elsewhere (lucky ducks!), you need to catch them while they’re still around. Take New York, NY, for example, where the wealthier buyers are back in the city in May, according to Nicholas Palance, a New York agent. “But if you wait until July to list your home, you’ve lost [those buyers] to the Hamptons until after Labor Day.”

5. Tax refunds are burning a hole in buyers’ pockets

Scraping up money for a down payment and closing costs can be quite a formidable undertaking. After filing your taxes, “You have a clearer picture of your financial situation,” says Tanya Memoli, a Southern California agent. So when you get that big refund from Uncle Sam (if you’re lucky), you might be in a better financial situation to buy. Or if you owe, you at least have that expense out of the way. And sellers take note: “You might want to use your tax refund to make repairs and get the home ready to sell,” says Mark Ferguson, real estate agent and creator of Invest Four More.

6. The mood is just right

Just as Goldilocks had to have everything “just right,” home selling has its sweet spot too. Jennifer Pinckert Tierney, a Brentwood, CA, agent, sums up why May is such a great time to sell a home: “Most people are home from the spring break vacations they took in April, schools are still in session, taxes have been paid (or extensions filed!), flowers are in bloom, and everything looks fresh and new. Everyone is in the home-buying mood.”
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