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Shift or Myth?

2016 was an incredible year for the Kansas City real estate market. We set records for sale prices and days on market, sellers loved it, buyers hated it, and agents couldn’t get enough of it. 

Heading into 2017, however, many industry experts were predicting a noticeable “shift” in the market. The last big shift happened with the market crash in 2008, so that word has taken on a much more ominous meaning than it previously possessed, but a shift is by no means the same as a crash. That term simply refers to an impending change in the market, but it is usually used to indicate some kind of downward turn in activity. Typically, after the market peaks the way it did last year, the natural progression is for it to take a dip shortly after. This is when sellers hate it, buyers love it, and agents are working even harder to win business. 

Now that we’re getting through the first quarter of 2017, we can actually begin to answer the question: Are we in a shift? The answer to this is not only important for agents who are planning their business year, but it affects the way consumers plan for and navigate their purchases and sales.     

According to the January 2017 Local Market Update from KCRAR, overall the market statistics have moved in a positive direction compared to the same time last year. Closed sales are down, but by less than one percent. Average sales price is up by more than $20,000, days on market are fewer, and inventory is hovering around 2 months’ supply which sustains a competitive market. An eventual shift is inevitable, but the current data proves that it’s not here yet. So how does this affect the way consumers operate?

Sellers, the good news is that the market is still in your favor. If you’re considering selling, now is a great time because inventory is limited and buyers are flocking to the good listings. With that said, don’t expect to put your house on the market in any condition and get showered with offers. Buyers are out there, but they have high expectations and that’s what they’re willing to pay for. Before you list, make it a priority to consult with your listing agent and really take to heart their recommendations to prepare your house for the market. It might take a small investment up front to make changes or upgrades, but it will be worth it in the end. 

Buyers, don’t think you’re getting the raw end of the deal. It’s tough out there right now and you have to be prepared to make a very competitive offer, but this type of activity increases property values and that’s good for you as a prospective owner. It may take time to find your dream home, but you have to prepare yourself like it will happen tomorrow. Talk to your lender, get pre-qualified, and be transparent with your agent about what you want and what you’re willing to do to get it. That way you’re ready to make an offer quickly when the right thing comes along, and you will be more equipped to get ahead of your competition. 

That’s a wrap for the first quarter of 2017, but the market is always changing. If you want to stay on top of happenings in the Kansas City market, keep in touch with your agent and watch out for the quarterly market update in your newsletter.