- The housing correction - In my prediction for 2006 "What's In, What's Out", I forecasted a soft decline in house prices in most markets.
In 2007, I project a 5-8% decline in prices on average between single-family and condominium homes.
- Homes that are priced right - It isn't the boom market of 2005. Look at only comparable's sold in the last six months. Forget the cocktail party chit-chat when all you heard about was record prices in the shortest market times in U.S. real estate history.
- Online home valuation sites ( Zillow.com) - Mainly those that utilize up-to-date and reliable home sale data. Technology is great when it works, but tread carefully with online valuation web sites. Ask yourself how long does it take your recorder of deeds and real estate transactions to record them? If up-to-the-minute, okay, otherwise plan the lead time into the online valuation to spew out accurate information.
- Market timing - Many buyers and sellers were on their own timelines in 2006 and they missed opportunities that were created by not recognizing the real estate markets ebb and flow. Spring is high market, the most demand by the largest number of buyers. Summer is a good market, fall is fair, and winter is the remnant market, the left-over buyers and sellers from the high, good, and fair markets.
- Savvy buyers - With interest rates historically low and bent-up demand from a soft year in 2006, the deals and lack of frenzy won't last long. "Deferred demand" from 2006 could ignite a mini-frenzy in some markets.
- Upscale garages. - It's no longer the out-of-sight-out-of-mind dumping ground. Today's garage owners want them decked out with cabinet and storage systems, mini-refrigerators, insulation, heating and air conditioning and durable but residential-looking flooring.
- Two home offices - Rising gas prices and commuting times have created more two-work-at-home families. Size matters, make sure each is at least ten-by-ten feet.
- Rejuvenation rooms - A one-stop space for exercising, meditation, yoga, sauna and fancy steam showers. Showers are going upscale too. Waterfall fixtures, programmable temperature and water flow are the next trend for "showerers".
- Mixing finishes on kitchen base and wall cabinets - Matchy matchy is out in kitchen design. The new look is to have stained wood bases and painted wood upper cabinets. The Old Europe look rules, but with today's appliances.
Based on a survey of 923 real estate agents, managing brokers and association executives who responded to a survey request in Agent to Agent E-zine, published by Mark Nash. Agent to Agent is distributed monthly to real estate professionals in all fifty states and Canada. This article is a no-cost run-at-will with permission from the author.