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Real estate advice: Are you seeing more interest from buyers?

LISA SARGENT

Real Estate Advice from Lisa Sargent, Managing Broker of Berkshire Hathaway Home Services / Vermont Realty Group in Middlebury.

Are you seeing more interest from buyers as the home prices decline slightly and mortgage rate increases slow?

We had and still have many buyers wanting to purchase properties, but to answer this question you need to look back to when we saw mortgage rates jump into the high 6% range and for some 7% in November of 2022. This rate hike made many buyers who were actively looking for a property put the brakes on because what they could afford was much less with this higher interest rate.

It is still a seller’s market, and with the higher interest rates, low inventory and sometimes competing against multiple offers including some cash offers it makes for much less buying power for the buyer with financing in this competitive market. Higher interest rates can also add to the low inventory issue by holding potential sellers back, especially sellers who are looking to trade up to a larger home or to downsize to a smaller one but are unable to buy with cash.

In January, we started seeing interest rates fall, home prices started leveling off and new properties started coming on the market at a quicker pace. By early February rates had fallen to just below 6% and as of Feb. 16 the average rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage was 6.32%. Many of those buyers who had put their property search on hold were once again looking for properties.

With a still competitive market, buyers need to be prepared and act fast to make an offer when they see a property that they would like to buy. Speak with a lender if you will be financing and absolutely get a pre-approval letter, sellers want to know the buyer is qualified to buy their property. Have the resources available to stay familiar with the current market. One of the best ways to stay informed is to work with a Realtor — like one of us — someone who knows the market, has the resources and knowledge to guide you through the process to a successful closing.

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