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Take a close look at the numbers, though, and you''ll see that it''s not all gloom and doom. A recent survey of folks in the market to buy a home shows that 86% believe real estate is a good investment despite the market volatility of the past few years. Nearly half of them are looking to trade up into larger homes in nicer neighborhoods. What''s the hold-up? Most are concerned about selling their own homes before they buy their next one.There''s no need to sugar coat the obvious. If you''re looking to buy, the market''s great. Home prices are down, and you can find great deals if you''re patient enough to work with the banks. But if you want to sell, you''ll have to pull out all the stops to compete in a flooded market.
But, according to the annual State of the Nation''s Housing report released by Harvard University, there''s a substantial amount of pent-up demand just waiting to be filled. Nearly 4 million baby boomers are expected to downsize their homes as they retire, and "echo boomers," born after 1986, will be moving out of mom and dad''s as they enter their prime years for first-time homeownership.
People who have their home on the market, or are planning to in the next few months, want the market to turn around, pronto. Fortunately, a trend in the rental sector hints that the winds of change have already begun to blow.
More people have been renting, rather than buying, and that''s driving up rent prices. If that continues, it should kick-start construction of multi-family rental units and persuade renters to take advantage of lower house prices. More renters are already thinking that way, with the number of tenants saying they''ll continue to rent the next time they move dropping by 4% from last year.
To be competitive in a tough market, sellers know it''s never been more important to work with a real estate agent. Three-quarters of those surveyed agreed that an agent''s experience in pricing, advertising and staging is essential to the process