St. Louis, MO (PRWEB) January 03, 2014
Known as an attractive destination for both commuters and families, West County is an area located just west of St. Louis proper. In 2013, its home market prospered tremendously. For some of the area’s communities, such as Chesterfield and Ballwin, market growth occurred early in the year, with home values dipping as mortgage rates climbed in May.
Other communities, such as Eureka and Wildwood, saw their home values pick up more as the year progressed. But California-based real estate analytics tracker Altos Research saw one common thread that ran through all four of these markets: inventory dropped steeply at the end of 2013, providing a prime opportunity for local sellers to take advantage of 2014’s promising level of demand.
Prudential Alliance, REALTORS® reports that with the correct approach to home staging and curb appeal, West County home sellers can corner a market that is expected to sustain moderate price increases through 2014. As the REALTORS® Confidence Index Survey recently predicted, Missouri home values are projected to increase up to 3.2 percent this coming year.
That’s enough to keep buyers from worrying about a bubble burst. It’s also not significant enough to warrant potential sellers delaying listing their home until the busy selling season of early spring, when a larger amount of West County home market supply could complicate matters.
The convenience and efficiency of selling right away rings especially true at a time when the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics measured the Missouri unemployment rate at 6.1 percent in November—the lowest such average since August 2008. This figure is also down from a recession low of close to 10 percent in 2009. In other words, the Missouri economy is once again growing, and with more disposable income comes room for new home purchases.
Sharon Hutson of Prudential Alliance, REALTORS® says: “Sellers looking to capitalize on the massive real estate gains of 2013 and today’s extremely low inventory rates could develop significant interest in the early-2014 West County real estate market. This opportunity can only be maximized by a well-strategized West County home showing.”
One important aspect of the home showing process is enhancing curb appeal. This is an area where the insight and guidance from a real estate professional is invaluable, as the staging process can be tedious and even overwhelming for an inexperienced seller to handle on their own.
Beginning with the outward appearance of the home: think of what potential buyers will see as they approach. Sellers should ensure the driveway and walkways are free of ice and debris, and that the exterior paint has been touched up to remove any cosmetic deficiencies. Adding elegant entryway lighting to give an illuminating view of the house for evening visitors is another small detail that can go a long way.
As Hutson points out, with mortgage rates currently under 4.5 percent for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, it could be a great time to draw in buyers. After all, projections from the National Association of Realtors® see these rates rising above 5 percent in 2014 and up to 5.3 percent by the close of 2015.