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Buying and selling homes in the Indianapolis market

The real estate market can often be tricky. You may be wondering, is 2016 expected to be a buyer’s market, a seller’s market, how soon should I list my home, etc? These are just a few of the questions that home buyers and sellers may ask themselves before taking the plunge. To help sort it all out, we’ve enlisted the help of Chief Economist Jonathon Smoke, from!The top tips for 2016 home buyers include:

-Start early. Over 85 percent of buyers who plan to purchase in the next year intend to buy in the spring or summer of 2016, according to our most recent® survey. With roughly 50 percent more listings inventory relative to the number of potential home sales expected in January and February, buyers who start their search early face less competition with nearly the same number of homes.

-Comparison shop for mortgages. Next year, mortgage rates are expected to reach 4.65 percent and prices are predicted to rise 3 percent year over year. Buyers planning to finance their purchase should put as much effort into getting the right mortgage as they do finding the right home. A lower interest rate can make the difference in qualifying for a home and save thousands over the life of the loan.

-Consider a new home. In 2016, the number of new homes on the market is expected to grow more rapidly resulting in a 16 percent increase in new home sales year over year. Buyers should consider the new home options in their market; they are likely to have less competition and to enjoy a broad selection of homes. While new homes are typically higher in price, they’re usually larger and offer performance advantages and warranties that could reduce operating and maintenance costs.

-Best area to buy a home: Midwest or South. The biggest issue expected to hold buyers back this year is an inability to find a home in their price range. Considering a home purchase in the Midwest or South may be a good option for those who really want to close in 2016.The top tips for 2016 home sellers include:

· List during peak season. Unlike buyers, demand benefits sellers. Prime home buying season begins in April and reaches its peak in June, according to® analysis of home sales. Sellers who list their home during the prime spring and summer months benefit from a larger population of buyers and potential bidding wars, which often result in higher prices and faster closings.

· Price a home to the market. In 2016, prices are expected to increase nationally 3 percent year over year. Sellers who work with a local REALTOR to optimize the price of their home based on its unique features and surrounding neighborhood are often able to receive the highest price for their market and sell more quickly.

· Offer incentives. Last year, 37 percent of all sellers offered incentives to attract buyers[i]. Sellers who are open to negotiating beyond price are more likely to find scenarios that result in wins for both sides resulting in a potentially faster sale and more seller profit.

· Best place to sell a home: California. While many local areas are showing favor to sellers this year, California markets are accelerating past the positive national averages and showing extremely favorable conditions for sellers.

For the full 2016 housing forecast: