By Gary MacDonald, President, Reno/Sparks Association of REALTORS®
Even though the past year has taught all of us the danger of predicting the future, I am increasingly confident that 2021 will see a return to a more normal market for buyers and sellers of homes in Reno, Sparks and Fernley.
Demand for homes in the region will remain strong. Reno, Sparks and Fernley are very attractive to people who have discovered that they can live anywhere while working remotely. Northern Nevada offers them a glorious quality of life, abundant opportunities for outdoor recreation and home prices that still are lower than many major metropolitan areas.
The area’s underlying economy remains strong, too. New companies are moving to the region. Existing companies are growing and hiring new employees. People are moving here and wanting to buy homes. For the past few months, however, the supply of homes in the region simply hasn’t been sufficient to meet the demand. One of the reasons for the lack of supply could be that some potential sellers haven’t been comfortable with listing their homes for sale during a pandemic.
Not surprisingly, high demand and low inventories have led to rising prices. Multiple competing offers are common when homes come on the market. However, I see a very real possibility that the inventory of homes available for sale will increase this year, reducing the upward pressure on prices.
For starters, widespread and effective vaccination against COVID-19 should begin to allay the concerns of people who are thinking of selling their homes. They can gain additional confidence from the careful procedures that Realtors have put in place to safeguard the well-being of sellers and buyers alike. Hand sanitizer is available at all showings. Many other precautions also are in place. Because potential buyers aren’t allowed to open cabinets, for instance, sellers have learned to leave doors open and lights on.
Members of the Reno/Sparks Association of REALTORS® (RSAR) are well positioned to help buyers and sellers alike navigate the new world of real estate as well as the changes in the marketplace that are likely to unfold this year. Realtors can assist buyers with making connections with lenders. This helps to ensure that buyers are prepared to deal with competitive bidding when desirable homes come on the market.
At the same time, Realtors have the important role of working with sellers to price and market their homes to achieve the best possible results. Realtors are required to see that sellers follow all the many legal regulations set in place by state and federal law.
Even though demand for homes is strong, sellers who decide to go it alone in this market put themselves at risk. They may not price their home well. They may unwittingly put themselves in legal jeopardy. They may also discover that they have put substantial effort into negotiating with a buyer who isn’t qualified to close on a purchase.
RSAR supports our members by providing training and up-to-date information about the market. The association works with elected representatives in our local and state governments to see to it that a healthy real estate market meets the needs of Nevada residents for years to come.
We have overcome great challenges together in the past year. Now the next twelve months are filled with great promise for the residential market in Northern Nevada.
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