2023 Real Estate Trends: What Military Home Sellers Need to Know
The general national real estate trends sound pessimistic if you're a home seller. Home sales have dropped, interest rates have risen, and buyer confidence has fallen. Basically, the market has seen little movement. The country’s buyers and sellers are stagnant, waiting out the recalibration from the out-of-whack real estate scene that’s persisted over the last few years.
It’s tough to nail down consistent real estate projections right now, but most professionals agree that 2023 is a transition year, and depending on the interest rates, things could get a little bit worse for sellers and a little bit better for buyers, but, keep in mind, this is all relative to the recent real estate cycle like the country has never seen before.
But if you’re a military home seller, you know there’s no time to wait for buyers’ interest rates to improve or for the housing shortage to correct. You only know orders are in hand, and you need to sell your home for enough money to afford a new home loan (or rent) in another hometown. So, it’s natural you might be a little more worried about selling your home this PCS season.
So, let's focus on some good news for military home sellers. First, as a homeowner, your property value likely increased over the last two to three years, and today’s values are holding steady—meaning buyers should meet your asking price if you’ve priced correctly. Read How to Estimate Your Home's Value to help you get an idea of what to take into account.
Military Market Specific Real Estate Stats
Remember, your area might buck the national trends depending on your location. Military members have to move, and the transition significantly affects the cities around the bases, especially if those cities exist to primarily serve the base.
Danielle Hale, chief economist for Realtor.com, reported to USA Today that midsize real estate markets didn’t boom like other city sizes over the pandemic, so houses for sale still hold relatively affordable price tags, which are attractive to eager buyers. These projected increased home sale change and price stats should give home sellers in these cities more confidence that a buying audience is on its way.
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You’ll probably recognize a few of these military towns.
- Forecasted 2023 home sales change: +8.9%
- Forecasted 2023 home price change: +5.4%
Augusta-Richmond County, Georgia: Fort Gordon
- Forecasted 2023 home sales change: +6.2%
- Forecasted 2023 home price change: +5.7%
- Forecasted 2023 home sales change: +7.7%
- Forecasted 2023 home price change: +3.6%
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The Population Shuffles South and West
It's no secret; in fact, the U.S. Census confirmed that the South and West gained a lot of new residents over the pandemic, and the trend looks to continue. It just so happens that the top four states for growth also have significant military populations, so home sellers could have an additional set of non-military buyers to entice.
States seeing significant population growth:
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3 Things Military Home Sellers Should Include in Their Home Selling Strategy
Home buyers have a slight edge, if any, this year, primarily because they’re not competing with multiple, all-cash, above-asking price offers. Over the last two years, sight-unseen deals waiving common contingencies were the norm. Now, military home buyers (but not in a “last minute orders” time crunch) have a dose of luxury to work with—time to properly house hunt and negotiate.
So, military home sellers, here’s what you’ll need to incorporate into your home selling plan in 2023 to close an attractive sale.
This year, you might need extra time to sell your property. Instead of just hours or days of a live listing like last year, expect longer days on the market if your house isn’t priced right and in move-in ready condition. You’ll also likely have to entertain traditional offer contingencies like financing and a home inspection to get the deal signed. Military home buyers will also want to revisit their VA loan benefit, so plan to add a few extra days for those required appraisals to come through.
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2) A Tight Marketing Plan
Interview potential real estate agents sooner rather than later and discuss your local real estate market’s trends. You’ll want the skinny on what to expect from your area’s buyer pool and how your agent will craft a marketing plan to reach them. Don’t forget to discuss the advantages of an assumable VA loan if you have one. It's a great marketing point for the right buyer.
Today, it’s a given that you’ll need high-quality photos, a detailed video, and a floorplan walkthrough, so start your decluttering and purging process now. Your buyers won’t show interest in a house at today’s price points that aren’t “drop-the-boxes-and-unpack ready.” Start fixing the small problems like dripping faucets and plan for the time-consuming jobs, like painting.
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3) Research a Military Landlord Backup Plan
Landlord life might not be your first choice, but sometimes during a military career, it could be your only choice. It's a smart idea to create a landlord backup plan. Crunch numbers, research laws, and seek the advice of property managers and trusted real estate agents in case you decide not to sell your home. Don’t be discouraged; plenty of servicemembers own and rent out houses across the country. It can be a healthy wealth generator. But it's not a set-it-and-forget-it business. Be honest with yourself when deciding if you have the time and the cash on hand to support a rental property.
It's easy to get down on the overall real estate landscape right now. But military home sellers have a few advantages moving into the PCS season. Take advantage of pent-up buyers’ demand with an attractive price and market your house with high-quality pictures and video, and you’ll grab more interest than you think.