Vegas real estate still hot but takes first steps back to normal

When the pandemic hit more than two years ago, no one predicted at the time that a side effect would be a large upswing in housing prices as homeowners got restless in their current residences as they adjusted to spending much more time at home.

Now, as Las Vegas and the rest of the world continue to return to normal, you may be wondering if the housing market will stay as strong as it has been or start returning to pre-pandemic activity.

In today’s market, prices are still higher than average, but the pace of price increases has slowed. They aren’t going backwards, but houses can no longer be priced into oblivion. Demand for homes is also still high, but higher interest rates make the buyer pool smaller.

The biggest shift you’ll need to make is adjusting to the mindset that homes aren’t going to sell in a day anymore. Buyers have more options, and are starting to take time to weigh all of them more carefully. If you try to reach for prices outside of comparable homes, you could be on the market for a month. Which was completely normal two years ago.

With similar houses becoming priced comparably again, key pre-pandemic necessities are coming back. Your home will need to show well, be in good shape and be reasonably priced for the market.

Before you list a property for sale, make sure you’re putting its best foot forward. At a minimum, it needs to be clean, painted and staged. These are things that have been forgotten these last few years, as properties were scooped up after being listed for only a day, with home inspections routinely waived.

As home inspections are coming back again, this means homes need to be in good repair as well. Make sure all the small issues around your property are taken care of before listing, to get the best offer possible.

And be mindful of the cost vs. benefit of adding amenities to add value to a home. Take a pool for instance. Adding a pool currently can be a $100,000 expense, if you can even find a contractor to build it in a reasonable amount of time. But your investment would be for nothing if a buyer doesn’t want or need a pool.

Once all repairs are finished, move on to getting your property staged. Staging a home means decluttering and depersonalizing a property. Remember, prospective buyers are there to look at your house, not your family, your heirlooms or your artwork. Decluttering prior to home showings will maximize the space in your house, making it seem larger. Everyone wants that!

Wondering if you should stage your home or completely empty it? Some buyers may want to see a home furnished in person to help with visualization, while others will like to see it empty to imagine their own furnishings. It can vary buyer to buyer so don’t invest too much time or energy in this.

A quality Realtor can help you with staging and listing a home for sale. Their skill sets are needed to help homes stand out. When selecting one, make sure to look at their history to see if they’ve been around in past adjusting markets, and have the experience you want in a real estate partner.

Overall, Las Vegas is still one of the country’s hottest real estate markets, as people from all over the world come here to live. Real estate is a long-term appreciating asset, just make sure to set your expectations and be aware of the changing marketplace.

Gordon Miles is president and chief operating officer of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Nevada Properties, Arizona Properties and California Properties. The combined franchise is a wholly owned subsidiary of HomeServices of America Inc., operating 34 offices and 3,200 real estate sales executives throughout the three states.

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