Tips and Trends

Real estate in 2020 By Mary Gajda The real estate market can ebb and flow, but being in the know can help a great deal when you are considering buying or selling either resident…

Real estate in 2020

By Mary Gajda

The real estate market can ebb and flow, but being in the know can help a great deal when you are considering buying or selling either residential or commercial properties. Arming yourself with the right real estate agent and plenty of knowledge will keep you one step ahead in your quest.

Greater Lansing Business Monthly spoke with Heather Driscoll, broker/owner at EXIT Realty Home Partners; Kellly Hude, Realtor with RE/MAX Real Estate Professionals; Jim Kost, real estate agent with Coldwell Banker Hubble Briarwood; and Lisa Kost, manager of commercial real estate for Coldwell Banker Hubbard Briarwood.


Do you have a forecast for real estate in 2020 – either commercial, residential or both?

Driscoll: A strong economy and employment combined with low mortgage rates will continue to support a robust housing market.

Hude: As a residential specialist, my prediction will be a very strong early spring market, which will probably continue through the summer. As we are heading into an election year, I think things may slow down a tad starting in late September as we head into the aggressive political months.

Jim Kost: My forecast for 2020 is that the market should remain a seller’s market with low inventory, low interest rates and a presidential election. I feel home prices will rise due to supply and demand. We have lots of new employers and lots of new first-time buyers who are sick of paying rent in our affordable marketplace. We have baby boomers buying down and also purchasing condos.

Lisa Kost: Commercial forecasting is consistent with the economy, in general, so growth is still expected for 2020. January and February were actually still good times to put commercial properties on the market, which is often the times companies are looking in anticipation for summer or fall occupancy.


Are there any new trends or changes in the selling or buying processes as compared to the past that we might see in 2020?

Driscoll: You’ll see iBuyer options like the ability to request a tour online and get confirmation. Trending back to suburbs (RISmedia) focus – Hip walkable communities.

Hude: This may be the last year for the strong sellers’ market. I predict things will start shifting as our inventory and supply/demand gradually change near the end of 2020. I don’t believe it will be a drastic change as in the past, but eventually we will start shifting toward a buyers’ market.

Jim Kost: No new trends expected, but I feel sellers will recognize the importance of having a Realtor in a rising market to capture top dollar and the expertise in handling multiple offers.

Lisa Kost: More and more buyers are finding properties through the internet, but commercial transactions can be complicated- even risky- so working with an experienced agent is still the best approach to buying and selling.


Do you have any tips for buyers and sellers of both commercial and residential real estate?

Driscoll: For residential, buyers need an experienced agent to work on their behalf. Due to low inventory we are seeing more multiple-offer scenarios. You need an agent who can proactively search for you – keeping you apprised of listed and nonlisted properties.

You want an expert negotiator; a firm advocate and someone knowledgeable about structural issues, the lending process; and an agent who is a strategic problem-solver.

Set a budget for repairs/updates and have an agent out to help evaluate and prioritize projects for best (return on investment). Staging is very beneficial as it helps place a buyer in the home. Using your existing furniture works with a minimalist approach so you showcase space in each room. Pricing is key. The bracket that you’re in matters. You need to think like you’re a buyer who is searching online in $25,000 price points (i.e., $100-150). You want to be the best house in the bracket you’re in – in terms of square footage, updates, location and more.

Hude: Try to jump on the market early this year. Don’t wait to buy or sell in May/June. You will get caught up in the spring “flood.” You will have more competition either way if you wait. Get ahead of the game and plan to start your home selling/buying before everyone else does. 

Jim Kost: Buyers should get preapproved now for financing and start looking early to get the jump on the spring market.

Lisa Kost: The best way to succeed in commercial real estate is by working with a commercial Realtor who can market your property across all platforms or search the entire market to find your perfect property. My husband is a residential Realtor, so we can cover everything, but he does not do commercial work for a reason – it is a very different “animal” that requires special skills.


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