Time for sellers to celebrate, home prices are up and inventory is down. It’s not that simple. While the market has improved, there are still numerous challenges; fickle buyers, home inspections, vigorous underwriters and the scariest of all, appraisals. Selling a home, and buying for that matter, is more complicated than ever. Depending on the area, current home price gains are averaging in the 10-15% range but that is not the same as “values”. Home values are determined by appraisers analyzing recent area sales of comparable properties. Recent sales are usually defined as sales within the last 4-6 months. And, and “area comparables” can mean homes located within a 1-2 mile radius, often the same elementary school district and within +/- 10% finished square footage. If it sounds like the appraisers are looking for a needle in a haystack, you’ve got the right idea. Of course, an experienced Realtor® will do their homework in providing data to help validate a seller’s home value. Buyers, who have been enjoying the last five years of a “buyer’s market”, create another potential barrier to sale. Many homes are going under contract within 1-2 days and buyers are making snap decisions without really considering all factors of the purchase. So, we are starting to see a few more contract terminations. Unrealistic buyer expectations regarding concessions and lengthy repair lists contribute to the volatility of deals. And, who are underwriters and where did they come from? These folks are the lenders’ eyes and ears and, they are very (very) particular about the properties being purchased. And, yes they take a close look at buyers, too. So, to say, it’s complicated, is an understatement. Today’s market requires an ally. Now is the time to find yourself an experienced, full-service Realtor®.