With mortgage rates high and an increasing uncertainty being felt throughout the market, many prospective home sellers and hopeful buyers are feeling nervous. Here are some answers to some of the burning questions about today’s real estate market.

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How is the low inventory of homes on the market impacting buyers? 

Now that the market has shifted back to a seller’s market, the low inventory is giving buyers less negotiating room for concessions, price and repairs. The luxury market is really hot again and the sellers have most of the leverage — especially if the property is in turn-key condition and in a good location.

Oleg Bortman is associate broker and co-founder of The Brokery.

Is now a good time to buy? What kind of market should buyers expect?  

If you’re deciding between renting and buying, every day is the right time to buy. A home is a tangible asset. You have two choices: rent and build no equity over time or buy a home and build long term equity and value. Yes, interest rates are high. Analysts expect rates to go down later this year, and you can always refinance later.

Is now a good time to sell? What are you advising homeowners who want/need to move this summer?

It’s always a great time to sell when you are in a seller’s market with inventory so low and demand still very high.  

Are you seeing a difference in how long homes are taking to sell at different price ranges or different parts of town? For example, are high end luxury homes selling well now?

Turnkey homes in good condition are still moving in less than 30 days. If the home needs work, it’s taking closer to 90 days or so for them to sell — at all price points. Borrowing money in a high interest rate environment is leaving little money for renovations, so the nicer the home, the easier to sell. 

Any predictions on what interest rates will do in the second half of the year?

We expect interest rates will be in the low 6’s or high 5’s by Q3. 

What should buyers and sellers look for in a real estate agent during this unusual real estate market?

Have questions about the real estate market? You should always work with an agent with significant experience in the buying or selling process. About 80% of real estate agents have fewer than four years of experience and you don’t want to take a risk with one of your largest assets by working with an inexperienced agent.

Author: Oleg Bortman is associate broker and co-founder of The Brokery, the Valley’s “relentlessly local” residential real estate brokerage with offices in Arcadia, the Biltmore, North Central Phoenix, and Scottsdale.