Year In Review & 2020 Forecast: Real Estate Professional Tracey B. Williams On The Top Real Estate Trends of 2019 And What To Expect In The New Year

Williams shares expert insight into how the real estate industry has been in a sellers market, why she predicts it will shift to a buyers market in 2020 and her advice to get the most of the home buying and/or selling experience.

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The infamous billionaire John D. Rockefeller once said, “The major fortunes in America have been made in land.” Although Rockefeller lived in a much different time period, his testament still remains quite true. According to research firm IBISWorld, the real estate industry is booming—projected to reach $165 billion in 2019 alone. Yes, the industry is booming, but it’s always subject to change and the latest market trends reflect that.

ESTATENVY caught up with seasoned real estate professional Tracey B. Williams to gain insight into 2019’s top home buying and selling trends and what we can expect from the industry as we head into 2020
 
Williams holds a wealth of knowledge from her 20 years in the real estate industry. She is currently the President and Managing Broker of TEAM Real Estate Services, Inc., a company that prides itself on working together to achieve more for everyone. Williams focuses her work on both buyers and sellers in an effort to ensure both parties achieve their housing goals.
 
Home-buying trends
 
According to Williams, one of the biggest trends in home buying this year was a contraction of the market.
 
“Buyers are being more selective with their decisions on which properties to buy and taking longer to make decisions, therefore slowing down any plans to move forward,” she shared.
 
Additionally, Williams also said that buyers were experiencing low inventory. This means that there weren't as many properties for buyers to choose from as previous years, which then causes competition among buyers and sellers that brings about bidding wars. This type of activity is what real estate professionals would call a seller’s market. Because of the low inventory, Williams noted that she worked with many sellers who knew they could get the top dollar for their property and they weren’t reducing the price as quickly as they would under other circumstances.
 
Home-selling trends
 
As sellers continued to list their properties at top dollar, buyers caught on and began to hold off putting out offers. This, then began the next wave of trends in home selling.
 
“This forced sellers to change their behavior, which quickly became this year’s trend in home selling,” Williams said. “Because sellers were setting their prices as high as they could possibly go, their properties were staying on the market longer. This became a problem for them, so they started reducing their prices and negotiating deals with buyers more frequently.”
 
And even more recently, sellers have softened in terms of listing prices, Williams noted. Sellers are not starting at their absolute top-dollar price anymore— they are meeting buyers in the middle to ensure their properties sell more quickly, she added.
 
“Even before sellers are putting their property on the market, they are taking steps to enhance their properties,” she said. “Sellers are honing in on important selling features and upgrading what they can, as quickly as they can.”
 
Trends to expect in 2020
 
As for what’s to come in 2020, Williams predicts that the industry is going to shift from a seller’s market to a buyer’s market.
 
“One of the biggest incentives for people to buy property is interest rates,” Williams said. “If we continue to keep interest rates low, it will encourage buyers to buy and even gives us realtors a tool to use to incentivize as a part of our marketing— ‘interest rates are really low, this is the best time to buy’”.
 
Additionally, Williams predicts realtors will continue to find new ways to connect with buyers.
 
“If realtors find ways to offer products and incentives for buyers, it will encourage them to buy,” she said. “I think the realtor community will continue to expand their tailored services with the goal of bringing realtors and customers together. Customers need to know that they can use realtors as a resource to their advantage.”
 
Moreover, as the new year begins, Williams has a few pieces of advice to give for those wanting to get the most out of their buying and selling experience.
 
“Education is key,” she said. “Buyers and sellers have so much information at their fingertips and they often think they can do it all on their own because of this access. But the truth is, the missing link in that situation is the middle person.”
 
“Realtors interpret information and explain things in a way that can’t be learned online,” she continued. “If buyers and sellers trust their realtor and the process, things will go smoothly. At the end of the day, the goal is to get buyers and sellers everything they want.”