5 Questions Agents Get Asked at Holiday Parties (And How to Answer Them)

‘Tis the season for friendly gatherings, and you know what that means. Everyone and their aunt Susan are going to be asking you questions about the real estate market.

It makes sense. After all, it’s the single most important investment most people make in their lives.

The fact of the matter is, the housing market is one of the hottest media topics right now, and everyone’s got an opinion on it.

It’s your job to be prepared for that inevitable table talk and party chitchat to earn the trust of family, friends and neighbors as an expert agent.

That way when you’re at a New Years shindig and someone asks a question, you don’t drop the ball during the ball drop.

So, sit back, sip some eggnog, and check out the top questions you’ll need to be prepared to answer this holiday season.

Are Mortgage Rates Going to Go Up?

Coming into the end of the year, mortgage rates are at a historic low. For those who may not know how significant this is, it’s a good time to educate them.

With the price of homes going up due to a strong economy and high demand, mortgage rates are helping to balance it all out by keeping things affordable.

Essentially, the lower your mortgage rate, the lower your monthly payments.

With Freddie Mac predicting that mortgage rates should stay where they are for the next 12 months, this shouldn’t be changing anytime soon.

U.S. homes are more affordable now than they have been in most of the past three decades.
Is Now a Good Time to Buy or Sell?

With millennials coming into the “home buying” age, this is a question you’re going to get more and more. This goes twofold for people looking to sell their home and move up.

The short answer is: yes and yes.

As said above, low mortgage rates mean it’s a great time for anyone to buy: whether it’s for the first, second or fifth time. This is especially true for someone looking to upgrade their home and purchase one in a higher bracket.

The low mortgage rate will help them afford more house at a lower monthly payment.

Combine that with low inventory and high demand, and you have an equally good seller’s market. This goes especially for homes in the low to mid-range.

Are Home Prices Going to Keep Rising?

Data from the leading experts in real estate and mortgage lending says yes.

But before anyone panics, let them know why that means now is the best time to buy and sell.

With mortgage rates expecting to stay where they are and an anticipated 3.5-5% price appreciation happening in the next year, this is without a doubt the best time to buy.

Waiting only means one thing: spending more for the same house.

Take a look at our price appreciation slide so you can show them the facts to back it up.

Do I Need to Update My Home Before I Sell It?

With an influx of flipped homes and new construction making its way to the market, many homeowners wonder if theirs is up to the task of selling as-is.

Making updates could mean a higher asking price. It could also mean investment loss.

Depending on the type of updates needed, the market’s current low inventory levels put any home that hits the market in a good position to sell. Yes, some homeowners prefer to buy a “turn-key” home. On the flip side, others may want to make the updates themselves, so everything is to their taste.

Check out this post on which updates have the highest return on investment.

Is a Recession Going to Cause Home Prices to Fall?

With chatter about an impending recession coming soon, there’s equally as much about what it would mean for the housing market.

This is one of the top questions you should expect to get from friends, family and acquaintances this holiday season so, you need to be prepared to answer it.

Yes, it’s very likely a recession will hit either next year or the year after. However, this in no way means a housing market catastrophe like the one that occurred in 2008.

Here’s why:

-Of the last five recessions, only two saw a decline in home values with three seeing increases.
-The two that saw declines were in 1991 (-1.9%) and of course, 2008 (-19.7%)
-The current market does not remotely resemble the one before the 2008 crash
-The top causes for the next recession have nothing to do with the housing market, unlike that of 2008 when risky borrowing led to a bubble that was bound to burst.

Download our free slides so you can show anyone who asks the facts to back up your answers.

Bottom Line

When you’re the real estate agent in your family or friends group, you can expect to get a question or ten about the market.

In order to stay the real estate agent in your circle, you need to provide relevant and educated responses that are backed by facts.

That way, you prove yourself as a trusted advisor that can be counted on to answer the hard questions.

At the end of it all, what may seem like small talk at a holiday party could mean a big return come the new year.

To get some visuals to back-up your answers, we’ve put together our top slides that cover all the questions we covered. Download them to your phone so you have them ready the next time an uncle, cousin, friend, neighbor or random party guest asks one of these questions.