Split image of Today's Homeowner TV host Danny Lipford and Roberts Brothers Realtor Sandy Frost
(3 Echoes Content Studio/Sandy Frost)

This week, I’m chatting with Realtor Sandy Frost about making sense of today’s chaotic housing market.

Sandy is a top-producing Realtor with Roberts Brothers, the largest real estate in South Alabama. She has been a real estate agent for over 30 years and is well known for her popular radio show, “Let’s Talk Real Estate with Sandy Frost,” which has aired since 1994 on 710 AM radio.

Online real estate home search on tablet computer
Online listings have made the home-buying process more efficient, convenient, and accessible for buyers. (AndreyPopov via Canva.com)

How the Housing Market Has Changed

How has the real estate business changed over the years?

Sandy: I think that the Internet and a lot of technology has been one of the biggest factors in changing how we do things. We used to predominantly advertise in print because that’s all there was, and it used to take up to a month to get the advertising in front of the public. Well now, once the information hits in the internet, it’s on the multiple listings system, my website or my company’s websites, and it takes minutes to syndicate everywhere. 

The last couple of years have been intense, haven’t they?

Sandy: It has, but you know I love what I do, so it’s fun. It doesn’t matter what the market is, but it has been a different market, something none of us have ever seen before. 

I can put a house on the market just before the weekend because more people have an opportunity to look at them then, and still it’s not unusual to get a lot of activity during that weekend, I’m talking like 25 showings, which is a lot for the weekend. And then coming out of that weekend with a bunch of offers. A dozen offers is not uncommon, and that has what caused the bidding wars.

In 2021, my listings were selling for 107 percent above the list price, and last year, they were selling for 103 percent above the list price. So, it keeps the sellers happy, but it’s kind of tough on the buyers. 

Red open house sign with arrow and white space pointing to a brick home.
Whether or not the housing market is a buyer’s or seller’s market depends on the number of homes that are listed for sale. (KLH49 via Canva.com)

Buyer’s vs. Seller’s Market

Explain the difference between a buyer’s market and a seller’s market.

Sandy: It’s all about supply and demand. When there are more buyers than there are houses available to sell, it’s a seller’s market, which is the market right now and what it’s been for the last couple of years.

Another way of explaining it is a balanced market is considered to have six months of inventory to sell — it’s neither a seller’s market nor a buyer’s market. We began this month with two months of inventory, so it’s a strong seller’s market. 

In 2020 and 2021, there were times when we had less than a month’s worth of inventory. So inventory has increased a bit, but it’s still not nearly enough for what we really need. 

Photo 1940s home for sale in Atlanta, Georgia, to illustrate 2023's housing market
Determining your home price typically involves considering factors such as location, size, condition, and comparable home sales in the area. (stevecoleimages, Getty Images Signature)

How to Determine Your Home Price

What do you feel is the best way to determine what your house is really worth?

Sandy: What I do is a little different. I do two appointments (most agents do one). I want to see the house before I do a market analysis. It’s the market analysis and the agent’s experience that plays here.

First, I look at recent comparable sales because those are factual. A buyer and seller have agreed on that price and a bank appraiser has validated it. 

I also look at active listings, because that’s what buyers do, and it’s also an opportunity to see how the competition is priced. I also look at expired listings, because they failed to sell and that also tells a story.

Regarding sellers that want to bump up the price, it’s their house so I’m going to do what they want me to do. But, I’m going to counsel them and give them two options. One is to go with the higher price, which will probably get less activity. The other is to go with the market value. 

What I prefer to do is to price it at market value that’s based on the most recent sale and let the buyers pump up the price if they’re willing to pay more for it. Because you run into the risk of it not appraising, and then you’ve got a real problem.

It works out a lot better if the buyers pump up the price and you have an opportunity to talk to an appraiser about the kind of activity you had and you chose the offers that seemed to be the best opportunity. 

Woman pressure washes a home's exterior
The first thing a buyer sees is the outside of a home, so giving it a give curb appeal refresh is a must. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

What to Do Before You List

What do you feel are the essential things that should be done to a home before it goes on the market?

Sandy: When it comes to selling your house, first impressions are everything! That’s why it’s important to make sure your home looks great from the street by improving your curb appeal. You can pressure wash the outside, fix any peeling paint, trim your bushes, freshen up your flower beds, paint your front door, mow your lawn, and edge it to make your home look its best!

Inside your home, it’s important to declutter and remove any unnecessary items. Cleaning off your countertops in the kitchen and bathrooms and following the “three items or less” rule can go a long way in making your home look spacious and clean. Straightening up your closets and packing up some of your belongings can also make a big difference.

It’s also a good idea to move some furniture around to make your rooms look more spacious. Neutral colors tend to appeal to more people, so consider painting or touching up your walls. Don’t forget to clean your baseboards and replace any flooring that needs it.

And last but not least, don’t forget to thoroughly clean your home! All of these tips may take some time and effort, but they’ll pay off in the end when you get top dollar for your home. If you need more guidance, take a look at what other houses in your neighborhood have done to increase their value.

Questions to Ask

When someone is looking to buy or sell their home, what questions should they ask a realtor to determine if they are the right Realtor for them?

Sandy: Most of the business I do now is through referrals from past clients. Therefore, asking your friends if they have any experience with a Realtor is a great way to find an agent. But if you feel like you want to ask an agent a list of questions, I would ask them these questions: 

  • How’s the local market? Real estate is local. You hear a lot of negativity in the media about what the market is like, but it’s not necessarily what your market is like. 
  • Is now a good time to sell my home and why? 
  • Why should I buy or sell with you? 
  • Once I decide to hire you, what happens next?
  • How often do I hear from you?
  • Do you have a written marketing plan?

More Information on the Housing Market

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Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio, TodaysHomeowner.com, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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