Those of you who read what I have written this year have heard me talk about inventory being the main driver of this market. More to the point, lack of inventory has been raising selling prices at a pace that was not sustainable. I have called it a ‘sellers premium’, not really value in the sense of the home being sold, but certainly money in the pocket of sellers. Unfortunately all of those sellers had friends and or neighbors, all of whom, it seems, decided to jump on the ‘greedy seller’ bandwagon at once. As this inventory began to hit the market, we shifted from many offers and higher prices in most categories, to one or two good offers, at or near asking price. As the headlines began to come out, more sellers jumped in, giving buyers choices. We again shifted – now longer days on markets, with below asking price offers and contingencies once again normal.
So, what about the market, you ask? My complete year end predictions will come out in January, but the market is now strong due to the following:
- The return of inventory is bringing more buyers back into the market. They got tired of fighting for properties, & stayed put or changed plans. They are now back!
- Interest rates, although rising, are still historically low.
- The run up of prices over the last three years has prices high, the ‘price drops’ you read about in the papers, is like stock prices. The perceived value is all on paper till the day you decide to sell.
My advice continues to be the following: Do not try to ‘Game the Market” – Buy or sell when you need to. Buyers – 1. Get Pre-Approved 2. Get educated on where and what you want 3. Be prepared to move quick when you find ‘THE ONE!’. Sellers – 1. Plan to list early – I predict March listings will do better than April – May listings. 2. Price realistically, it is better in this market to price right and let buyers bid it up than start high & retreat. 3. De-clutter & spruce up now. 4. Consider staging if selling vacant.
Finally, I recommend hiring an expert to buy or sell. I know a good one, his name is Kurt. Look forward to hearing from you.