What is happening to the local Greater Portland real estate market? This actually can be a challenge to answer, especially as numbers and reports are published frequently, and in so many different places.
This is especially true when it comes to getting your arms around pricing and value. There is a big difference in “average” price versus “median” price when it comes to looking at what has sold recently. In many cases not spending time to dig through the details can lead to bad interpretations of the market.
For most buyers, price by itself is not the only key factor when a purchase is being considered. This is because most buyers compare the features and benefits to other properties and do not simply make their purchase decision based solely on a property's price. In essence when a purchase situation arises, price is one of several variables buyers evaluate when they mentally assess a property's overall value.
As a reminder, the median is the midpoint, which is something completely different from the average. A rise in the median does not necessarily indicate an overall increase in prices across the board. Rather, it is reflective of more activity at higher price ranges than had been experienced in the recent past - just as a lower price would be indicative of the opposite.
Considering our low inventory of properties for sale, sellers who are thinking of listing their homes are positioned to sell quickly. A sense of urgency has driven traditional buyers hoping to take advantage of still-affordable home prices and historically low mortgage rates. Buyers found selection limited and were often forced into bidding wars with investors and other buyers. Sellers are reaping the rewards in terms of quick sales, often above the asking price.
In this type of environment it is important for sellers not to infer home value from overall changes in market price. Rather, they need to focus on what is happening in their particular market place and ensure that they can provide value to prospective buyers if they do indeed want to get their homes sold. In the broadest of senses, pricing should be viewed as a marketing tool aimed at attracting the widest range of potential buyers.
As I have said since the beginning, please call a local realtor for all your real estate needs no matter how big or small. We are trained professionals here to make your life easier. It's best to surround yourself with the right team of professionals that can continuously give you the right advice for all your circumstances.
Lisa DiBiase is the owner and a realtor at Landing Real Estate in Portland. She can be reached at columnist@TheWindhamEagle.com