One of the most common questions that realtors get is, “Is this a good time to list my home?” While that answer can, at certain times of the year, be complicated, the answer right now is a resounding –YES! The National Association of Realtor compiles statistical data to produce a Buyer Traffic Report. This report shows that buyer demand remains strong and that these buyers are ready, willing, and able to purchase homes. Strong demand is always an indicator of a good time to sell.
In the past, the average home owner stayed in a home for an average of between six and seven years. That changed starting in 2011. The loss in value of homes during the recession and job loss has kept the average homeowner in place longer. The average time in a home since 2011 has grown to between nine and ten years.
The growth in home values and strengthening of the economy have given more current homeowners the ability to move. This is leading to even greater demand in the market. Once again, more demand equals better selling opportunities.
Economists say that a six-month supply of houses on the market equates to a normal, healthy market. There is not currently a six-month supply of homes on the market. By normal market definition, there are not enough houses on the market to meet buyer’s demand. This lack of inventory has been ongoing and it looks to be growing this fall. The best time to sell a house is when inventory is at its lowest. Less competition should lead to a quick and profitable sale.
In a tight market, buyers are doing whatever they can to make their offer shine. Most buyers are getting pre-approved by their lender and not just pre-qualified. This means offers will be cleaner and better prepared. This can make for a smoother, quicker process to get to closing. Everyone wants a smooth quick closing and this fall is the time to get it.
If a homeowner is listing, they are typically buying also. Home values have appreciated across all price ranges, but none as greatly as entry level homes. This means an entry level seller will realize the greatest value gains while moving up into a home that has not realized the same percentage gain.
If home prices appreciate 5.1 percent as some experts are predicting, that trade up home will require a bigger down payment and a larger payment. Homeowners must keep in mind that a 5% increase in value on the $200,000 home to be sold is $10,000, while a 5% increase in value on the $300,000 house to be purchased is $15,000. Now is the time to trade up.
The last and greatest reason to list this fall is purely emotional. If a homeowner is considering selling, there is a reason. More room for the kids, a better kitchen, another bathroom, more privacy, a bigger yard, or whatever the motivation are all valid emotional reasons to list a home this fall.
The most important question is why wait? Is money more important than health and well-being? Is it more important than family? Is it more important than having the dream home? Only the homeowner knows for sure. My advice to homeowners—life is short, don’t wait.
So “Is this fall a good time to list?” Heck Yea!!
Rick is a Realtor, real estate author, and long time Windham resident. You can reach Rick with all your real estate questions and needs at firstname.lastname@example.org