As we near the end of the year, more homeowners are realizing the benefits of today’s sellers’ market. Record-breaking home price appreciation, growing equity, low inventory, and competitive mortgage rates are motivating homeowners to make a move that addresses their changing lifestyles.
In fact, recent data from realtor.com shows a historically larger share of homeowners are planning to list their houses this winter season.
According to George Ratiu, Manager of Economic Research at realtor.com:
“The pandemic has delayed plans for many Americans, and homeowners looking to move on to the next stage of life are no exception. Recent survey data suggests prospective sellers are actively preparing to enter the market this winter.”
If you’re thinking of waiting until the spring to sell your house, know that your neighbors may jump ahead of you by selling this winter. If you want to stand out from the crowd, this holiday season is the best time to make sure your house is available for buyers. Here’s why:
Sellers Are Still Firmly in the Driver’s Seat
Historically, a 6-month supply of homes for sale is needed for a normal or neutral market. That level ensures there are enough homes available for active buyers (see graph below):
The latest Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows the current inventory of houses for sale sits at a 2.4-month supply. This is well below a neutral market.
“Inventory is LOW right now…really low. However, there is still a very high amount of buyer activity, and those buyers desperately need homes! In the past, typical thinking has been, “I’ll just wait for spring or summer to sell my house.” However, I think we can all agree that today’s market is anything but typical. Listing now means you beat the rush and have more eyes on your property at a time when the consumer has less options…making you more of a profit in the end.”
What Does That Mean for You?
When the supply of homes for sale is as low as it is today, it’s much harder for buyers to find homes to purchase. This drives up competition among buyers, who then submit increasingly competitive offers, often creating what’s known as a bidding war, to win out against others in the home search process. As this happens, prices rise and your leverage as a seller rises too, putting you in the best position to negotiate a contract that meets your ideal terms.
And while the low housing supply we’re facing won’t be solved overnight, sellers this season should move quickly to maximize their potential. As the data shows, with more prospective sellers planning to list their homes this winter, selling sooner rather than later helps your house rise to the top of a holiday buyer’s wish list so you can close the best possible deal.
“Now is a great time to sell. With interest rates still very low, the buyer demand is still very high. This could mean for a better chance at getting multiple bids, cash offers, no–contingency offers, and possibly, above-asking price offers.”
Chris Linsell, Senior Staff Writer at The Close.com offers an additional perspective, taking into consideration our Northern Michigan climate, stating:
“Selling during the winter is easier than selling during the summer. Selling a home during the warmer months in Michigan is a lot of work. Not only do you have to prep the inside of the home for sale, you also need to put in countless hours and often hundreds (or thousands) of dollars in curb appeal work to the outside of the home. In the winter, that curb appeal work consists of plowing the driveway and shoveling the sidewalk; much easier (and cheaper) than maintaining a picture perfect garden and pristine lawn.”
Listing your home soon gives you the very best chance to be in front of buyers competing for homes, especially this holiday season, while also lessening some of the burdens associated with curb appeal. Let’s chat about how you can personally benefit from today’s hot sellers’ market while the weather remains cold.
The current climate in real estate brings to mind a quote from late baseball great, Yogi Berra:
“There comes a time in everyone’s life, and this is one of them!”