If you read our latest blog post on Howard County home sales, you know we have a few warning signs in the numbers. Inventory is up, pending sales down, and days on market are climbing. Is this the end of our recovery? Here are 4 pieces of advice to consider.
1. Don’t Panic! Real estate is seasonal.
Homes tend to come on the market this time of year. What we’re seeing is a bit of a lag in homes listed for sale, probably due to a harsh winter and school days being extended well into mid-June.
Sellers: Expect competition. That said, the best homes always move fast, so talk to your real estate agent and make sure you’re at the head of the pack!
2. Most price ranges remain strong.
We’re seeing bidding wars continue for the best looking, best priced homes in price ranges up to $600-$700k. Above $700k, the market becomes slower, mainly due to a much smaller pool of qualified buyers.
Sellers: Market to your strengths! Be sure your real estate agent knows why YOU bought the house, what you’ve done to make it even better, and ask them how they will position the home for maximum exposure.
3. Buyers are coming out now
The same factors that slowed sellers down also hindered buyers. Now that school is out, buyers have returned to the market. We’ve seen a definite increase in open house traffic in just the last week or two. And buyers will want to find their new home and get moved in before the new school year begins, so this should help remove inventory and keep prices stable.
Sellers: Right now, buyers have many home choices, and they will be choosy as to which ones they see. Savvy buyers shop online, and only the cream of the crop make it to the showings list. So make sure your home sizzles online, with at least 30 professional photos, and you’ll be fine.
4. Thinking of trying to overprice the market to test it? Think again.
Sometimes sellers can price above the market and pull it off. Last year was a good example. But now it’s a much riskier strategy. Why? We have more inventory, and we also have interest rates nudging up, putting pressure on home affordability. In a market with fewer qualified buyers, you want to make sure your house shines next to your competition, and if you over price, you’re just helping the sellers in that upper price range look better compared to your home. Make sense? Don’t be that house.
Sellers: Remember that after 30 to 60 days, the patina wears off your listing. You then must reduce price, sometimes substantially, to re-ignite interest. Why not price it right up front, and try to get buyers into a bidding war? That can be a more lucrative strategy, and it puts you in the driver’s seat.
As always, the numbers that matter most are yours. Drop us a line for a complimentary market analysis of your home or neighborhood. We’re happy to help!
Laura Kittleman is the owner of The Kittleman Group of Keller Williams Select Realtors, and her team works primarily in Howard County and Montgomery County, Maryland. She can be reached at 301-785-5889 or [email protected].