With the current real estate situation, prices have reached record highs in many markets. Despite this trend many homeowners are still on the sidelines of the housing market and are hesitant to put their properties up for sale regardless of the incentives to do so. This might be particularly true for owners who bought in the past 10 years, when prices were above the pre-recession and historical norms. However, today’s market conditions could make now the perfect time to sell.
Housing Market 2017
Perhaps the biggest story in the housing market in 2017 has been the massive demand to buy homes and the relatively limited inventory of properties they can actually purchase. In comparison to the market five years ago, there are now 20 percent fewer homes up for sale nationwide4.
Digging into the Numbers
The reason for this trend is clear enough to industry observers: Buyer demand is so great that when any home is put up for sale, owners are likely to find significant enough interest – typically from multiple bidders – that they can get through the real estate sales process quickly and easily. Today fewer than half of all homes for sale are still available within two months of being listed.
Why aren’t more homeowners eager to get into the market and earn a significant return on their home investments thanks to today’s high prices?
Some people may be worried about how much they would have to pay for a new home after selling their own. Others may be waiting for competition to ease so they don’t have to go through the bidding process to get a new home once their old home has sold. Others are just afraid to list before they find something they like.
Further compounding the inventory issue is the fact that home builders aren’t able to put up new houses quickly enough to meet demand in most parts of the country.
When Sellers become Buyers
The good news for prospective sellers is in the busier markets, the selling process has been so accelerated, everything happens in less than a week. For example, a listing can go up on a Thursday or Friday, with an open house scheduled for that weekend, and multiple bids may come in by Monday. That’s a four-day turnaround, and a lot of homes go from not even being listed to under contract within five.
That could encourage current owners on the fence about getting into the market themselves, though that means if they do shop around, they will need to have contingency plans in place for getting their own homes listed and under contract quickly.
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