I usually try to stick to my own writing on my blog, but this morning I came across this post from Christopher and Stephanie Somers from Philadelphia. The post says it is written as it relates to the Philadelphia real estate market, but in my opinion, it relates to just about everywhere and certainly to the San Antonio real estate market. I think its sound advice for anyone looking to sell a home and applies to today, yesterday, and tomorrow as well. Enjoy it and feel free to stop by their site to leave them some comments.
Should I list now or wait until spring ?
I received a call yesterday from a consumer who said "Chris, I know it is not a great time to sell. Should I put my properties up now or wait until spring ? " . What is interesting is that I have found myself answering this question frequently and I have been seeing the same question on Trulia Voices and Zillow discussions. So, I figured it made sense to write about it as it relates to the Philadelphia real estate market.
The first part of the answer depends on a seller's personal goals. If a seller has no place to go or plans on purchasing in the future or there are other external factors that pushes their timeline out it might make sense to wait until those answers are figured out and there is less uncertainty. This is the case for any seller at any time of the year. For the seller that called me yesterday, she has several properties to sell, one of which is her primary occupancy, two that are investment properties. She already plans on renting a place temporarily if her property sells before she relocates to North Carolina. So what should she do ? List now or wait until spring ?
Well, to me the answer is obvious. List now !!! There are six main advantages for a seller to list now in December or January instead of waiting until spring:
1. Inventory - In the spring, how many other sellers will have ended up doing the same strategy ? They may have been waiting a year or so until the market got better or perhaps just figured it was the best time to list their property. So come March, April and May, there will be that much more competition to potentially compete with ! By listing now, you avoid all that potential competition.
2. Motivated Buyers - Often many buyers will just wait until spring to start their search as well. They will just be beginning the procoess. Believe me the buyers that are out house hunting during the Thanksgiving and XMAS timeframes are serious and motivated. By listing now, you will potentially get one of these buyers to write a deal on your property !
3. Mortgage Rates - "Rates Rates Rates" as my friend Richard Stabile likes to say ! The mortgage rates right now are at 3 year lows ! The average 30 year mortgage is in the low 5s ! This is actually causing an uptick in buyer traffic and activity. I think November, December and Januaray will be end up being busier months for many agents than July - October 2008 which is an anomaly. We wrote about this in our blog post "Are we the pulse of real estate ? " and highlighted the increase in buyer traffic in our post regarding "Google Analytics" . If you list now, you will catch this wave of increased buyers shopping for houses instead of XMAS gifts since mortgage rates are so low.
4. Buyers confidence - Further, buyer confidence is starting to shift which is also increasing buyer traffic. See "5 reasons for buyers to act now" . Another cause for increase traffic is for a buyer to take advantage of the $7,500 first time homebuyer tax credit which expires in the middle of 2009. A buyer has to settle on their property before that timeframe. By listing now, you are taking advantage of this trend of increased buyer traffic.
5. Accomplish your goals now - When it is all said and done, wouldn't you rather have your house sold by March and April and moving on with your life than potentially just listing your house at that point in time. I love it when we accomplish our goals ahead of schedule - it is a great feeling. By listing now, you are positioning yourself to accomplish your goals sooner than later.
6. Reverse Fear - Lastly, not to buy into the media's doom and gloom, but there is always risk that the housing markets could deteriorate more instead of picking up by the middle of 2009. In addition, the reality of the market getting that much better in a short period of time is remote. I doubt that just by waiting until spring, a sales price could be higher by 10 percent. In fact, it could even be a little worse if you think the economy is going to deteriorate as the unemployment rate continues to skyrocket. By listing now, you avoid that extra layer of uncertainty.
What is your opinion ?
As a consumer, will you list now or wait until spring ? As an agent, what will your answer be when asked this question ? Also what additional benefits are there to list now versus waiting until spring ?
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Matt Stigliano, Realtor® Becker Properties | (210) 646-HOME | www.RErockstar.com
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