Keeping It Real Estate

There is Still Time!

We can’t count the number of times in the early fall when we have had clients say, “I know we missed the selling season….. but, we really would like to try and sell our home.”  It seems there is a false illusion that spring and summer are the only times to sell properties. Year after year, we find it’s actually fall that produces most of the ready and able buyers, and the winter months result in a record number of closed sales. Why? We’d say because much of the real estate activity seen this time of year is due to out of area buyers who came to town over the summer, took a tour with a realtor and fell in love with our town, but still had something to sell. Feeling inspired by our magical community, they went back home, sold their places, and returned with money in hand. Upon arrival, they find so many sellers have taken their homes off the market or decided to hold off until the following spring and our housing inventory is at an all-time low.

So, “Why are you hesitating to sell your home?” When people answer this question, these are the recurring reasons given:

1.  More than half of property sellers don’t realize the inventory during this time of year is lower, which give buyers fewer choices. With the supply vs. demand so in favor of a seller, often times a premium price can be obtained. Not only is inventory down for this time of year, but it is also lower when we compare 2014 to 2015.

2.  More than 80% of prospective home sellers are hesitating to list their homes because they believe credit scores are making it increasingly difficult to obtain financing. In a recent survey, the general public believed buyers needed a credit score of over 780 to get a loan, when in reality there is financing available for buyers with a credit score as low as 580.

3.  More than 75% of home sellers are under the impression that obtaining a loan in 2015 is as hard as it was when the real estate market crashed. In reality, it is quite the opposite. The Mortgage Credit Availability index shows lending standards have been consistently easing over the past year alone. In addition, a buyer isn’t required to have 20% down payment to obtain a loan. There are awesome loan programs available; many for as little as 0-3.5% down and conventional financing with only a 5% down payment. There are even grants available to offset a buyer’s closing costs.

4. Finally, many sellers believe their current home’s value is less than the amount owed. A recent Fannie Mae study showed that 32% of Americans are dramatically underestimating the equity in their homes. So, for the first time in quite a while, many people can afford to make the move they desire.

As we have said before, “Knowledge is power.”  If you are considering selling your home, we would encourage you to give us a call. We would be more than happy to provide you with a realistic price opinion on the value of your home in today’s market. The results may surprise you. The pent up buyer demand is still strong and we don’t see it letting up any time soon. Don’t wait to list your home when everyone else does. The perfect time may be now.