As we near the end of the year the picture of the market tends to get a little murkier for home buyers and potential sellers. Buyers and sellers alike have numerous questions about timing, competition, and negotiation around this season. Courtesy of the latest edition of the Stark Real Estate Market Source Newsletter, here is our advice to buyers and sellers at the end of 2014.
Advice for Buyers
If you aren’t much for competition, and are ready to make a move now, then this winter is probably a good time to do so. With uncertainty over interest rates, and continued low inventory, we expect to see a fairly competitive spring for home buyers including multiple offers, sales at or above asking price, and homes receiving offers within days of hitting the market so now may be the best time to avoid the madness.
Searching for homes currently active on the market may lead you to some good values. Many of these sellers either have timelines to meet or they didn’t sell during peak season and are ready to do what it takes to unload their home before the new year.
Don’t expect many new listings to enter the market in the new few months. This means that if you’ve eliminated everything that is out there, you need to be ready to jump and compete when a new listing hits the market. Chances are good that if it’s a good home you won’t be the only one that’s been waiting for the right home to enter the playing field.
Advice for Sellers
With the holidays quickly approaching it can be a challenge at this time of year to get a home up and ready to market with great success. Because of the challenges this season can present it may be a good idea to start preparing your home today so you are ready to hit the market strong in the spring.
However, home sales typically come as the result of a life change and if you are facing a timeline you just can’t adjust there are a few things you can do to increase your odds of selling.
Effective pricing will play perhaps the biggest role in your attempt to sell. While this holds true year round, it can be extremely crucial this time of year. We help our sellers understand pricing with a right price analysis for their specific market. It’s important to understand the nuances of your market so you can consider how timing, comparable sales, and other market trends may help you sell before your neighbors.
Proper presentation will be vital this time of year. Many buyers have picked over other properties and as the new kid on the block you will automatically hold some luster in their eyes. Take it over the top to build excitement with professional staging and photography. Consider having your home pre-inspected so buyers can shop with confidence and won’t have to worry about difficult repairs during winter months.
Finally, remember there are some buyers out there who have picked over the current inventory and are ready to jump when the next great listing comes along. Depending on the condition and pricing of your home that may be you and the lack of general competition this season could be the factor that helps you sell fast.
The right time to sell remains an individual decision for each home owner. Remember, your market may move at a different pace than the one next door so if you’re thinking about making a move it’s important to speak with your agent regarding the best move for your market.
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