At the risk of sounding like the stereotypical realtor who is always saying that now is the best time to buy, it really is the best time to be a buyer since before COVID hit.
Why? Lots of reasons but the biggest single reason is that we are seeing more listings hit the market at a time when most everybody who was going to buy a house in 2021 has already done so. If the market were a restaurant, picture that time when you walk into a very popular place that is hard to get into at noon, but you have arrived at 12:45 and there is plenty of seating.
This won’t last long though, which is why I think now is a great time.
I put on a new listing for $185k last week. We had tons of showings, some interested buyers, but only one full price offer. That hasn’t happened all year. One of the agents that showed it gave me some feedback. She said that her buyer opted to buy another house that was closer to her grandparents whom she took care of. I read that and I was a little shocked. It was the first time in the past two years I have seen where a buyer had a choice between two houses. Lately the choice has been the one house on the market or waiting for the next new listing.
The week before that, I put 3 new listings on the market. Granted all sold the first day, but two of them sold for slightly less that the list price and only got one offer.
I think the market will remain strong for years to come. It might not be the frenzy we have seen but there is no doubt we will have more buyers than sellers for quite some time. We will see what next spring brings. That is usually when we see prices got up the most. That is why I think between now and late winter might be the best shot you have for getting a house!
I know, I know…..realtors always say it is a good time to buy, or a good time to sell, but hear me out.
There are two things I have consistently seen over my 15 year career:
- All the buyers come out in mass in about March. They fight for the best houses on the market.
- When the market is good, prices always begin to creep up in the spring because that is sort of the opening season for the whole year.
If you are planning on buying under $200k this year, you will have a harder time finding a house later in the year when there will be multiple offers the first day on the market for the best ones. You will have to do things like be flexible on when the seller moves out and possibly do the inspection type where you don’t ask for repairs, you either take it or walk away after the inspection.
Or, you could start now and avoid all of that while getting Fall 2019 prices.
Right now really is a good time to buy.
One day on the market is best.
A lot of sellers feel like if their house sells immediately that their realtor under priced the house. Some of them feel like realtors shouldn’t make that much money when a house sells fast.
Here is the truth from 14 years experience: 1) A house will always sell for market value. If it was under priced, buyers will bid over the list price. 2) The effort between selling a house the first day on the market or it taking 6 months is not that different. Being the listing realtor is a lot like fishing. You bait a hook with your marketing and cast it in the pool of buyers. Then you wait for one to bite.
Enough about the realtor perspective, how about why this is somehow great for the seller?
Statistics tell the story.
A seller is much much much more likely to get their full asking price when it is a new listing.
When a house hits the market, every buyer in that price range comes out to see it. They often see other buyers leaving the house before they see it and/or have other buyers waiting to see it when they leave. Buyers know that they need to act fast if they want the house. They know that other buyers may want it too so they better put out their best offer first. There is a sense of urgency.
If it sells, it will most likely sell for the full list price.
Once all the buyers currently in the market have seen it, a seller will only get showings as new buyers emerge into the market. There is no frenzy. No buyer is afraid of losing the house so they want to see how low they can get the seller to go.
A phenomenon that has been happening since buyers have been able to set up their own saved searches on Zillow is that buyers seem to look at a house online only once when it is a new listing. Few buyers these days will comb through rejected listings. They opt to just wait for new listings to come on the market…..which means a house that did not sell quickly is unlikely to ever have a buyer reconsider viewing the house. It is like it doesn’t even exist to them.
So, how many days on the market are best for the seller?
One day on the market is best.