Come on out with that for sale sign
There are a lot of homeowners who have been hiding in their garages for the last couple of years wondering when it’s going to be safe to come out and stick the for sale sign in the front lawn.
Guess what, go get your shovel because now’s the time.
The January single home sales, as reported by Florida Realtors for the Manatee-Sarasota area, ars up 20.5 percent from last January with a 17.9 percent median price increase. Statewide, closed sales of single family homes were up 11.7 percent compared to last year with an increase in sales price of 12.4 percent from January last year. This is the 13th month in a row that statewide median sales prices have increased year over year.
Homes are also selling faster with the median number of days on the market for homes in January nationwide being 71, that’s down from 99 days one year ago. Inventory of homes for sale is lower than in years, with homeowners who want to sell keeping their properties off the market because their mortgages are still higher than the value of their homes, in spite of an increase in property values.
Also keeping inventory low are fewer foreclosures available for sale. Even though housing analysts have warned of a second wave of foreclosures to hit the market bringing down prices, so far it hasn’t happened. Florida, which has had one of the highest foreclosure rates in the country, could see some inventory coming out of the shadows, but so far our area is stable.
If you decide this is finally the time to get your property on the market, you still need to adjust your thinking from what it was six years ago. Even though values are going up, they’re still not what they were in 2006 so reset the mental equity meter in your brain down to today’s environment.
Get the help of a real estate professional, who knows the comparable properties in your neighborhood to outline sale prices and very importantly days on market. A history of the listing price of a property during the days on market is very useful when attempting to price a property competitively. Don’t be tempted to overreach because inventories are low.
Your best offers and most exposure are always during the first days a home is listed. There are always buyers who have seen everything in their price range and are waiting for new properties to be listed, so if you don’t get an offer within a reasonable time after listing, chances are you’re overpriced. One of the best ways to educate yourself as a seller is to check out the competition by going to open houses and viewing other properties with a clear eye.
In the current appreciating market, about 30 percent of appraisals are coming in lower than the agreed upon sale price. Get ready for that possibility. Don’t be shy to provide an appraiser with a comparable property sold that he/she might know about and be prepared to negotiate. Of course the best way to avoid a low appraisal torpedoing your deal is to work with an all cash buyer. Remember when accepting an offer, terms as they relates to financing and closing date are every bit as important as price.
The 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.41 percent in January, which was down about half a point from last year. According to the Federal Reserve, it is committed to keeping interest rates low, but it can’t last forever. Not only is it a good time to sell, it’s also a good time to buy with rates like this.
OK. You know what to do – open the garage door and stick your head out in time to get back into the game, and don’t forget the shovel.