Sell Now? But Prices Might Go Up! Ah, Timing and the Real Estate Market
Like the buyers of a few months ago who didn't want to make a move until they were sure the market had hit the bottom, home sellers are now having similar thoughts about the timing of their home's sale.
Most of the neighborhoods in Northwest Washington didn't feel the effects of the bubble burst to the extent that it impacted the rest of the country. Prices went down a bit, but they never really nose-dived. But lately we've seen some interesting trends.
Inventory is down and prices are now creeping up, and in many neighborhoods we are seeing the return of the bidding war. At the same time, many sellers are reluctant to put their homes on the market at this time because prices might jump up in the spring.
But wait. Figuring out timing and real estate markets can be difficult.
If you are a seller and decide to wait until spring to sell and buy something else in the area, you are likely to pay proportionately more for your new place if prices do go up.
And if you are counting on the election to rev up the market and help you make a tidy profit on your sale, especially if Mitt Romney wins, don't count on it. Remember that there are usually less than a couple of hundred transactions over the entire Metro area that can be attributed to a presidential election. Many of the people who go to work for a new administration already live here, or they are young kids who can't afford to do more than rent a basement apartment with a couple of roommates.
So, no matter what happens in November, we've learned that it's very, very difficult to predict what will happen in the DC area housing market.
We do know what the market is doing right now. And compared to the last few years, it is a great time to sell. Next year when we make the same comparison, who knows? But if it does heat up, so will the market in which you buy your next home.
We've all heard that the three most important things in real estate are location, location and location. But three other most important things are timing, timing and timing - and timing in real estate is a little trickier to deal with.