I've been Open Housing like crazy this month and chatting with lots of potential buyers and sellers that are roaming around on Sunday afternoons.
After much speculation, the Home Buyer Tax Credit has been officially extended. It now includes not only first time home buyers, but EXISTING home buyers that have lived in their home for 5 consecutive years out of the last 8 years. This criteria covers and benefits lots of folks.
I'm seeing a great deal of people that own homes and "have been thinking of selling for a while now". They're out looking and educating themselves on the market. They're still "thinking" but not doing anything. The phrase paralysis by analysis comes to mind.
No one has a crystal ball in real estate or quite frankly, any other industry ... HOWEVER ... there are times where you can pretty clearly see the signs of making a good decision. This is one of those times for people who are "thinking of selling". Remember, real estate, like the weather, is LOCAL, so my thoughts are geared to the shoreline areas of Connecticut
Let's review why NOW is a good time to sell
- Prices have stabillized.
- Transactions over the last several months have increased.
- Appraisers have a good selection of CLOSED SALES (comps) to appraise at a realistic current market values.
- There is high activity of buyers currently out shopping. Increased activity results in increased showings. The only way to get an offer is to have people looking at your house who are interested in buying. Just six months or so ago, you could have the best property at a below value listed and NO ONE was out shopping. Therefore, there was very little hope of selling due to the decreased (and in many cases non-existent) activity in the market.
- There are so many potential sellers that have been sitting on the sidelines for the last 18-24 months "waiting for the prices to go back up". I think these folks have finally realized that's not happening in the near future, because, it's NOT! We've leveled off for the most part, which is a vast improvement over being in a declining market.
- We don't know for certain what will happen when the home buyer credit expires and interest rates start to increase. We DO KNOW at some point BOTH THOSE THINGS will happen. And when it does, we can be pretty sure market values will not increase ... we'll be lucky to see them stay level and more likely to see them downwardly correct again due to those variables.
- Inventory levels of available homes are down due to all the sales over the last few months.
- And, last, if you are buying as well as selling, and qualify for the Home Buyer Tax Credit, there will be an additional $6,500 cash gift waiting for you, courtesy of Uncle Sam!
There are more reasons, but this short list should help many to recognize the signs of why now is a great time for Sellers to SELL!
And remember, it's important for people to speak with an experienced and FULL TIME Realtor in order to understand the many variables impacting the market today. This can make the difference in successfully selling for the best possible price or making some critical errors that will negatively impact on this very important decision.