This time of year, many sellers take the attitude of "I'll wait till spring to put my house on the market, when there are more buyers." That couldn't be a bigger mistake in 2010. Roughly half of buyers in 2009 were first time home buyers, spurred on by the initial first time home buyer tax credit. Many of them purchased BEFORE they might otherwise have. In essence, those buyers were borrowed from the future. Now, with the tax credit available for first timers AND buyers that have previously owned a home, we are again, borrowing buyers from the future. On April 30th, it's going to catch up with us. Once those buyers have bought, they will be OUT of the market and that is not good news for sellers.
Bottom line: anyone with a home valued under $800k who needs to sell should be on the market TODAY, before buyers motivated by the tax credit are out of the market. Waiting till spring is not a good option this year. As their agents, we owe it to them to be communicating this information so that they can sell their home at the best possible price.