We’ve struggled through the real estate market meltdown over the past few years. The national news has made sure it’s never far from our minds. But let me remind you that real estate is never national. It is always local. So, how do you know what the market is doing in your neck of the woods?
Here is a simple formula to use wherever you live. If there are more houses coming on the market (new listings) than are leaving the market (going under contract) for three straight months, the market is in decline. Conversely, when there have been three consecutive months when more houses are going under contract than new listings coming on the market, we are experiencing an appreciating market. So is the Southeast Shreveport market appreciating or depreciating?
Let’s take a look at the figures for homes in our area. I’m going to look at January to-date and four months of data to give us a good picture of the market trend in Shreveport and Bossier City.
|JANUARY 1-12, 2013
As you can see, for the past three-month period (including January), there have been more new listings than homes go under contract. That’s a clear case of a buyer’s market. There is more inventory of houses than buyers, so they have their pick of homes. As a seller, this means your house must be move-in ready, show well, and be priced competitively to sell within a reasonable amount of time.
Notice that during September and October, just the opposite was occurring. More homes were going under contract than new homes were being listed to replace them. This illustrates the classic seller’s market. Buyers have less room to negotiate the fine details of a purchase under these conditions. This also shows the cyclical nature of real estate. There is usually a lot of buying going on during after everyone gets settled down after the summer, then things slow down during the holidays.
Sellers need to recognize that we are no longer in the hot housing markets of a few years ago. More than ever, it’s important to prepare before slapping a For Sale sign in the front yard. My marketing plan encompasses more than entry into the MLS and that ubiquitous yard sign. I strongly suggest sellers have a pre-listing inspection, take care of deferred maintenance, de-clutter, stage at some level, and price properly.
Time for the sales pitch: if you’re considering moving, give me a call to see if I can help you get your home sold, and if we’re a good match for each other. I don’t bite!