Should I List My Home In December Or Wait For the Spring Market?
Today on the Rich Life Radio Show on WDUN AM 550 and FM 102.9 North Georgia's News Talk we covered several topics regarding today's real estate market. If you missed the show you can catch our archives at www.richliferealestateshow.com, several things stood out to me today.
One, traditional word on the street has always been that it's not wise to list your home in December, because there are fewer buyers and the initial boost you have by being the new home on the market is lost due to the lack of interested buyers this time of season. While there is some truth to that in normal markets, this may not be a Normal market (depending on where you live). There are several factors that may make December a GREAT time to sell your home.
- Market Inventory Is Down: in the Atlanta market, where we typically have 16-18 months of supply we only have like 2 months of supply at the moment due to bank foreclosures slowing down and the hedge funds that have been gobbling them up. This means that buyers have not been able to win homes, and may have been looking for several months and offering without success. The fact that they face less competition this month may make them much more excited about looking at your home.
- Many Owners Are Still Under Water: so they can't sell their homes, but as the market continues to recover, especially in Spring when people feel the market has recovered some, there will be much more competition.
- Coming New Construction Could Make Waiting Dangerous: Building permits because as buiders start a lot of new construction, resale homes become less desirable, so getting on the market before they hit the market (usually in the Spring and Summer) can be smart.
- December Buyers Are Serious: Who's going to waste your time or theirs during the busy Holiday Season? Buyers who are looking at this time of year are not tire kickers.
- Deck The Halls: If you have decked your home out for Christmas, it may look better than any other time of year, and may have great smells. Furthermore, people coming to your Christmas party may know people who might like to buy your home.
- Take Advantage of Exuberance: People who have seen major jumps in the market may become over exuberant and list their price well above comps, which will really help your home sell!
- Coming Legislation Hurts: There is banking legislation that is going to increase minimum down payments from 3% to 5% for many lending programs, as well as cutting debt to income ratios from nearly 50% to as low as 35% which will make the size of the potential audience for your home smaller if your home is in certain price ranges. On a $300,000 home a buyer may need $15,000 down instead of $9,000, and with DTI ratios dropping they may now only qualify for $225,000. Will the Affordable Health Care Act push more employers to cutting employee hours back from 40 to 30, and what will that do to debt to income ratios? I expect these changes to very much improve values of lower to moderate priced homes.
If you are interested in knowing what to do to market your home, how to get top dollar, would like to understand market conditions, or get a no-pressure analysis of what your home might bring, please call me at 404-718-9126.