What a crazy year it's been.
It's a few days after Thanksgiving, Cyber Monday to be precise. The holiday craziness is in full swing. It’s the perfect ending to a very strange year in real estate.
The trends in the Triad have followed the national trends, which is not always the case.
Normally, just before Thanksgiving and until a week or so after New Year’s Day, it's a very quiet time for real estate sales in our area. This year, it's anything but normal. Yes, it slowed down for a few days just before and after Thanksgiving and I would expect the same around Christmas. However, more people seem to be in the market to purchase a home now, than usual.
The reasons? Very low inventory for the most of 2017, which still continues to be the case. If so many people want to buy, why are sellers not selling? This year has seen a large increase in millennials buying their first home. This has contributed to such an increase in buyers. So, the problem is, move up buyers, staying in their current homes. Why are they not selling? Fear that there will not be homes to move up to. I guess it's a crazy chicken and egg thing, which does not have to be.
Homes sell quickly, very quickly, If they are in desirable areas, are in fairly good condition and priced right. Let me clarify that last sentence. Yes, I said in "fairly good condition", as opposed to move-in ready, which has been the norm for quite some time. It’s what I called "the HGTV effect". Just like in all of the home buying shows on HGTV and some of the other cable networks, buyers expected and even demanded up to date, renovated, magazine ready homes in every price range. Finally, since so few homes are on the market, people are more willing to do a little work to be in the neighborhoods they like.
Now on to the next part of the first sentence in the last paragraph, "priced right". As always, homes need to be priced so they will appraise, so agents will show them and buyers are not over paying. But, in the feeding frenzy I have seen this year, multiple bids, with bids above listing price are not unusual. This is where an experienced real estate agent is critical! They will know what price per square foot is correct for the area and the homes there. They should not let you over-bid for a home, no matter how much you really want it.
So, as we go into 2018, I hope to see many more homeowners listing their homes. I hope to see the bidding wars subside and I hope that both sellers and buyers see the true value in working with agents.
Happy Holidays to all.