Although it seems like we just celebrated the new year a day ago, we are actually nearing the end of the first quarter of 2013. The real estate market is absolutely nuts right now, so I would like to highlight just a few areas of interest. If you read any of my previous Highlands real estate posts then you know that at the beginning of the year we had a major inventory shortage. So much so that the market started to shift back in the direction of a seller’s market. A small amount of homes for sale in the Highlands created a short life for the existing inventory, and left only the homes for sale that are overpriced. The homes that are overpriced will not sell, and we still have a major inventory shortage.
In January there were only 100 homes for sale in the Highlands. Now, on March 25th there are 104 homes for sale in the Highlands. That means that during January, February, and March there were as many new listings as there were sales (roughly…give or take 4 homes). Let me also say this: if the remaining 104 homes on the market weren’t overpriced, they would be sold by now too. There are hundreds upon hundreds of buyers that are actively searching for a new home right now, but they are being forced to search longer because they have to wait for a quality listing to hit the market. I say this because there are 75 homes in the Highlands that are currently under contract. What? That’s right; 104 active homes for sale in the Highlands and 75 pending homes in the Highlands. This time last month there were only 29 pending homes in the Highlands. Of the 75 pending homes in the Highlands, the average number of days on the market is 39. That means that probably NONE of these pending homes were for sale at the beginning of the year, or carried over from last year. Most everything that has sold so far this year in the Highlands has gone on the market sometime in the last couple of months. So what about the hundred homes that were for sale in the Highlands at the beginning of the year? They are still for sale. And they will be until they are priced correctly.
So what does all this mean? Well for sellers, as I stated in my January post about the inventory shortage, it has been a dream for these past 3 months. You see, less competition means that your house will sell faster and for more money (provided it is priced right and ready to sell). Too many people get caught up in the “seasonality” of the real estate market thinking, “oh I had better wait for spring before I sell my house because spring is when everyone buys houses”. Bull crap. Buyers buy when it works best for them. PERIOD. Just ask the 90 people who successfully sold their Highlands home in the last 90 days. Interest rates are wicked low, tax refunds are coming back, FHA guidelines are tightening in the next couple of months. These are all things that buyers see and take advantage of, and it creates a sense of urgency among these buyers.
What this means for buyers is that the competition is fierce. As a buyer you have to be ready to move fast. You need a Realtor that is looking for your home on a minute to minute basis. You need a lender that is ready to give you a loan (or you need a lot of cash). Once you find the home you love there are probably 5 to 10 other buyers interested in that same home. You need to be ready to make an offer. If you’re a buyer, call me to start the process. If you’re a seller, call me and I will set you up on my “need to know” list, which means you will be notified of your neighborhood market activity monthly and you will never again miss a perfect opportunity to sell your home. There is a reason I have a job. There is a reason that I analyze the market statistics daily. Find out for yourself what that reason is. 502.509.9278