|Wynnewood, 525k: 11 Days to sell in Feb.|
1) Available "For Sale" inventory is very low in relation to demand from buyers. All the top agents in R5Realty.com's Prudential office in Haverford Station can be heard speaking with exasperation about the lack of listings available to show our qualified buyers. "There's a sweet spot right now under one million, where there is almost nothing on the market," said Lower Merion's top veteran agent, speaking to a seller uncertain whether to market now or wait for spring to bloom.
Our review of market stats indicates the amount of new listings in 2013 is nearly on par with the first few weeks of 2011 and 2012. What's different is that homes are selling at a somewhat faster clip, for a slightly higher percentage of list price. And the volume and determination of 2013 buyers is significantly greater than in past seasons. Trend/MLS, which serves as the real estate professionals' information clearinghouse in the Philadelphia area, reports a 34% increase in online appointment/showing requests for Jan. 2013 versus Jan. 2012.
2) Homes in decent to good condition that are priced in accordance with reasonable market value are selling fast - within days and sometimes within hours. We attribute this to the relative dearth of new listings versus the amount of actively-shopping buyers. In the recent one week period, Feb 13-20, a total of 4 new houses - with at least 3 bedrooms and priced between $250,000-$400,000, were listed for sale in Lower Merion Township. Each of these newly listed homes was under agreement for sale within days - two lasted less than 48 hours on market. These homes included one in Bryn Mawr at 30 Thomas Ave, and three in Wynnewood: 505 Glen Arbor, 1403 Remington and 233 Harrogate.
|New Homeowner (left) had Buyer's Agent|
From a sellers' perspective, supply and demand is in your favor right now. There is a healthy audience of buyers and few quality listings from which to choose. If you took our advice from the November edition of R5Realty.com News & Notes and made the preparations to get your home ready for market in mid-to-late February, you have two options right now:
With so few homes for sale, you can test the market with a higher-end list price with relative security that buyers and agents will not ignore you for being perceived as overpriced. It's been a buyers market for so long, and prices can only rise incrementally, so finding a buyer to pay significantly above market value is doubtful. But you might get lucky and you can know you've at least tested and attempted to capture the highest price. With March and April still ahead, you still have time to reduce and sell for a good price to folks who looked at you longingly in February, albeit with insufficient buying power or the will to pay above market value.
|Fish ponder life out of water but won't overpay for a house.|
Whatever the pricing strategy, it's important not to rush your home to market before it's ready. Buyers want and demand value. And while eager, they are hardly desperate. If your home is ready for market right now, hallelujah, it's a great time to list. If not, talk to your agent or contact us at Prudential R5Realty.com, 610.348.7972, and we can help you put your best foot forward to maximize value when the time is right.