Is it a good time to list?Realtors–fairly– have a reputation for claiming that it’s (always) the “right time to buy” or “the time to list is now.” In fact, when I was writing the title to this post in my mind I could see a Realtor running down the aisle like one of the crazed game show contestants at The Price is Right with a big sign saying “The Time to List is Now!”
So let’s look at it from your perspective, is it a good time to list for you?
If your home is priced right it should sell in five to eight months (the market average is five months).
Luxury homes and beach condos will take longer because there are less buyers available to buy these homes. But otherwise figure plus or minus five months.
The key is that the home is, again, priced right.
If you’re not prepared to price your home right this is not the time to list.
Do You Have a Place to Go?
If you do list your home and it does sell, where will you move to?
If you don’t have a place to move, you’re going to have about 60 days to find someplace to go (because most real estate contracts run sixty days, start to finish).
Will the Market Go Up?
The market in St. Johns County has been flat but stable for the past two years, and if you look at the straight numbers they don’t seem to be going up much, if at all, as we head into 2013.
What we are seeing is a market that doesn’t have a huge variety in choice, and because of that we’re seeing a lot of buyers head towards new construction.
The upshot for you as a seller is that if you have a nice house in one of the more desirable school districts, you are going to be able to hold closer to your list price because there is going to be more demand for your home (because there is less overall choice).
But if your home is not in good shape or has a lot of deferred maintenance (like that roof you keep meaning to replace), or if the floor plan is dated (like only one bathroom), then your home will sit longer on the market (say beyond five months) and will take a hit on list price.
But you aren’t going to see a big jump in prices this year or next, so you aren’t going to lose money by listing now vs. next year.
List Now or Wait Until January?
From now until the end of the year we’ll see a few less buyers in the market every day.
With the holidays coming up people have more and more outside obligations and less actual time to shop for homes.
So the people that manage to carve out the time to go out and look are actually pretty serious buyers…a good thing for sellers.
The downside is that the December average sales price is generally the lowest of the year.
But don’t freak out…there are a couple things working here.
The first reason you see a lower sales price in December is because you have sellers who have been trying to sell since January (at a too high list price), and suddenly they see less buyers as the end of the year approaches. So these sellers tend to overreact and give too much away when a lone buyer comes along.
The second reason is that some people really have to unload by the end of the year for tax reasons, and so they cut deals.
So what do you think? Is it time to list or not?
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