Timing Is Everything…
Real estate decisions and valuations are often factored on the familiar adage “location, location, location.” Increasingly, the new mantra seems to be, “timing, timing, timing.”
Mindful of this emerging reality, I recently shared with my Seller clients the need to pay special attention to our ‘market echo.’ Listening for valuable feedback from brokers, agents and buyers who preview their homes. Watching for offers, and determining ahead of time how they may position themselves accordingly.
Timing is key and it is directly impacted by one’s motivation level. Do you need to or want to move now? What might interest rates be in the months ahead? What is the opportunity cost if you choose to wait?
In my region, there are two very distinct selling markets for real estate: Spring and Fall. Admittedly, calling one of them Spring is a bit of a misnomer. Hitting full stride by Memorial Day, that market actually awakens just after the Super Bowl winners have enjoyed their victory parade (by late-February!). There’s more competition in the Spring market and the buyers are out enforce.
In Spring 2013, we experienced lower housing inventories with greater buyer competition for preferred homes and schools, resulting in fewer days on market and improved absorption rates. We also weathered upticks in interest rates and more contracts falling through due to financing. Most surprisingly, we saw the return of multiple offer situations. Terms trumped prices offered and many buyers became frustrated in due course of it all.
After all, the market had shifted to a greater seller control, following so many years of buyers in the driver’s seat.
And then there’s our Fall market. More relaxed, but highly important, it tends to reflect a greater number of retiree buyers. Those who deliberately stayed out of the Spring market’s fray, earnestly seeking a right-sized home with a first floor bedroom. Many are cash buyers and they tend to be financially sophisticated. They don’t want to over-pay. (Who does?) Their source markets include Northern Virginia, New York and New Jersey, many of whom may still be working through insurance claims from Hurricane Sandy.
In September 2013, back-to-school needs and concerns about the Fed may have kept many buyers on the sidelines. So did the roller coaster interest rates. The dust didn’t begin to settle till almost October… just in time for government shutdowns and debt ceiling discussions. And for our Kingsmill homeowners, there are renewed concerns about recent changes in membership plans.
All of this combines to create a sense of uncertainty and the need for patience. I recognize that uncertainty impacts markets, be it stocks or real estate. I also know that the wise and prudent take advantage of great opportunities, regardless of the season.
Let’s talk, to determine what’s in your best interest. Call today to learn more.
Tammy Thrift, Realtor
Serving Your Real Estate Needs, From Colonial Williamsburg To The Chesapeake Bay!
Actively licensed with Long & Foster in the Commonwealth of Virginia (USA)