In most typical years, the real estate market tends to slow down during the final two months of the year. This makes sense as many Americans focus on the upcoming holidays and family gatherings. For example, many sellers end up deciding to hold off on listing their homes for sale so that they do not have to worry about showings during the holidays. Of course, it is easy to say that 2020 has been a year like no other. For starters, we are in the midst of a global pandemic the likes of which has not been seen in over 100 years! It has been well documented in this blog and on other sites that the spring buying season was paused for a few months due to the pandemic. This ultimately led to pent up demand from buyers during the summer months and into the fall.
What should sellers do?
“It will be one of the best winter sales years ever.” This is a recent quote from Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors. According to a realtor.com report, September’s home inventory was 39% lower compared with the same month last year. Meanwhile, buyers are keen to take advantage of the record-low interest rates which have been hovering at or below 3%.
What does this all mean? Sellers who are willing to put their homes on the market for sale now are poised to reap the rewards. It’s simple: the ongoing pent-up buyer demand + historically low interest rates + extremely low inventory of homes for sale = a higher sales price for your home.
According to a realtor.com report, the national median home listing price jumped 11.1% in September compared with last year, reaching $350,000, and price per square foot rose 13.9%. As mentioned previously, many would-be sellers end up opting to delay listing their home for sale until after the holidays. This will result in even less competition for your home for sale!
Tips for selling your home now
- Make your home move-in ready: most buyers are looking for homes that will require minimal work prior to moving in
- Provide professional photos along with a video and/or virtual tour: It goes without saying that many buyers are leery about seeing many properties in person due to the pandemic. In some cases, buyers are even submitting contracts for purchase based on virtual tours. Sellers must be sure that their properties are showcased through professional photos, videos, & virtual tours.
- Highlight safety practices for any showings: Some tips for showing your home include opening all doors and windows in advance of the showing. The less touchpoints such as doorknobs, windows, & light switches, etc… the better. As always, sellers are recommended to vacate a property during all showings. (We recommend this even during non-pandemic times.)
- Respect, but leverage the time for acceptance of a contract: Any offer that is received will have a timeline for acceptance by the seller. It is important to respect this timeline, but you may also want to leverage the time that you have to respond. Multiple offer situations are quite common in this market. It is possible that you may end up in a “highest and best offer” situation if multiple offers are received. As always, an experienced and knowledgeable real estate agent will be a great resource to guide you through the negotiation process.