Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Is This a Good Time to Sell Your House?

Recently I was chatting with a woman who was complaining about the cold saying that her friends and relatives in Florida keep telling her she should move there. Sounds like a good idea to a lot of us in Massachusetts as we look at the endless piles of snow… So I mentioned I’m a real estate broker and that my Realtor friends in Florida send me information about some fabulous opportunities especially in Naples and Fort Myers where she would be going. We talked about what a great house she could buy for so much less money than here :) and then she said: “but it’s such a bad time to sell, nothing is selling!”

Really? While hardly a day goes by without a headline about “the housing market”, as if there is one big market when really there no such thing; all real estate is local and whether houses are selling or not depends on supply and demand which varies greatly around the country. In New England it varies from town to town and within the town it can vary by price point. While the supply in places like Florida and Nevada is still high, right now the supply of homes for sale in the towns west of Boston is really low. Compared with last year at this time the number of single family homes for sale in Sudbury has dropped by 18%; 21% in Maynard; and 30% Wayland! Of course, no one can tell you exactly what the demand is, however, based on 2010 absorption rates and the increased number of calls from buyers since Thanksgiving, I would say buyers are hungry for new listings to come on the market.

Everyone wants to sell high and buy low! Well, if you’re selling in Massachusetts and moving to a state like Florida that still has a large supply of homes for sale you can actually to do that! When I explained that to her and told her about some recent single family home sales in town, she kind of got it but was still focused on selling for less than she could have a few years ago. I suggested that she think about where she wants to be rather than what could have been; and, more importantly that she could be with her family and not have to go through another winter like this.

Bottom line: whether it’s a good time to sell depends on you and where you want to go. Since most home sellers become buyers, selling is just a means to an end; one more step (albeit a big one!) in the buying process. If you are moving to a less expensive town or state, down-sizing within the same market, or even if you are looking to move up within the same town then it’s a good time to sell. Today’s low interest rates are another factor on your side. If you really are ready to make a move because that is what makes sense for your life, don’t let the naysayers deter you and don’t wait for everyone else to go on the market. Get the facts from a real estate professional and then you decide if it’s a good time to sell based on your market, not headlines!
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