A recent housing index by the Federal Housing Finance Agency found that first quarter home prices averaged $184,000. By Q3 2013, median home prices were up to $211,000.
Yet, housing sales are slowing, due to such diverse causes as rising interest rates, the government shutdown, and rising flood insurance premiums, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.
As a seller, you may feel a little confused. Are you in a seller's market or a buyer's market?
A buyer's market simply means that conditions are favorable to homebuyers. High inventories of homes for sale, falling prices, and seller concessions are characteristic.
A seller's market favors the seller with rising prices, quick sales and eager buyers paying close to or above asking prices with few requests for discounts or better terms.
It takes 30 to 90 days to close escrow, which makes six months of inventory on hand a good benchmark for a healthy market. Theoretically, if no new inventory is added, all homes in the market would sell within six months leaving zero homes for sale. One to five months of supply is a seller's market, while seven months' supply or more is a buyer's market.
Real estate professionals track housing inventories by "days on market" or DOM. The clock starts ticking when the listing is entered into the multiple listing service by the listing agent.
Through DOMs, real estate professionals can track which locations, price ranges of homes, and even which types of homes (detached, attached, high-rise) are selling the fastest and slowest.
Within the same market, conditions can change dramatically. Price, location and the condition of homes can crown some neighborhoods as desirable or not.
Your real estate professional knows the market and how to help you navigate the sale of your home whether it's a buyer's or seller's market.
A buyer's market doesn't mean you shouldn't sell. It just means that your strategy has to include respect for buyers' hesitations. Neither does a seller's market mean your home will automatically sell quickly and for a high price.
What you can do to take advantage of any market is offer a clean, well-maintained home at a fair price. You should have no trouble selling your home.
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