Fall Market Update
Before I dive in, I just want to share a bit about what is going on in our market in Orange County, New York. New listings for single family homes is down so far, compared to this time last year from 569 to 404, a -29% decrease. As for those that sold, that is also down from 434 to 349, a -19.6% decrease. Days on market have also decreased from this time last year, from 74 to 47 days. What does all this mean? Not a lot of listings, less sales, higher demand, lower days on market. Current inventory is around 500 less than this time last year and median sales price is up 18.1%. This is only in regards to single family homes but condos are following suit as well.
Is this all sustainable?
Well, as long as the inventory remains low and buyer demand remains up as well as the interest rate remaining steady, this will continue. I have seen in my personal experience that multiple bidding, waiving contingencies that protect the buyers, and over bidding have all been slowly declining. Buyers with FHA and VA loans are starting to be able to win their bids which was pretty much impossible a few months ago.
Properties are also being relisted recently and it’s due to two issues: 1) Buyers not being able to get approval for their loan, either they did something silly and made a purchase that they should have waited for or, they simply can’t afford the home. 2) The home didn’t get appraised for the price that was agreed upon and the buyer does not have the extra funds to match their offer price.
How to fix this?
First, ensure that you’re vetting the buyers. They can use whatever lender they want, but if you have a preferred lender that you trust, have them vet the buyers for you. If you have an agent, they should also vet all potential buyers, even if they are represented by a buyer’s agent. Secondly, don’t over price your home! It will take longer to sell and you will end up having to settle for a lower price anyway. You can always contest an appraisal or get the buyer to switch a lender and get a another appraisal but that doesn’t guarantee you’ll get your price. Also, FHA appraisals are set in stone, so if you get another FHA buyer, they will go off of the other FHA buyer’s appraisal price.
Now, is the fall a good time to sell?
The early spring through the summer are generally the busiest times of the year for home sales, but the fall can be a particularly advantageous time of year for sellers. Housing inventory drops off during the fall months, as I had mentioned at the beginning, inventory is lower than it was this time last year, so sellers definitely have less competition. That means you can expect higher offers, and still aim for fewer contingencies, and less scrutiny from buyers. You maintain more power over your terms, as it is still a strong seller’s market.
Fall buyers are serious buyers!
Early in the year you can get lots of lookers who are just thinking about buying at some point, but by fall the buyers still looking are ready to get under contract and often have a deadline. Many fall buyers are anxious to get settled before the holiday season and, if they have children in school, they will want to get them in their new schools before too much of the school year passes.
Employers who pay to relocate employees also like to shop off-season to save on moving costs. If you live near a large hospital, university, technology center, or industrial area, your home may be attractive to relocation services.
Fall is also prime time for buyers who aren’t shopping school districts. Young professionals and empty-nesters are two populations more likely to shop in the fall. If you are marketing to these populations, you might want to show off multi-use spaces for exercise rooms, a home office, or game room.
The fall is much more fun for showing a home than the dead of summer. Use the mild weather and a festive atmosphere to enhance your home’s showing potential. As the temperatures cool and we welcome crisp, clear fall days, it becomes easier to maintain your yard and add to your curb appeal. You can use fall colors and foliage in your home décor to create a cozy atmosphere. Don’t forget some pumpkin spice scented candles or warm oatmeal cookies to warm buyers up for a sweet deal.
If you’re thinking about selling but can’t decide between listing now and waiting until after the holidays, now is the time. Give me a call or reach out to me here, and let’s tie the whole process up in a pretty red bow long before the new year.