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Will Your House Be Worth More in the Spring?

This is a question anyone thinking about selling must ask. Should they sell now or should they wait for the spring? Most years that would be an interesting question. There is a belief that many buyers come out in the spring and, with that increase in demand for housing, prices may appreciate. This year is unlike any year in recent memory. Most experts believe there will be continuing depreciation of home values throughout the next 18 months.

As we posted on recently, there may be a window of opportunity throughout the rest of 2010 as the banks try to straighten out the paperwork on thousands of foreclosures. Once that paperwork is corrected, the flow of distressed properties coming to the market at discounted prices will begin again.

This was mentioned in the latest Home Price Expectation Survey. Robert Shiller, MacroMarkets co-founder and chief economist said this:

 “Over the past month, the average projection for 2010 nationwide home price performance improved slightly among our experts, but for each year thereafter it deteriorated.  One plausible explanation for this month’s more negative overall sentiment is recent news concerning foreclosure processing questions and the related possibility of extending the supply pipeline.”

Other experts are also reporting that prices will soften next year

In October’s RPX Monthly Housing Market Report, CEO Michael Feder commented:

“We are at a flex point in housing valuation. With record supply, already paltry demand and systemic threats to a possible correction, we remain terribly concerned about forward home prices.”

The very next day, in a special release, Clear Capital reported a “sudden and dramatic” drop in U.S. home prices:

Most recent data shows a two-month 5.9% price decline representing a magnitude and speed of decline not seen since March 2009; similar declines for September and October expected to appear in other industry indices in coming months.

Bottom Line

If you plan to sell within the next year, you shouldn’t wait for the spring market. Price the home at a compelling price to make sure it sells in the next sixty days.

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6 replies
  1. Joe Schutt
    Joe Schutt says:

    I think something you need to keep in mind is that Real Estate is LOCAL!! As consumers read all of the articles that are based on national news or even greater metro areas they need to realize that that news doesn’t necessarily reflect what is happening in their back yard. My market is doing fairly well. Our sales are down, but that is because our inventory is low. Our pricing has been flat overall. Our unemployment rate has decreased by .4%.

    I can’t tell you how many times I have had to explain to a seller that they should out their property on the market because there is a demand and to not fully take to heart the national news. Or a buyer coming to the area thinking they are going to get this amazing deal because the US real estate market is declining. Then they come to Boston and they are not getting the deal thy thought they were going to.

    Even reports like the Case Shiller aren’t exactly the right reports to follow. They take the greater metro area as a whole and they only take into account single families. Well, my market is mostly condos and downtown Boston is doing okay.

    So, be sure to check in on your local market before deciding what to do. And for the people that write articles or reports about real estate really should put a disclaimer that real estate is local and to check with their local Realtor before making assumptions on the market.

  2. Steve Harney
    Steve Harney says:

    Great point, Joe. Real estate is local to a great extent and everyone SHOULD DEFINITELY SEEK THE ADVICE OF A REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONAL before making a decision. That said, the national market has tremendous impact on the local market. Interest rates are not at historic lows in Boston because of the Boston market. Consumer confidence in Boston is not determined by the Boston market alone, etc. A true understanding of the how local real estate is impacted by the national economy is crucial.

    P.S. Regarding supply, the new S&P Shadow Inventory report shows a 58 month supply of distressed properties about to come to market in Boston, third highest in the nation (and an increase of 70.8% over last year). This blog post definitely applies to Boston.

  3. Angela Gagauf
    Angela Gagauf says:

    Thanks so much for this article! After attending your seminar on October 15th, I’ve been sharing this information with home staging clients that want to wait until spring to list their properties and have been encouraging them to discuss this issue with a realtor. Now I have something to email them on the topic. I’ve also added this to my Face Book fan page and LinkedIn.

    Although I’m not a real estate agent, I AM in the business of helping people sell their homes through home staging. The better educated my home staging clients are, the more willing they are to listen to their agents advice. And in today’s market THAT is key to selling a home quickly. The best staging in the world won’t sell a home if it’s priced too high.

  4. Betty Morris
    Betty Morris says:

    Very interesting article and helpful in many ways. Honestly, I do not know what the future will bring and would need to talk over the particulars with my Seller regarding his transactions. Many factors come into offering an intelligent answer to this question if we are asked. Many sales have unique circumstances and requirements and motivations. All of these have to be approached in a thoughtful and respectful manner when we offer advice. Each sale presents it own uniqueness.

  5. Suzanne Green
    Suzanne Green says:

    Thank you ! Many times I find myself referring to these articles and your team’s collaboration of the powerful information to educate our clients and remind them that it is all about getting to the ultimate goal – the most money at closing for THEM. My clients really appreciate it when they realize we are all on the SAME team and that pricing their home with the facts we DO have and to consider what is predicted will get us all to a quicker closing and more money in their pockets. You are amazing- no one tells it like KCM does!


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