Posted: 22 Mar 2012 04:00 AM PDT
Here comes Spring, historically the time of year when buyers awake from the winter slumber of the holidays and snowfall, and go on their pilgrimage to look for new housing. Houses look better in Spring with green grass, blooming trees, and flowers.
Plus, buyers who find a home in the next 60 days can close after the school year ends and enjoy the summer months in their new backyards. It’s almost a rite of passage; baseball teams go to spring training, buyers go look at homes, and the birds fly back north.
But this Spring is different than those of recent memory…
- Because of the warm weather we experienced here in the Northeast for most of this past winter buyers have been out for months – making offers and buying homes.
- Many sellers have finally come to understand that they need to have a compelling price on their home to attract buyers. The days of listing your home and negotiating down are over because there are homes on the market already priced correctly, and those are the homes that buyers are going to. The overpriced inventory doesn’t even get their chance to negotiate down.
- Rates have ticked up as economic news (like unemployment numbers) has improved. That, coupled with rising mortgage insurance premiums and guarantee fees, seems to have given some sense of urgency to buyers.
- The looming shadow inventory, which most certainly will keep downward pressure on home prices (when added to easier short sale approvals), has tended to encourage home sellers to be more realistic in their expectations.
- The abundance of information available to consumers has further increased their need for sound advice from top-notch real estate and mortgage professionals. The cream is certainly rising to the top in those professions.
Low interest rates, a tremendous selection to choose from, and the seasonality of it all makes for an exciting next 60-90 days. My advice to anyone looking to buy or sell is that waiting to be aggressive could be a fatal mistake if you hope to find the best deal. From my experience, the best deals come when more people are competing for them…and that time is NOW!