If you find yourself quoting the White Rabbit from "Alice in Wonderland," "I'm late! I'm late! For a very important date! No time to say hello, goodbye! I'm late! I'm late! I'm late!" perhaps today's article will put your mind at ease.
When it comes to selling your home, normally we would agree that you're a little behind if you're just getting your home listed in early June. But the reality of this crazy time we're living in is much different. It turns out, you might be right on time.
Historically, early spring was the time to put your home on the market. The snow is (slowly) melting and showings become much more simple when you don't have to worry about potential buyers slipping on your walkway, tracking in mud and snow and generally everyone just preferring to be in the comfort of their own homes.
Spring is also when the kids get out of school so for those families moving to a new town, this is the time they are ready to buy (and have been looking for a while).
Google Trends (one of my favorite places to geek out) shows that real estate related searches are on the rise since April. One other real estate web portal reported an increase in traffic of 125 percent from March 20 (the suggested onset of the pandemic) to May 9.
This is great news for sellers. It simply means that as states start to re-open (regardless of how we feel about that) buyers are starting to emerge as well. As though being awakened from their hibernation, buyers are feeling more comfortable with showings and are sick of waiting on the sidelines.
And don't tell buyers this, but according to realtor.com reports in May, the national median listing price reached a new record high of $330,000. Although not a local statistic, I still find it amazing that Pittsburgh's year-over-year median list price increased 14 percent along with Los Angeles and Long Beach, and Cincinnati came in with an increase of 12.1 percent. Of course, those are stats out of our market area, but it bodes well for the rest of us, for sure.
Part of the reason prices are up and holding steady is because of the supply (or lack thereof). Homes for sale continue to be down about 20 percent from last year. Some of our neighbors to the south have been hit particularly hard with Massacusetts and Maryland both down around 35 percent.
While this may be encouraging for sellers (since they are holding onto something in great demand) it really doesn't help the overall market. What we need is more homes to be listed for sale to help increase the options for buyers and get those sellers off the sidelines.
It's important for sellers to be aware of the changes we are seeing in the marketplace as well. It is no secret that virtual tours are becoming more and more popular. Not only is this an incredibly efficient way to show your home to anyone regardless of location, it is the perfect antidote for sellers wary of in-person showings. We have also seen a big increase in digital documentation as well.
"Electronic documentation is something that has been making its way into real estate transactions over the last few years," Badger Realty agent Amy Rogers said. "The current situation has just increased the importance and relevance of it and I suspect we will see it continue to grow."
It is believed that buyers and sellers will start to rely on real estate professionals even more now than they did before the pandemic. Regional information as well as environmental factors are all going to become more important than they already were.
Working with a local, trusted real estate agent is the remedy to that problem. Local professionals know the neighborhoods and the overall region and can offer insights that you will never see on a website. A real estate agent can also help you navigate the somewhat turbulent waters that arise throughout the closing process.
If you are considering selling your home or you had already decided to sell before all this craziness began, it might be time to give your agent a call. Inventory is low. Rates are through the floor. And buyers are starting to emerge from their winter slumber and they are itching to get moving.
In the words of my man, Bruce Buffer: "Iiiiiit's tiiiiime!"