I woke up this morning to frost on the ground and a definite Fall chill in the air! Winter is just around the corner, one month from tomorrow…and along with many others I am already thinking past the holidays and about the future.
People all across the country are beginning to think about what their life will look like next year. It happens every Fall. We ponder whether we should relocate to a different part of the country to find better year-round weather or perhaps move across the state for better job opportunities. Many families are looking for ways to draw closer together, and for some that may include a change in location.
Homeowners in this situation must consider whether they should sell their house and make that move now, or wait. If you are one of these potential sellers, here are five important reasons to do it now versus attempting your sale in the dead of winter.
1. Demand is Strong
Foot traffic refers to the number of people out actually physically looking at home right now. The latest national foot traffic numbers show that buyers are still out in force looking for their dream home. These buyers are ready, willing and able to buy…and they are in the market right now! Our local market is a reflection of the national trend. We currently have more qualified buyers than we have great homes for sale.
As we get later into the year, many people will have other things (weather, holidays, shorter daylight hours, etc.) that distract them from searching for a home. Take advantage of the buyer activity currently in the market and make it work for you!
2. There Is Less Competition Now
The national housing supply is still well under the 6 months’ supply necessary for a normal market, and in North Kitsap we are under 3 months' supply. This means that, in many markets (Kitsap County included), there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers in that market. This is good news for home prices. However, it is expected additional inventory is about to come to market.
There is a pent-up desire for many homeowners to move as they were unable to sell over the last few years because of a negative equity situation. Homeowners are now seeing a return to positive equity as real estate values have increased over the last two years. It is expected many of these homes will be coming to the market in the near future.
Also, new construction of single-family homes is again beginning to increase. A study by Harris Poll revealed that 41% of buyers would prefer to buy a new home while only 21% prefer an existing home (38% had no preference). We are seeing lots of new construction throughout the County.
The choices buyers have will continue to increase over the next few months, and more inventory can and will impact values. Don’t wait until all this other inventory of homes comes to market before you sell your home!
3. The Process Will Be Quicker
One of the biggest challenges of the housing market in recent times has been the length of time it takes from contract to closing. Banks are requiring more and more paperwork before approving a mortgage. Changes in lending regulations are impacting closing times. Communication can become more difficult as many people take time off or travel during the holiday season. Any delay in the process is always prolonged during the winter holiday season. Getting your house sold and closed before those delays begin will lend itself to a smoother transaction.
4. There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move-Up
If you are moving up to a larger, more expensive home, consider doing it now. While equity in your home may continue to go up, purchase prices are projected to appreciate by over 18.1% from now to 2019. If you are moving to a higher priced home, it will wind-up costing you more in raw dollars (both in down payment and mortgage payment) if you wait. You can also lock in your 30-year housing expense with an interest rate near or below 4% right now. Rates are projected to rise by this time next year, and we have been seeing a definite small but upward trend this year.
5. It’s Time to Move On with Your Life
Look at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and ask yourself whether it is worth waiting. What do you hope to gain? Will potential gains in value achieved by waiting be lost by reduced buying power? Is the time spent waiting worth time lost with family? Does waiting impact your health? Will job opportunities available now still be there 3 or 6 months from now? Are you sacrificing the freedom to go on with your life the way you think you should? What is holding you back?
Only you know the answers to the questions above. You have the power to take control of the situation by putting your home on the market when the time is right for you. Don't let uncertainty or lack of knowledge keep you and your family from moving on and living the life you desire. Sit down with a real estate professional today and ask for assistance in determining whether now is the right time for you to sell. A qualified Realtor will be happy to provide this service for free as a courtesy to you and your family. And, as always, if you have questions I am happy to help!