Traditionally, the spring market is the time when everyone jockeys to position their home for a quick and profitable sale. However, as with so many other things in 2020, there’s a “new normal’ when it comes to the real estate market. That means that buyers are still looking and it’s still a great time to list your home.
Why wait until 2021 when your perfect buyer may be ready to make an offer on your home right now? Here are some of the reasons you might want to call up a trusted real estate agent or broker today.
You literally have a captive audience.
Think about all of the distractions that normally happen around this time of year. Spooky season has everyone planning and attending parties and preparing elaborate trick or treat traditions. Thanksgiving and the December holidays have folks traveling and spending money on gifts rather than down payments. This year, however, folks are stuck at home with little to do—and thinking about the things that drive them crazy in their current space.
Your home’s photographs, property description, video tour, virtual walkthrough, and social media-shared virtual open house has an unprecedented audience watching 24/7. Hopeful homebuyers aren’t just texting each other about your property’s best features—they’re sitting together and discussing them while social distancing from the rest of the world. There has never been a better time to capture the attention of buyers in your area and convince them that your home is the one they’ve been waiting for.
Demand from buyers is still sky-high.
This has been a frustrating year for buyers who had planned to home shop in the spring 2020 market. First, COVID-mandated shutdowns kept them at home when they had planned to spend their weekends visiting open houses. Then, many sellers took their homes off the market in favor of waiting out the uncertainty. That means that a lot of people have their down payment saved up and burning a hole in their bank account.
Interest rates are still historically low.
It seems that every week we see stories about historically low interest rates. So, what does this mean for homebuyers—and those who wish to sell to them? Low just got lower, according to a report by Freddie Mac. In fact, today’s rates are a full percentage point lower than the average rate over the past five years. That means that buyers can find a great deal on their mortgage today—one that may not be available in 2021.
Inventory is still low.
Similarly, the one-two impact of already low home inventory in many major markets and COVID’s effect on new home construction means that home inventory has hit a trough. As of September, there were just 2.7 months of available housing inventory. This is creating unprecedented demand and an incredible opportunity for home sellers, especially those in desirable neighborhoods.
If you are thinking about putting your home on the market, and then purchasing a new home, talk to a real estate agent about helping you coordinate your sale and purchase. Find out what markets offer additional inventory or, alternatively, what new home construction options might work for you and your family.
Home values are up.
If you remember your reading from Econ 101, historically high demand and historically short supply add up to an unprecedented rise in home values. Add to that the increased affordability offered by falling interest rates and it’s a great deal for homeowners with a house to sell. In addition, one of the added benefits of this boost in home values is that it is happening in a variety of markets, including some that don’t usually benefit from increased demand.
Markets are shifting.
Those markets that are becoming increasingly popular? Rural and suburban communities, many of which frequently see flat demand and home values while competitive urban and exurban markets are booming. One of the unpredictable effects of COVID-related shutdowns has been increased demand for more land, more outdoor space, and more recreational amenities like pools and tennis courts. These are easier to come by in suburban, estate, and rural communities, where larger homes and larger lot sizes are prevalent.
In addition, because work from home has become the standard for many companies well into the foreseeable future, professionals no longer need to worry about long commute times and proximity to a downtown office. Thus, for many families that means a move to a larger space for dual home offices and a more affordable way of life.
The 2020 market is unprecedented.
You know the pattern—February or early March is the beginning of the spring market, which begins to run out of gas around July 4. Everyone wants to be in place by the time school starts and no one wants to sell during the holidays. That has been the real estate market timeline for decades.
Well, all bets are off in the topsy-turvy world of 2020. That means that the old rules of market timing don’t apply because the habits and patterns they are based on don’t apply. There’s no reason to put off listing when all of the market indicators are in favor of it and lifestyles and traditions are thoroughly altered. This provides a rare opportunity for you to put your home on the market without worrying about unfavorable timing. If selling your home has been a goal for you this year, you could still check it off of your list before you ring in the New Year.