Navigating the Summer Real Estate Market
“Timing is everything.” Like most of us, you’ve likely had the reason to utter this all too common phrase. Perhaps you delivered the joke’s punchline to a colleague at just the right moment. Maybe you brought up a touchy subject to your spouse at the end of a long day’s work. What about the time you showed up to the store and found the item you were looking for had just gotten marked down by 50%?
In the world of real estate, timing truly is everything! By now you’ve noticed that the summer temperatures have climbed, the kids are enrolled in camps, and family vacations have begun in earnest. Did you also happen to notice an increase in For Sale signs throughout your neighborhood? Perhaps you also noticed that those homes are not rolling over to Under Contract as quickly as they had just 60 or 90 days ago. What many don’t realize is that this is the normal cycle of home sales each year. Every summer, the inventory of available homes edges higher with each passing month. Additionally, the amount of active buyers tends to decrease as many have already secured their next home earlier in the spring or perhaps have put their search on hold as other summer activities are monopolizing their time.
For sellers looking to put their home on the market, rest assured, it can still be a good time to sell your home. However, homeowners have to be aware of this increased competition and understand that their home will be directly compared to similar homes in the area. If other homes in the neighborhood have features that you are not offering (granite counters, upgraded landscaping, hardwood floors, more finished square footage, etc) then your asking price should reflect this difference.
For buyers, the summer starts to turn the tables in their favor as they have more homes to choose from and less competition. They won’t feel the immediate pressure to put an offer on a home in the first 48 hours that a new listing hits the market. However, homes that are nicely appointed, in desirable neighborhoods and are appropriately priced will be absorbed quickly, so don’t get too comfortable or you’ll miss out on your dream home!
If you are a seller and currently find yourself on the summer market but aren’t getting the showing activity you want or an offer to purchase, now is a good time to sit down with your Realtor to discuss the local inventory and your competition. Are there homes in and around you that are priced lower than you? Are they offering more space and/or features that you may not have in your home? Can your marketing message be tweaked to appeal to other buyers? Resetting your expectations for the seasonal changes in real estate can help reduce your stress in an already tense period of time for sellers!
I recently sold a home in Potomac that is a great example of a seller reacting to the changing seasonal marketplace. After being on the market for three weeks and having good agent traffic through the home, they still had not gotten an offer. We sat down together and reviewed the agent feedback, looked at the local inventory and closely compared what we were offering vs what other homes featured. Based upon the feedback, lack of buyer response, and the current marketplace, we made a price adjustment. After just three days we ended up getting 3 (!!) offers on the property. We were eventually able to close the home for $10K higher than the adjusted sales price as well as negotiated a home inspection with NO seller repairs. We closed just 22 days later and the sellers were ecstatic!
If you are presently on the market or are looking to buy or sell this summer, we’d urge you to sit down with us to come up with a strategy that works best for you and your specific neighborhood!