We just got back from the Tuesday broker’s open house tour in West Hartford. It’s always fun to see the new listings and talk with the other agents about what is going on in the market.
One of the common themes right now seems to be that there are more buyers actively looking for homes than there are sellers. Many agents reported having trouble finding homes that their buyer clients are interested in purchasing. We are even seeing bidding wars for highly desirable properties.
Sellers, this could be a good opportunity to take advantage of the active buyer pool. Homes that show well and are priced correctly are selling quickly. However, buyers are still concerned about overpaying, so don’t think that you can name your price – it needs to be based in reality.
Buyers, you need to remember that there are other people looking for houses too. Quite a few of them, in fact. If you are looking for a move-in ready home, in a desirable location, then you’re going to need to be ready to react quickly to new listings. You’ll need to rely on your agent and your personal experience to determine a fair price. Lowball offers and automatic discounts from the asking price are unlikely to succeed with newer listings.
Our concern is that all the sellers are waiting … waiting … waiting, and it’s going to create a feeding frenzy in March and April. Agents are asking sellers to list sooner, since there is little competition for them, but sellers just aren’t ready.
The driving force behind the buyer/seller imbalance is the Home Buyer’s Tax Credit. Buyers need to have a purchase contract in place by the end of April in order to qualify, so they’re out shopping earlier in the year than normal. We expected sellers to recognize this opportunity and list their homes earlier in the spring market than normal, but so far buyers seem to be outnumbering sellers by a considerable margin.
This could be an opportunity, sellers. Check with your agent to see what their take is on your situation. And if you don’t have an agent, then give us a call – we’re always happy to help.