Listing Now Might Be Shrewd

Dated: 01/24/2017

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 If this is going to be a year of upsets, the rules for when Greater Seattle listings are best initiated might be primed to fly out the window. There’s no guarantee that 2017’s Greater Seattle listing performance will bend the rules, but if the National Association of Realtor’s® news site is right, it’s a definite possibility.

The history has long demonstrated that the most opportune time of year to add your home to the Greater Seattle listings is during the peak spring and summer seasons. When you look at the volume of home sales through most years, those months do look inviting. There are exceptions, but for the most part, spring and summer regularly excel in sales volume.

Last week, the Realtor® website ran an article in their Trends area headlining that “This Year, Sellers May Benefit from Listing Early.” Their reasoning was short and sweet—citing recent facts, then drawing a conclusion that’s the opposite of what they seem to indicate. Here are the facts:

1.    Supply. It’s a fact that from one end of the country to the other, the residential inventory (supply) is starkly reduced. According to the NAR, “Inventory levels at the beginning of 2017 are at multiyear lows.” Thus, homeowners who list now “face very little competition.”

2.    Demand. Even though the late fall and winter months have traditionally shown weak demand, the threat of mortgage rate hikes­­—then the actual rises­—may have been all that was needed to instill a growing sense of urgency among buyers. Early results reflect buyer demand that’s “abnormally strong” for this time of year.

3.    Optimism. With consumer confidence at a 15-year high, once the spring buying season gets going in earnest, Greater Seattle buyers might find themselves in “buying competition” that will “get fierce.”

These trends are all well-documented. Yet at first blush, they seem to argue againstlisting your home now. After all, wouldn’t it still make sense for to follow the traditional dictum­—to hold off until that fierce competition takes hold? The answer that flips such a conclusion is found in the fourth fact:

4.    Sellers Will be Buyers. Overwhelmingly, national surveys suggest that the homeowners behind most Seattle area listings will also become buyers once they have sold. In fact, an estimated 85% of American home sellers plan to buy another home! If that’s correct, it’s not surprising that they’ll be grateful if they are quick to sell into this winter’s market. That will not only help them get a jump on the crowd come springtime—it will also lengthen the odds that they can cash in on mortgage rates before they rise substantially. All of a sudden, the net advantage to listing early could be substantial!

The short takeaway is that simply accepting the old common wisdom warrants a second look in 2017. If you are one of our Seattle area homeowners who automatically presumed the wisdom of waiting a while longer to join the Seattle area listings, it might pay to reassess. Give me a call if you’d like to discuss how your plans fit into today’s broader residential picture­—and how to take maximum advantage of this year’s market!

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Ron Harmon | Designated Broker

As a dedicated real estate broker I have helped over 500 families purchase or sell their home and I am qualified to guide you through buying or selling a home. Buying or selling a home is one of t....

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