Is now the best time to list your home? Many homeowners are wondering whether they should sell their homes now or wait due to unusual market conditions and foreboding forecasts from some economists. Although spring typically brings out a lot of home buyers and sellers, this spring is making many people pause. Every seller has heard the stories of how bidding wars and offers for six figures or more than the asking price. But this crazy seller’s market appears to be over now that interest rates have doubled in the last year, financially hurting buyers and sellers equally. It makes sense that some homeowners are dreading themselves for not listing when the market peaked. However, despite the doubt that hangs over the possibility of selling this year, the most recent housing data suggests that things aren’t as gloomy as others might believe. Here are some justifications for why listing your house right away might make sense if you’re a homeowner debating whether to do so this year.
Why List Your Home Now?
The ideal week to list a home, according to the National Association of Realtors, is mid-April, or around now. The best time to list your home is during the week of April 16 through April 22, 2023, as per research by Realtor.com. Even according to Realtor.com, selling your house between April 16 and April 22 could net you $48,000 more than selling it at the beginning of the year. If you can time it right, this week could be a sweet spot for buying a home due to a combination of higher home prices, less competition, sales that move quickly, and high buyer demand.
“Many home shoppers kick off their search in the early spring and they often beat the majority of home sellers to the punch. For this reason, sellers who list on the earlier side will get more buyer attention and therefore be more likely to sell quickly and for a higher price.” – Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at Realtor.com
Make no mistake: the market still favors sellers, even though sellers might not experience the insane bidding wars and crowded open houses they experienced a year or two earlier. According to Realtor.com, some of the reasons include:
- Home Prices Continue to Rise
Home prices tend to fluctuate; they fall during the winter months and then rise in the spring. Because of this, listing prices have gradually risen since they peaked at $406,000 in January, reaching $424,000 in March. Additionally, home prices have increased since last year. The median list price in February was 6.3% higher than it was in the same month last year. The gains are also greater the longer you have owned your home. There are many reasons to be optimistic about the future of home prices, yet it remains to be seen.
- Home Equity is at Record Levels
Homeowners who have been making monthly mortgage payments should have confidence in the fact that they have probably amassed a sizeable amount of equity in their homes. Equity is the difference between the present value of a home and the amount still owed on the mortgage. In fact, according to recent surveys, homeowner equity levels nationwide have reached 70%, a nearly 40-year high.
- Number of Homes Available is at an All-time Low
People are living in their homes longer, and baby boomers who might have downsized in previous years are staying put, which is contributing to this trend. Homebuyers consequently don’t have the same selection as they once did, and the listings that are still available have been sitting longer and becoming stale. As a result, any new listings are certain to draw a lot of interest, which is good news for any sellers dipping their toes into the market.
- Mortgage Interest Rates are Unpredictable
It is impossible to predict with any level of accuracy whether or not mortgage rates will increase or decrease, or if they do, when, or by how much. There is no assurance that prices will decrease. To put it another way, avoid putting off important life decisions based on predictions about the direction the market will take. Make decisions based on the present moment and your own requirements.
- The Time is Personally Right for You
Sometimes homeowners simply have to move, regardless of what happens to interest rates and home prices in the future. There are many circumstances in which it may not be the best time to buy or sell from a market perspective, but it is if the buyer has specific needs or circumstances. Moving and choosing the home you buy ultimately are emotional decisions. Usually, it isn’t based on figures from a spreadsheet. People will therefore usually find a way to make it work if they feel the need to relocate or simply want something different.
The Bottom Line
For the majority of homeowners, selling now will be preferable to doing so than later. This is especially true if you reside in a market that experienced a recent period of swift appreciation. Your local expert can explain pricing patterns, supply and demand, and market trends in your area. If prices are predicted to stay flat or increase this spring, selling might not be a bad idea. Don’t put off making significant life decisions just so you can time the market and get a better deal or because you can’t sell your house for as much money as your neighbors down the street did last year. Selling at the right time is not just about making money.
What To Do:
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