The conventional wisdom when selling a home has always been to wait until the Spring Buying Season. Over the years, that has seemed to make sense and is now accepted as a good strategy for those who want to sell their house and receive the best possible price. This real estate market has shattered many previously held beliefs. The wisdom of waiting for a spring market is another belief that is about to fall. Here are five reasons why?
Interest rates have spiked up rather dramatically over the last ninety days and are now over 5%. Initially, an increase in rates has a positive effect on the market as it forces buyers off the fence. However, it also eats into a buyers purchasing power. As rates increase, the mortgage amount a buyer qualifies for decreases. This will eventually have a negative impact on prices.
If your family goal is to sell your current house and take advantage of the fabulous selection of properties currently available to buy the home of your dreams, DO IT NOW! Prices will continue to soften in most markets. However, if you are buying, COST should be more important than PRICE. Cost can be dramatically impacted by rising mortgage interest rates. Do the math and decide if now is the time.
There is mounting evidence that buyers are coming out earlier this year. A belief that now is a good time to buy coupled with the increase in interest rates has started the buying season early.
Pete Flint, CEO of Trulia:
Were seeing a national resurgence of buyer and seller activity on Trulia.com. In January alone, we experienced an unprecedented level of site traffic including 11 million unique visitors which is more than 70 percent year-over-year growth. Weve are now experiencing 100,000 property views per minute.
The National Association of Realtors just reported that the number of house sales increased 12.9% over last month.
Every year there is an increase of inventory which comes to market as we approach the spring. Here is the number of listings available for sale in 2010.
We believe there will be an increase in these numbers in 2011 as there is a pent-up selling demand created by the weak market of the last few years. You wont have to worry about this increasing competition if you sell now.
While banks are trying to rectify their foreclosure procedures, there is a large supply of discounted properties which has been delayed coming to market. This inventory will be released sometime in the next few months. Foreclosures sell on average at a 41% discount. When released they will be competing with your house for the buyers in the marketplace. If you are looking to sell in 2011, you want to sell before this inventory becomes your competition.
CNN Money quoted the leadership Of RealtyTrac on this issue:
Weve now seen three straight months with fewer than 300,000 properties receiving foreclosure filings, following 20 straight months where the total exceeded 300,000, said James Saccacio, CEO of RealtyTrac.
Unfortunately, he added, This is less a sign of a robust housing recovery and more a sign that lenders have become bogged down in reviewing procedures, resubmitting paperwork and formulating legal arguments related to accusations of improper foreclosure processing.
We expect a spike in the first quarter, said Rick Sharga, a RealtyTrac spokesman.
These are five strong reasons to sell now instead of waiting until later in the year. Sit down with a local real estate professional today and decide the best options for you and your family.
Prices are determined not by demand alone but instead by the relationship of demand to the supply of inventory available. We are talking about the shadow inventory of homes that will come to market at discounted prices when they are sold as short sales or foreclosures. This inventory has swelled to several million units.
Over the last year, banks have been slowly releasing this inventory to the market being careful not to release too great a number in fear of driving down house values even further. Over 25% of all sales in 2010 involved a distressed property. The numbers increased as the year went on with 33% of all sales in November being in this category. In December, that number jumped to 36%! It now seems that banks are preparing to increase the flow of such properties to the market.
Last month, CNBC reported on economist Nouriel Roubinis predictions on this issue:
There has been an effective moratorium on foreclosure, said Roubini.
And the beginning of the end of that moratorium means more housing supply is about to become available on the market.
The shadow inventory of not-yet-foreclosed homesdue to the moratoriumwill surge in the next year, Roubini says.
Bank of America said:
it resumed foreclosure sales in most states that have a non-judicial process, but the bank wont restart sales in judicial states until sometime in the first quarter.
And Housing Wire reported last week that Fannie Mae directed its mortgage servicers to delay scheduled foreclosure sales 45 days for borrowers trying to get assistance through certain government programs.
What impact will this have on prices? Wells Fargo projected that house prices will drop 8% by mid-year. Fannie Mae and Bank of America have also predicted price depreciation for the first half of 2011.
Not necessarily. Remember, sellers should sell now before prices do begin to fall. However, as a purchaser, you should look at cost. With interest rates on the rise, waiting may result in a higher monthly mortgage payment even with a lower sales price.
As a good example, Mr. Roubini, who was mentioned above, just sold his home and upgraded to a more expensive residence. Get counsel from a mortgage professional before you consider delaying a purchase.
If you are looking to sell, you probably want to do it before this surge of discounted competition comes to market.
Homeownership Opportunities Program (HOP)
The Homeownership Opportunities Program (HOP) makes homeownership more than a dream for many people. A big hurdle to buying a home is saving for the downpayment or closing costs. HOP helps overcome this hurdle by providing up to $5,000 of downpayment and closing cost assistance to first-time homebuyers.
HOP will match a homeowner's funds three-to-one. At least $500 of what HOP matches must come from the homebuyer's own savings, but HOP will also match funds received from other sources including other grants and gifts.
HOP funds are available on a first-come first-served basis.
Contact me for more information on how to get pre-approved!