First quarter sales data for the Triangle was recently released and its not good if you are selling. Properties sold was down 8 percent from the same period a year ago. Showings for the quarter were down 20 percent, and pending sales were off 30 percent. If the historic relationship between showings and sales stays true the second quarter of this year will also be a not so happy time for homeowners and those whose livelihood depends on homes sales will continue to struggle.
So if you have to sell this year is there any chance at all that you will find a buyer? Yes but a couple of things will hold true for the majority of homes sold. The sale price for those homes lucky enough to find buyers will settle on a price that reflects values not seen for more than 5-7 years. In addition if your home secures a buyer, it very likely received a lot of preparation leading up to the coveted purchase agreement. My Sellers this year have invested in their home during the 2 months leading up to putting their property on the market no less than $3000 and as much as $20,000. The homes that received as little as $3000 in preparatory spending and were successful at landing a Buyer had seen a lot of updates (kitchens and baths mostly) over the last 2-4 years.
Selling this year? Be patient, Buyers are looking at more homes than ever before. Before the housing market began tumbling, my Buyers looked at an average of 10 homes before making a purchase after 1-2 months of shopping. These days my Buyers will look at no fewer than 20 homes and sometimes as many as 30 properties over a 3-6 month period before making a purchase. Days on market in the first quarter of this year extended to an average of 125, thats about 3 weeks longer than the same period in 2010.
As I have reported in earlier blog posts, there is no room in this real estate market for homes in less than “move-in” condition.