Wow!, what an unusual market we are seeing.  Houses are selling at better than expected prices and we are seeing bidding wars.

So what is wrong with that?  There are very few houses for sale.  Homeowners are not selling.  They are staying put.   And yet buyers are out there trying to beat the rising mortgage rates.  (Although slightly, rates have had an uptick and will continue.)

Statistics tells us that the average homeowner stays in their home for 7-8 years.  This puts us back to 2005/6, the height of the market, when prices were approximately 20-23% higher than today.  So unless one had to sell, why sell and lose money and possibly be put in a short sale situation.  (And by the way, there are many stemming in every neighborhood from the urban to the rural to the home next door.)

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The other reason why, is that families are finding that there is no need to get bigger homes, since the family “fits just fine” in their current abode.  In its stead, homeowners are renovating to fit their current needs and to prepare for its eventual sale when prices do get closer to what the home was paid for.   The result is that larger homes in the higher priced bracket are not selling.  A great example, are the homes in Harding in which a good number of the listings expired.

The other factor as to little inventory is that many sellers wait until spring to place their home on the market.  This may be a big mistake for those homeowners now more than ever.  Real estate, like any commodity, is based on supply and demand.  The lower the availability, the higher need and the price for it.  By waiting until spring, a home-seller, will be accompanied by the throngs of other home-owners that feel the same.  It is best to place one’s home on the market with less competition.  While the demand for housing is being snatched up by the pent-up buyer’s demand and by those that are relocating to the area (usually happens in the first quarter of the year as companies budgets have been set), the little inventory gives credence to the rising prices.  If you couple that the fact that banks are still holding off from releasing any shadow inventory, the time to sell is now, if you are ready to sell.

The optimum word is ready, or need to sell.  If one is looking to test the market, do not waste your time (nor the buyer’s time).  However, if it is a necessity, why wait and possibly make less money.

If you would like to know the market value of your property, please contact Coccia Realty, Inc. at 973.377.4400 or for the evaluation.  It is complimentary and at no obligation.