If you sighed with relief upon Punxsutawney Phil’s 2017 prediction of six more weeks of winter, thinking, “Whew! More time to get my Morris County (or Sussex County) home ready to sell.”, think again! Many sellers feel Spring is the best time to place their homes on the market as buyer demand traditionally increases at that time of year. However, the next six weeks before spring hits also have their own advantages. Here are FIVE reasons to sell now:

1. Strong Demand
Foot traffic refers to the number of people out, physically looking at homes right now. The latest foot traffic numbers from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) show that the number of buyers out looking for their dream homes in December reached the highest mark since February 2016.  These buyers are ready, willing and able to buy…and in the Morris County and Sussex County market right now! Take advantage of the strong buyer activity currently in the market.

2. Less Competition Now
Housing inventory just dropped to a 3.6-month supply, well under the 6-month supply needed for a normal housing market. This means, in many areas, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers in that market. Good news for home prices; however, additional inventory is about to come to market. Pent-up desire exists for many homeowners to move, as they were unable to sell over the last few years because of a negative equity situation. Homeowners are now seeing a return to positive equity as real estate values have increased over the last four years. Many of these homes will be coming to market soon. Also increasing:  new construction of single-family homes. A study by Harris Poll revealed that 41% of buyers prefer to buy a new home, while only 21% prefer an existing home (38% had no preference). Buyer's choices increase in the spring. Don’t wait for this other inventory to come to market before you sell.

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3. Quicker Process
One of the biggest challenges of the housing market?  The length of time it takes from contract to closing. Banks are requiring more and more paperwork before approving a mortgage. Less overall business gets done in the winter. Therefore, you’ll endure a less onerous process in the spring. Getting your house sold and closed before the spring delays begin means a smoother transaction.

4. Never A Better Time to Move-Up
Moving up to a larger, more expensive home?  Consider doing it now. Prices are projected to appreciate by 4.7% over the next 12 months according to CoreLogic. If you’re moving to a higher-priced home, it will wind-up costing you more in raw dollars (both in down payment and mortgage payment) if you wait. You can also lock-in your 30-year housing expense with an interest rate around 4% right now. Rates are projected to rise by half a percentage point by the end of 2017.

5. Time to Move on with Your Life
Look at the reason you decided to sell your Morris County or Sussex County home in the first place and determine whether it’s worth waiting. Is money more important than living near family? More important than your health? More important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you think you should? Only you know the answers to the questions above. You have the power to take back control of the situation by putting your home on the market. Perhaps, it’s time for you and your family to move on and start living the life you truly desire.

Sorry Punxsutawney Phil, but THAT is what is truly important.