In a 2017 interview Coach Belichick talked about the critical importance of timing in both sports and business, saying: “You can be fast, but making the cut at the right time is a little bit more important than being fast. Running the route on the right timing is a little bit more important than being… tall.” He went on to say, “So, a lot of that is instinctive, and a lot of that is gained through experience. Timing is an important part of all critical decisions.”
Similarly, timing is a critical component in selling your home for a winning amount. Let’s look at the stats.
The stats indicate that now is an opportune time to sell your home
Like good football coaches, good realtors use stats and careful observations of the field to make smart decisions about timing. Let’s be very clear (picture me blasting a coach’s whistle to demand your rapt attention right now)… both nationwide and local real estate stats seriously suggest that there is no time like the present to sell your home.
Unlike my old high school football coach (who, if questioned, mashed against my face mask and sprayed moist little flecks of chewing tobacco while screaming witticisms like, “Yours is not to question why, yours is but to do or die!”), I’ll gladly and civilly explain why now is the time to make a pass play.
Buyer demand is growing-- Mortgage rates hovered around four percent throughout 2017. Low rates stimulate buyer frenzy, like players frantically scrambling to recover a fumble. Further, rumors that interest rates will rise have prompted many renters, first time buyers and others to pile on before rates rise and price them out of the market. These two combined factors have resulted in consumer demand as big as Rob Gronkowski’s catcher’s mitt-like hands.
Supply is shrinking-- Simultaneously, the supply of homes for sale went down faster than the Oakland Raiders this season.
To illustrate, the real estate site Trulia reported that in the fourth quarter of 2017, U.S. home inventory decreased by 10.5%. “That is the biggest drop we’ve seen since Q2 2013.”
Trulia cited a 5.9 percent inventory drop in the availability of premium homes and a whopping 19 percent drop in starter homes compared to the fourth quarter of 2016.
Those are the national stats. Here in our division, the Lakes Region, the downward trend in supply is even more evident. For example, there were 340 single family homes or condominiums listed for sale between January 1st and February 1st 2010 in Belknap and Carroll Counties. In 2012 that number dropped to 314. In 2014 it dropped again, to 293. The drop continued in 2016, with only 251 residences listed in that same month-long timespan.
This year, only 191 single family homes or condominiums were listed between 1/1/2018 and 2/1/2018. That’s 64 percent fewer homes than were listed in January 2010!
Don’t miss the window to score-- Still addressing the importance of timing, Coach Belichick said, “The bigger and faster and quicker and all that [a player is], the better, but… in sports or business, the right decision can be the wrong one if the timing is bad.”
Similarly, timing may be more important than the size of your house right now. Right now demand and prices for homes are peaking, while competition (other properties for sale) is at a historically low level.
For example, earlier this month I listed a modest little bungalow that other realtors passed over because it didn’t look like an easy sell. Within 24 hours of listing, with no additional marketing, I received a very strong offer. Within 48 hours I had other inquiries, showings and competitive offers. The home is under agreement, just like that, because of timing.
But if you wait too long to list, home prices may rise to the point where they price many buyers out of the market. If interest rates rise, as they are predicted to do (perhaps five percent by the end of 2018), it will exacerbate the problem.
The play clock is running out on this article so I’ll finish by saying you have a very good chance to score a winning number for your Lakes Region home right now, but only if you get on the field and go for it. Like Coach Belichick said, “Timing is an important part of all critical decisions,” and now is the time.