The local housing market is begging you: Please sell your home . . . now.
A severe lack of for-sale properties in the Odenton area, a chance to pre-empt other sellers as we move into the spring homebuying season and the emerging threat of rising interest rates means sellers who list their homes now will enjoy a sizable advantage over those who wait.
Consider these five factors:
1. There’s a severe lack of homes for sale in the Odenton area. The number of available homes for sale in Odenton has dropped 41 percent since December 2011–from 125 homes to 75 homes. Realtors in this area will tell you: there's a glut of buyers and a critical shortage of decent homes from which to choose.
Consider, for a moment, one of my current clients. He’s a well-qualified professional, currently renting, who’s been looking since last August to purchase his first home. He’s been relentlessly looking for an end-unit Odenton townhome, in great shape and in a decent neighborhood. I’ve shown him nearly a dozen properties over the last six months, but none have measured up.
Then, three weeks ago, the perfect house popped onto the market. Within two days, the client toured it, fell in love with it and made a full-price offer for the property.
But it wasn’t to be. Four other buyers also loved the house. All four submitted offers within 24 hours of ours. The winning bid was $13,000 above the seller’s asking price. The four unsuccessful bidders were left to yet again scrounge for another hard-to-find property.
The lesson learned? When very few quality properties are on the market and buyers have been struggling to find what they want, sellers are in the driver’s seat. Such is the case with Odenton real estate at the moment.
2. Beat your competitors by pre-empting the busy spring homebuying season. Realtors hear it from potential home sellers all the time: ‘I’ll wait until spring to put my house on the market. They’ll be more buyers then.’
Sure, there are almost always more buyers in the spring. But there are a lot more sellers then, too.
Buyers in the spring have lots more homes to choose from, and if you’re thinking of selling, that’s not to your advantage. More competition means it’s harder to get buyers to focus on the merits of your property. By listing now, sellers can take advantage of the current surplus of buyers and beat the spring rush of properties to the market. Sellers who list now will grab more attention, more showings and more offers – which, in turn, can produce a higher selling price for their home.
3. Interest rates remain near historic lows, but they’re beginning to inch up. Have we seen the bottom for mortgage interest rates? Most experts think we have. Just last week, average 30-year fixed rates jumped as much as a half percent in some areas of the country. Warnings went out from loan officers to realtors and homebuyers everywhere – lock in your new-purchase or refi rates now, if you haven’t already done so.
Experts predict mortgage rates will continue to rise as the year progresses.
This change is important for sellers because as rates go up, fewer potential home buyers enter the market, and those that do have diminished buying power. The sooner a seller gets his home on the market, the less likely he’ll suffer the adverse effects of rising interest rates.
4. Chances are, you’ll sell your house more quickly. The homes sold in Odenton in December 2011 stayed on the market an average of 119 days. In December 2012, the average home sold in Odenton sat on the market just 73 days – 39 percent less than the year before.
Sellers often are reluctant to put their home on the market because listing a home means keeping it clean and in showing condition and accommodating realtor showings. Keeping your house ready for showings can be laborious and inconvenient. With homes in Odenton now selling more quickly, the average seller will be less inconvenienced by the process than in recent years.
5. Home prices in Odenton have been steadily increasing. Statistics from the Metropolitan Regional Information Service show that average year-over-year home prices for Odenton have risen four of the last five months. Listing your home for sale now will garner you more money than at any time since the market crash of 2007.
So to summarize, if you’re living in the Odenton/Ft. Meade area and giving serious thought to selling your home this year, take advantage of the current, unique market conditions. You’ll likely get the very best price for your house in the shortest amount of time.
Help the buyers out there – and help yourself. You’ll be glad you did.
Jerry Kline is a Realtor with the Odenton, Md., office of Keller Williams Flagship Realty (1216 Annapolis Rd., Odenton.) For more information on the local real estate market, contact him at (443) 924-7418, or visit his blog (www.JerryKlineRealtor.wordpress.com) or website (www.JerryKline.kwrealty.com).