Welcome to my new series – “Get Ready for the Spring Housing Market”. Are you looking to buy or sell a home this spring? Let’s talk about the market.
Our local spring market has the most sales of the year, which is why so many sellers time their home sale for the spring market (which starts in March and runs to June; buyers with children want to be settled in their new house before the new school year starts). As we approach this year’s spring market, I will be posting a series of videos. This first ones will start with a look at the local market. The next will focus on buyers and sellers and how each can get ready.
The spring market is fast paced. You need to understand what to expect. Houses in competitive markets will go on the market, have weekend open houses, several buyers may do pre-inspections (more on that later), and offers may be due Monday or Tuesday. You have to be prepared to see the house and immediately make a decision. Now is the time to get mentally and financially prepared. And, as a seller, you need to get your house ready to have such an experience.
The harsh reality is – buyers, you need to be prepared to lose a house or two. It is very frustrating, I know, but our spring market means multiple offers. You have to present your strongest offer up front, and keep in mind that 12 other people may be doing the same thing. And at the end of this, only one buyer can get the house and the other “12” will have to move on to the next house.
This year’s spring market will likely be no different. As you may have seen in the recent Washington Post article, according to Bright MLS data: “January was the ninth consecutive month of declines in year-over-year inventory levels in the Washington region. The industry is selling homes faster than new ones are coming on the market.”
What are the key things to understand about the spring market:
- The spring market is competitive
- Inventory is low
- Interest rates are expected to rise over the year, which may increase the number of buyers early in the year
- Expect to see multiple offers
- Buyers should be meeting with their lenders now to finalize their pre-approval letters and with their Realtor to discuss the details of writing competitive offers
- Sellers should be finishing any necessary repairs to their house, working on landscaping and curb appeal, and meeting with their Realtor to discuss any other changes that need to be made to get the house ready for the market – decluttering, renovations, staging, etc
We are going to dive into these topics throughout my series. In my next video, I will discuss the specifics of local neighborhood markets, including supply of houses, average sold price, sale-to-list ratio, average days on market, absorption rate, etc..