“Should we sell our house now or should we wait until the coronavirus crisis is over?” It’s a question we’ve been asked more than once recently and apparently it’s really making the rounds. Pop that query into Google and you’ll be rewarded with 115,000,000 results. It would take months of sheltering in place to go through all of those website pages. Let’s save you some time and cut right to the chase then. Is this a good time to sell? Having come up empty in our search for the all-seeing, all-knowing crystal ball, we’ll base our answer on the following facts.
Fact #1: There Are Buyers Now
The First Multiple Listing Service (FMLS) shows that 3,515 homes in metro Atlanta and north Georgia had their status changed from “Active” to “Active Under Contract” or “Pending” in just the first 13 days of May. In addition, on a nationwide basis, applications to purchase a home have risen each week for the past four weeks.1 Based on various news reports, one would think that the real estate industry had gone dormant over the last couple of months. Evidently, nothing could be further from the truth. People still need a place to live and many of those individuals want to own a home.
Fact #2: Supply is Low
Ask any active REALTOR® for a list of his or her top challenges in today’s market and at or near the top of that list you will find the need for more houses to sell. As CNBC reported, “…the nation’s homebuilders are seeing a sudden surge in demand. There is simply not enough existing home supply… While there is no hard data yet, anecdotally, real estate agents say they are seeing more apartment renters now hunting for single-family homes.”2 Demand is high. Supply is low. Combine those factors and, even in these difficult days, you have what is known as a “Seller’s Market.” This tends to result in more competition for homes and higher prices for sellers. FMLS backs this up in its report that, in metro Atlanta and north Georgia, the average sales price of residential listings through the end of April 2020 increased by 4.3% compared to the same period in 2019.
Fact #3: Many Sellers Are Waiting
Now we come to what might be the most critical aspect of the answer to, “Should we sell our house now or should we wait until the coronavirus crisis is over?” Take careful note of this statement: “Real estate professionals report that about 77% of potential sellers are preparing to sell their homes once stay-at-home orders from the COVID-19 pandemic are lifted, according to a newly released survey from the National Association of REALTORS®.”3 Right now, the demand for homes exceeds the supply and we have a Seller’s Market. Based on the results of the survey, we could soon see a flood of homes for sale as hesitant sellers decide it’s time to jump in. At that point, it’s possible that the Seller’s Market shifts to a Buyer’s Market. There would be more houses from which buyers could choose which tends to result in lower prices. When will that flood begin? No one knows. Maybe we are already seeing it begin to flow. In any case, those who are thinking about selling should ask themselves this question when it comes to listing their home now or later, “Do I want my home to stand out among the 'few' now or do I want to risk having it get lost in the crowd later?”
Those are the facts. Of course, there are no guarantees, but the facts seem to support sellers listing their properties for sale sooner than later. If you have been undecided about when to sell your home, why not give us a call at 678-491-4173 so that together we can examine the pros and cons of selling now or waiting awhile? It’s your decision and we respect that. We’ll be glad to help you.
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