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Is Listing Your Home Soon a Good Idea?

Those who have sat on the sidelines over the last few months and held out on selling their homes are increasingly looking to get into the market, a move that could pay off big for buyers and sellers alike. 

According to a new survey from Realtor.com, homeowners who plan to sell are in an “extremely advantageous” position due to the fact that the market is currently seeing houses receive multiple bids, contingency wavers, and all-cash offers. 

The survey, which was conducted by HarrisX, a market research and consulting services company, found that among sellers looking to enter the market within the next year 65% expect to do so within the next six months. In addition, 93% of prospective sellers have already taken steps to begin listing their properties, up from 76% this spring. 

Also, 36% of prospective sellers have begun researching comparable property values in their neighborhood, as well as making repairs or decluttering the property. 

"The pandemic has delayed plans for many Americans, and homeowners looking to move on to the next stage of life are no exception. Recent survey data suggests the majority of prospective sellers are actively preparing to enter the market this winter," said George Ratiu, Manager of Economic Research for Realtor.com. "Buyers should be ready for high asking prices and offer deadlines as seller expectations of the upcoming market are greater than in the spring, but an increase in new sellers could mean some relief from the inventory crunch. In addition, as more homes have entered the for-sale market, price growth has moderated from the spring's double-digit levels to a more approachable 8%-9% range. Seasonality will play a key role in seller activity levels as we approach the typically-slower holiday period, with new listings already slipping in recent weeks. As buyers race against the clock of rising mortgage rates, sellers who price their homes in line with today's market and stick to their plans will likely see their expectations met." 

The survey also found: 

  • Compared to the spring (15%), nearly two-times as many prospective sellers (33%) have realized they want different home features after spending more time at home. 
  • With more sellers having children at home this winter (65%) than in the spring (43%), family considerations are a top reason behind homeowner decisions to enter the market: 37% of prospective sellers say their home no longer meets their family's needs and 32% want to move closer to friends and family. 
  • The rise in remote work is also a key driver this winter: 23% of sellers are looking for a home office and 19% no longer need to live near their workplace, up from 6% in March. 
  • Over one-third of today's prospective sellers are eager to take advantage of the current market and think they can make a profit (35%), up from the spring (24%). 
  • When asked how the current market impacts the terms they will ask for, top responses included asking for above what they think their home is currently worth (42%) and asking for a quick close (29%). 
  • Compared to the spring, more of today's prospective sellers anticipate that buyers will compete in bidding wars, offer above asking, forgo contingencies like inspections and appraisals and more. (See table 1 below.) 
  • Sellers with homes at the core of the market ($351,000-$750,000) remained the same over March (29%). However, more sellers plan to list in the $500,001-$750,000 price range, which overlaps with recent median listing prices in increasingly popular first-time buyer cities like Riverside, Calif. ($540,000), Austin ($546,000) and Denver ($600,000). 
  • More than three-quarters (77%) of prospective sellers would be willing to accept a lower offer to close quickly versus just over half in March (54%). 
  • Compared to Spring sellers, a higher number of today's prospective sellers plan to take alternative routes like moving in with family (19%), as well as temporarily renting their home back from the buyer (29%). (See table 2 below.) 

"The right time to sell your home is a deeply personal decision that has to be right for you and your family. For homeowners who do feel ready to sell, getting pricing right from the start is key to a fast and successful home sale in any markettake the goldilocks approach," said Lexie Holbert, Home & Living Expert at Realtor.com. "If you're looking for resources and tools to help with everything from setting a price to finding your family's next home at the same time, Realtor.com users can explore options like initial cash offers from Opendoor in its Seller's Marketplace."  

Click here to view a full copy of the report at Realtor.com.

About Author: Kyle G. Horst

Kyle Horst
Kyle G. Horst is a reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of the University of Texas at Tyler, he has worked for a number of daily, weekly, and monthly publications in South Dakota and Texas. With more than 10 years of experience in community journalism, he has won a number of state, national, and international awards for his writing and photography. He most recently worked as editor of Community Impact Newspaper covering a number of Dallas-Ft. Worth communities on a hyperlocal level. Contact Kyle G. at kyle.horst@thefivestar.com.
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