Recently, our local paper, The Tennessean ran an article about how a “seller’s market” is impacting the real estate market in Williamson and Davidson County. The headline screamed “Tight Market Has Home Sellers Wary of Becoming Buyers.” The article went on to explain that while houses are selling so quickly and for so much money, that it’s creating a buying conundrum. Homeowners looking to sell are thrilled to get top dollar and turn a quick sale, but then are thrust into a difficult position when they need to buy a new home. I was quoted in this article as saying, “Sellers know their homes will sell quickly, but they have nowhere to go.” And, while this makes for great copy, it only tells part of the story. Since I didn’t get a full page spread to explain myself in The Tennessean, I thought I’d take to my blog to expand on just what it means to sell and buy a home in a seller’s market. ‘Cause you know… I’m a master at expanding. And, if you don’t mind me saying so, I’m pretty good at working both ends of the real estate market!
First of all, let’s clarify what a “seller’s market” is exactly. Simply put, it’s a period of time in which home inventory is lower than the demand for homes. There might be five buyers for every home currently listed on MLS… it’s a classic case of supply vs. demand. The result is that homes often sell for their asking price (or above) and they move quickly… often selling the first day or weekend on the market. Now, if all you need to do is sell your home, this is fantastic news, but real estate transactions aren’t often this simple. . Is our market a seller’s market right now? Yes. Emphatically, yes. Home sales in Williamson County hit a record high in April of 2016. Prices were up, too, but inventory? Not so much. In fact, while Williamson County is seeing record growth, inventory of homes for sale did not increase in 2016.
What to do? What to do? If you’ve been thinking about selling, it seems to be an ideal time to do so. You can almost guarantee a quick and profitable sale. We’ll pop a cork and celebrate and then… reality. Unless you’ve got a few extra properties in your back pocket, you’re going to need to buy a new home. Suddenly, those asking price offers and bidding wars aren’t working for you. But can they? The answer is a qualified yes. Yes, you can make this seller’s market work for you if you do and remember a few things. First of all… hire a qualified and experienced Realtor®. I just happen to know one… But, seriously, this is NOT the time to navigate the real estate market on your own! While you might be able to sell your home all by yourself, you’re going to need a quick-witted, savvy and motivated Realtor® on your side when it comes time to buy your new home. Secondly… get pre-approval on your new home loan. This can make a big difference when it comes time to make an offer. If you can make a contingency-free offer and are preapproved, all the better. Third… do your homework. Know where you want to be and what you want in a new home. Armed with that information, your Realtor can jump on new listings quickly. Lastly, be prepared to make a full price offer. This doesn’t mean you’re not getting a good deal. It just means that you’re working within the existing system and ending up with a gorgeous new home for you and your family.
Happy home buying and selling, friends!