One of my colleagues is set to list his upper Georgetown home in anticipation of purchasing a new home. In preparation for the market, he conducted a pre-listing home inspection, completed minor repairs around his home and even hosted a “coming soon” listing party for real estate professionals in his network.
These actions will likely culminate with just a few days on the market in the coming weeks because of the buzz and exposure he has built around his home. This is just one example that the spring market has arrived.
Overall, 2015 has been off to a steady start as predicted. Year-over-year through the end of February, closed sales are up 9.8 percent in the D.C. area, with a 10.8 percent change in the number of new listings compared to 2014. This trend is expected to continue into March as the number of new listings will continue to increase. In a sense, seller’s are much more confident that rising home prices in the area and greater consumer confidence will lead to greater gains at settlement.
Historically, the spring is seen as the big resurgence of the market from the cold winter. I predict that this year will be no different and even greater than 2014.
For a homeowner, spring market advice is simple. If you are considering selling your home, start taking actions now to prepare. For some sellers, a few pieces of maintenance and repair to your home have the potential to increase your home’s value. From painting to planting, small fixes and beautification can be key in the spring market for a successful sale. Simply putting your home on the market doesn’t guarantee the greatest return on investment. Build a following by hosting pre-listing events through your Realtor’s brokerage in order to get the greatest number of eyes on the property prior to it hitting the MLS. In return, a small amount of effort will result in gains at the closing table.
As a general rule of thumb when thinking about pricing your home for sale, there is never a price that is too low to list your home at. Yes, return on investment is traditionally every seller’s number one priority. However, in a market that is as fast-paced as the District’s with an increasing focus on a lack of supply, listing at a market price will encourage an environment of multiple offers and escalating purchase price. Thinking about it practically, would you prefer to sell your home at a market price with only a few days on market or would you rather risk sitting on the market for months at a price that isn’t dictated by the rules of supply and demand?
Spring will be critical for buyers for one reason: interest rates. While interest rates remain low, many experts nationwide expect interest rates to rise over the next six months because of the past year of historically low interest rates. Rates can only increase. For buyers, that means locking in a rate now and getting into the market to purchase. With inventory rising seasonally, this is the perfect time to get a preapproval on a loan. For buyers who are interested in purchasing responsibly, there should also be a focus on market education. Buyers should get up to speed quickly on market values so they know the right decision when it presents itself.
Finally, if it is said that April showers bring May flowers, the spring is primed to launch 2015 into a good steady market for both buyers and sellers. If you are thinking of buying a property or selling a home, feel free to ask me more about what the next best steps are. Quite simply, the time to act for both buyers and sellers is now.
Tim Savoy is a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Dupont Circle. He can be reached at 202-400-0534 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.