What a year it’s been….
By Steve Levine, President of Steve Levine Inc., and an agent for REMAX Prestige
Well, those who foretold of a real estate recovery happening in 2012 were sure right on the money this time. As the year moves way too quickly to a close, and we reflect back on the past 10 months, it has really been quite a change from the sad marketplace that defined 2011. Here is some pretty staggering data for you.
Since the beginning of 2012, there have been 427 sales in Shrewsbury alone, leading the suburbs in number of transactions! In other local communities, Westborough saw 229, Northborough had 205, Southborough had 152, and Marlborough had 400. Oh, and for those who keep telling me that Worcester properties aren’t selling, I’m happy to report nearly 1,500 transactions there so far in 2012. I’d say that if the media hasn’t yet called this a rebound, I’ll be the first to use the “R” word and say that it looks like we’re all back in business.
The good news is that the year isn’t over, and there are still quite a few sales happening. I’ve spoken to a few homeowners lately who have been vacillating between hitting the market now, delaying until after the holidays, or just waiting until the spring altogether. There are certainly valid reasons for each approach.
Certainly, at this point I wouldn’t recommend putting new homes on before Thanksgiving, however I wouldn’t necessarily hold out until New Year’s, either. The time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s can sometimes be a surprisingly good time to sell and still get top dollar for the property.
While it’s true that there are often less buyers around that time of year, what’s also true is that there is typically five times less listing for them to choose from. As such, the market in the winter actually seems to favor the sellers more than you would ordinarily think. Additionally, unlike the spring/summer market where you likely will see a parade of tire-kickers walking through before you get a real buyer, in the winter the buyers you see are truly serious and ready to purchase now. Otherwise, they’d be home having a hot cocoa instead of walking through your house in the pitch black dark at 5 in the afternoon. Oddly enough, one of the biggest sales of my 26-year career was on Christmas day, so you just never know.
Amazingly, we’re actually still seeing inventory shortages in many towns and ranges, especially in Shrewsbury, so if you were on the market in the past, or even if you weren’t, now is the time we should be talking now and planning for right after Thanksgiving. Once the tulips are blooming next March, you may be the last one to the party.
If you were on the market in the past, but didn’t find a buyer, don’t worry. Working with people re-entering the market is one of my favorite things. It’s sometimes a bit challenging, because these homeowners often feel as though their last agent let them down. In the end, we need to look at each and every one of these, and come up with the most decisive marketing strategy to get the job done.
I’ve been through this type of market three times, and know very well just how to navigate it for maximum results. To try to help, I’ve opened up the Homeowners Blend program again, in the hope that we can get 10 or 12 new listings on that program this month. That’s always been a huge hit with the local home sellers, in that it provides real estate fees as low as 2.5%, which is a huge difference when your equity position is low to begin with.
We already have a few people signed up for November, but still have room for a few more – so if you’re looking for a solution that will put a bit more money in your pocket, just give me a buzz at 508-735-4663 or email me at email@example.com and I’ll save you a place in the program.
Steve Levine is President of Steve Levine Inc., and an agent for REMAX Prestige. He has been ranked 10 times as the top REMAX Agent in the six-state New England region, and can be reached online at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 508-735-4663.
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