By Steve Levine, President of Steve Levine Inc. and an agent for REMAX Prestige
Over the last months, we'se talked about lack of inventory out here in Worcester County. Inspired by the lowest interests any of us have ever seen, and buoyed by the obvious fact that prices were once again on the rise, buyers have been coming out in droves for the last few months only to find that there was precious little out there to choose from. This meant homes flying off the market in days, often with multiple offers, and rising prices.
Starting in mid-March, however, the smart sellers started coming back into the marketplace at last, hoping to beat out the rest of the crowds and helping to rebalance the inventory shortage once again. This was great to see, and will enable us to form a far more stable base which will be able to support increased values down the road.
Make no mistake, we still have a shortage in inventory, especially when it comes to really nice clean homes in the 250-350k, and the 450-525k range but it's better than it was before. Within those price brackets, the multiple offer situations are still commonplace, and many of my buyers have been waiting for over a month for the right home to come on the market, to no avail so far. Fortunately, I have heard from many sellers over the past month that are going to be listing their homes, and that should make for a really nice spring market this year.
This brings me to an interesting topic that I don's believe we have ever talked about before, which is “managing inventory.” That's not often a big issue, because listings come and go all the time at relatively random intervals, but occasionally in the early part of spring when many sellers talk about hitting the market, it becomes somewhat of an issue. Inventory management is something that only the top listing Realtors in a particular area ever need to worry about, in that they have many sellers they are talking to about listing their homes, and they usually are involved in the process several weeks in advance of the homes actually hitting the open market.
In all industries, producers take great care to always maintain adequate inventory to meet the current absorption rate, while making sure to not flood the market with inventory. The same thing happens in the real estate industry, when top listing agents in a particular community are able to properly advise their clients as to when, specifically, to list their homes for maximum return.
This is something I personally have had my eye on for the last few weeks, where we suddenly were seeing an influx of seller inquiries in the 390-440k range. Rather than have 10 of these hit the market at once, some sellers decided to hold back, keep an eye on the existing inventory out there, and then time their entrance to the market to best coincide with willing whatever vacuum might exist. To date, that has worked out really well for all the different folks involved, with a nice balanced inventory situation, and great sales happening in the process.
What about you? Well, April and May are “Ground Zero” in our market, and if you'se ready to make a move this spring, let's chat now when I have buyers waiting!
Steve Levine is President of Steve Levine Inc., and an agent for REMAX Prestige. He has been ranked as one of the Top 100 agents in the world, and can be reached at [email protected] or on his cell at (508) 735-4663.