Sell your house in January?

Gary Kelley, Realtor®
Gary Kelley, Realtor –

By Gary L. Kelley, Realtor®

Conventional wisdom says homes in New England sell in the spring.  It’s getting warmer, the birds are out, it aligns with school calendars, and any snow is melting.

With 2020 in the rear-view mirror, it’s time to greet 2021 and sell your house. Early 2020 set the real estate world on its ear and it was still a great year overall.  Why is January 2021 a time to sell?

Low inventory

At this late December writing, Massachusetts has 7,567 homes for sale, including single family, condos, multifamily and mobile. This time last year we had just over 11,000 homes. Some people deferred putting their home on the market in the spring when COVID-19 first hit. Some wondered where they could move if they sold their home. With low inventory, the demand for every house hitting the market is greater, especially if it is priced correctly.

That said, during the quarantine period some found their homes too small.  They needed space for a dedicated home office and room for at home schooling.  Outdoor space shifted from occasional use to gathering places for the household. Some renovated, while some found it easier to move.  With people becoming “home bodies”, more buyers entered the market.

Low interest rates

Suffice to say they are low.  In other articles I have written how interest rates are one element of a mortgage, and mortgages need to be looked at as a total.  While rates under 3% are not “free money,” buyers can leverage a larger mortgage then I could in my first house (when we gladly paid 18% because we still wanted our own house and did not know better.) It is predicted mortgage rates are not going to increase any time soon. If they did, an increase from under 3% is still an incredibly low price to pay.

Low inventory and low interest are creating the perfect opportunity for someone to sell their home.

That said, buyers are aware of the superheated market so items like curb appeal and “good bones” are more important than ever. Nice homes way overpriced generally sit on the market aging ultimately selling for less than they would have if fairly priced.  This is where the intangibles of real estate agents come to bear providing guidance on pricing and market knowledge of necessary improvements.
We are often seeing lines at open houses and multiple offers.  To play successfully in that space requires an experienced player.
Our advice for putting your house on the market in early 2021:
— Get it ready.  Declutter, paint neutral colors, clean up the yard
— Call us for a recommendation on pricing. Keep in mind if you price it too high you may have problems with an appraisal etc. Also remember, buyers will pay a premium if it is their idea (bidding up in a multiple offer situation). If the home hits the market at an overvalued price, it sits and does not sell.

Stay sanitized! 

Here is free app for your phone/tablet tied directly to the MLS
Gary is heard on WCRN AM 830  discussing “All Things Real Estate.”
If you need advice on selling your home or buying a new one, give us a call 508-733-6005.


Gary Kelley, Realtor®