So you’ve heard that the market is a little uncertain right now, and you’re wondering if you should just wait a year or two before selling your residence.
If you don’t mind keeping the home forever, then fine, the value will probably go up in the long run. But if you’d rather get your hands on your tax-free equity in the next couple of years, consider this.
In the strong seller’s market we’ve enjoyed over the last nine years, buyers had to pay the price. There was enough competition that if you didn’t pay the seller’s price, somebody else would.
But lately we’ve seen the competition dwindle.
Let’s don’t call it a buyer’s market just yet. Let’s call it neutral.
If buyers feel they have more negotiating power, they are going to use it. They wait more patiently now, critique the comps more closely, and skip the fixers unless the price gap is appropriate. Sellers of the fixers got away with selling for just a little under the superior homes, but now the 5% to 10% gap is back.
Once the market has turned that corner, it probably won’t just bounce back to being a seller’s market the next spring.
How do you know if you should sell now, or take a chance?
Sell now if you have good comps.
You’re not going to have better comps next year. Why?
Because once buyers they recognize a slower market, they are going to dig in on price and only pay the same as the comps, or less. They will wait patiently for the more-motivated sellers who price close to the comps or just under. Those are the sales that will be setting the market.
So the best-case scenario is to have next-year’s prices be about the same as today. So you should sell now while you have the certainty.