Whose Market Is It, Anyway?
I’ve noticed that, as we enter the spring market (OK, as I write this, snow is falling on our nation’s capital), both buyers and sellers have concerns about the next few months.
Sellers are afraid that, if they sell in March, prices will soar in April. Under this scenario, they would make less money when selling. Then they would have to pay more on the buying end.
Buyers, especially those without a home to sell, are afraid that prices will plummet once the ink is dry on whatever contract they sign.
So, what’s really going to happen? Who knows?
It’s a lot easier to advise buyers, especially those who plan to stay in their new homes for many years. In real estate, what goes down must come up – or at least that’s been the case for the past several centuries. In the past, when prices have fallen, they’ve come back within a few years. And when they top out again, prices are higher than they were at the previous peak. If you own your home through several of these cycles, you begin to appreciate one of the major benefits of home ownership – appreciation!
And most of my sellers have owned their homes long enough that, even if they were to miss the ultimate peak, they will do very well.
The numbers, at least in the Washington area, are showing a much more balanced market than we have seen for many years. And right now, balanced means fewer bidding wars, and fewer bidders when there is a battle. But in the past few weeks, we’ve seen many more listings with multiple offers than we’ve had in recent months. Also, houses and apartments are staying on the market for more time. This means that sellers have to be a little patient, but buyers can’t be too complacent. If you snooze, you still might lose.
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