Is This a Good Time to Sell my House?

June 28, 2021

When someone asks a real estate agent if this is a good time to buy or sell a house, the answer is almost always a resounding “Yes!”  That answer is programmed into our brains on our first day of real estate school, and throughout our careers, the Yes is reinforced.

Sometimes that answer is spot on. 

OK, here’s the thing.  When it’s a great time to buy, it could be a challenging time to sell.  And the opposite is usually true if you are trying to buy in a strong sellers’ market with bloody bidding wars.  But then there are a lot of nuances.

In a strong buyers’ market, there are typically lots of houses for sale.  You can find one that works, sleep on it, and a few days later the sellers will be delighted to see your offer, even if it is less than what they’d like to get for the place.  The only catch is that when we have a buyers’ market, something is going on in our world that is creating unease.  The underlying condition in a buyers market is often a crappy economy with no recovery in sight.  While prices may be relatively low, they could possibly go down even more – heaven forbid!

When the pendulum finally swings, homes start to sell, and prices start to go up faster than buyers can figure out what just happened.  Sellers see their values go up and ask, should I sell now?  Or will I be able to get a lot more for my house in a couple of years?

There are so many unpredictable factors in the future real estate marketplace and the balance between supply and demand. All a good real estate agent can do is to help you understand the factors at play right this minute.  While I can’t predict the future, I have a good grasp of what is likely to happen to real estate if one or more of a number of other game changers impact conditions a few months from now.

  • Whenever there is a major change in administration, there could be a bump in demand for the DC Metro area. But sometimes the bump is barely a hump.
  • With Covid-19, many people who planned to downsize from larger homes to condos put their plans on hold.  We now have viable vaccines that could provide the encouragement they need to move, increasing the inventory for single family homes for new buyers. But it hasn’t really happened yet.
  • The overall economy is a huge question mark.  We got through Covid without the disaster many expected, but as yet, it is unclear what the long term impact might be.

So is this a good time to buy or sell a home?  It is if you want to move!  And if you are both buying and selling in the same market, whatever is happening six months from now is likely to have the same impact on both ends of your transaction.  If it’s a buyers’ market, you’ll probably sell for less and buy for less, and if DC is still Bidding War Central, you’ll sell for more and buy for more.  

In almost four decades as a Realtor, I’ve navigated every type of market you could imagine. If you are contemplating a move, please give me a call or send a text to 202-549-5167 and I’d be glad to meet with you, either in person (wearing a mask, of course) or virtually, to help you get started.