Now that the spring market has sprung – inventory levels too have sprung into full bloom.
Our inventory levels are at three year highs with over 6,100 homes for sale in Northern Virginia. We have not had this many homes for sale since November of 2011 – nearly 3.5 years ago. This is good for buyers who are searching for homes but sellers need to be cognizant of what this means to them.
Inventory levels are up 36% over this same time last year so sellers need to be competitive when they put their properties up for sale. What we have been seeing in the market is buyers are very discriminating now when it comes to their home selection. Properties need to be in model home condition, have great curb appeal and need to be priced right in order to get offers. When homes meet these criteria, they often times are receiving multiple offers while their neighbors who haven’t staged their homes, haven’t gotten them into model home condition or haven’t priced them properly sit on the market. We see sellers push values and stay for sale for extended periods of time. We see other sellers who don’t declutter or continue to “live” in their homes versus stage their homes properly and they sit on the market. Lastly, we see sellers not make the appropriate upgrades like painting, carpet replacement, adding granite, etc. and their homes continue to stay up for sale while others sell. Many of today’s buyers don’t want to make the upgrades, don’t have the vision to get homes into the right condition or don’t have the funds to make the improvements but qualify to buy the homes that have been put into the proper selling condition. As inventory levels rise, it is extremely important to make your house as competitive as possible to get it sold because there are buyers out there.
On another note, interest rates remain low which is helping purchasers become home owners both as first time buyers and as move up buyers which is good for our market. As rates increase, we will see people embrace adjustable rate mortgages as an option – especially first time buyers as their objectives are to only stay in the property for a short period of time. If you are considering a purchase, please ask about ARM’s and if they are a viable option for you.
Let’s hope the weather heats up and helps fuel the real estate market. The winter was brutal and the comment was made, if you can’t get out and buy milk and bread, you can’t get out and buy a house. Come on warmer temperatures – we need ya!