Normally, a Seller’s Market means that conditions are generally better for sellers than for buyers. There is, in effect, more demand than there is supply. And, usually, that means that sellers are more in control of pricing and terms for their homes. Prices generally rise and there are fewer demands made upon sellers in regards to inspections, and other concessions.
But things aren’t always “normal”. Now is a great example of that.
Right now, the majority of Gwinnett is solidly in Seller’s Market territory. Below about half a million dollars, Absorption Rates remain under the magical 6 months… in some cases, even below 3 months. Above half a million, things aren’t quite as rosy, but they are WAY stronger than they have been for years.
But all is not beer and pizza in Seller Land. In fact, it may be FAR from fun to be a seller in today’s market, no matter what the numbers look like. The reality is that bank-owned properties are skewing the numbers… or skewering, depending on how you want to look at it. What has happened is that bank-owned inventory has come to dominate the market. It may or may not be the majority, but there is enough of a presence that it pushes the pricing down for all of the homes that are actually selling.
Whether this is a good thing or a bad thing depends on whether you are a buyer or a seller. As a buyer, it means that the homes you look are are either priced quite competitively (and don’t stay on the market very long) or they aren’t… and they stay on the market forever.
One of the ways that I can see this is by looking at the “Days on Market” (DoM) stats while preparing Market Reports. They are jumping ALL over the place. This isn’t a direct sign, but rather one that is more deduction. In some segments I am seeing DoMs bounce from over 100 days to under 50 days and back over 100 in back to back to back months. This means that homes that every once in a while a home that sells has been on the market a VERY long time… pushing up the average, then there are none of those “old-timers” the next month… then another one pops through.
What does it all mean?
Simply… as a buyer, if you see a home you like, and it is priced well, there will likely be competition for it. Don’t expect that you can toss a low offer across the table and get a reply. In fact, I have seen a LOT of multiple offer situations on well-priced properties. As a seller, don’t expect that you can price your home at the level you thought it was worth a few years ago. You are competing with bank-owned properties and their primary motivation is to not own the property any longer than they need to in order to almost break even… and their definition of break even may include insurance payments and government inducements to hurry up and sell it.
One may say that the worst aspects of both a seller’s market and a buyer’s market are present right now… fierce competition (for buyers) for the “right” properties and weak pricing for sellers).
If you really want to sell your property, let’s talk…