We’ve talked quite a bit recently about how now is an excellent time to sell a house – as I predicted back in the spring, as soon as restrictions lifted enough for buyers to feel safe coming out and taking advantage of these historically low interest rates, it became a seller’s market.
What that means is that right now there are more buyers out there looking to get into a home, and not nearly as many sellers putting homes on the market to buy. (This is due in large part to the fact that many of these buyers are first-time homebuyers who finally felt prompted to move out of their urban apartments and settle down in less crowded areas.)
If you are thinking that now may be the time to sell your house (and it really is), it’s important to know not only what you should be doing to prepare for possible buyers (like getting your own inspection done or looking at ways to stage your house, but also what they’re looking for, so that your preparations are informed. Luckily for you, Realtor Abby Stiller recently wrote a blog talking about exactly what some of those things are.
It’s a Great Time To Sell: Does Your Home Have What Buyers Are Looking For?
Blog excerpt by Realtor Abby Stiller
There’s great opportunity for today’s homeowners to sell their houses and make a move, yet due to the impact of the ongoing health crisis, some homeowners who would have ordinarily decided it was time to sell right now are taking their time coming back to the market. According to Javier Vivas, Director of Economic Research at realtor.com:
“Sellers continue returning to the market at a cautious pace and further improvement could be constrained by lingering coronavirus concerns, economic uncertainty, and civil unrest.”
For homeowners who need a little nudge of motivation to get back in the game, it’s good to know that buyers are ready to purchase this season. After spending several months at home and re-evaluating what they truly want and need in their space, buyers are ready and they’re in the market now. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors (NAR) explains:
“A number of potential buyers noted stalled plans due to the pandemic and that has led to more urgency and a pent-up demand to buy…After being home for months on end – in a home they already wanted to leave – buyers are reminded how much their current home may lack certain desired features or amenities.”
The latest Market Recovery Survey from NAR shares some of the features and amenities buyers are looking for, especially since the health crisis has shifted many buyer priorities. The most common home features cited as increasingly important are home offices and space to accommodate family members new to the residence (See graph below):
The survey results also show that among buyers who indicate they would now like to live in a different area due to COVID-19, 47% have an interest in purchasing in the suburbs, 39% cite rural areas, and 25% indicate a desire to be in small towns.
As we can see, buyers are eager to find a new home, but there’s a big challenge in the market: a lack of homes available to purchase. Many people don’t yet believe that Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.com explains:
“The realtor.com June Housing Trends Report showed that buyers still outnumber sellers which is causing the gap in time on market to shrink, prices to grow at a faster pace than pre-COVID, and the number of homes available for sale to decrease by more than last month. These trends play out similarly in the most recent week’s data with the change in time on market being most notable. In the most recent week homes sat on the market just 7 days longer than last year whereas the rest of June saw homes sit 2 weeks or more longer than last year.”
In essence, home sales are picking up speed as sellers gain courage and realize that now is the best time to sell to maximize profit, and buyers are purchasing them at a faster rate than they’re coming to the market. Hale continues to say:
“The housing market has plenty of buyers who would benefit from a few more sellers. If the virus can be contained and home prices continue to grow, this may help bring sellers back to the housing market.”
What Are Pennsylvania Buyers Looking For?
Of course, while an overall look at what American homebuyers are looking for is helpful, it’s even more helpful to know what buyers in your specific area are looking for when it’s time to sell your home.
According to a study done by the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors, there are a few specific keywords Pennsylvanians are searching for when trying to find leads on homes to buy that indicate what they’re looking for most in homes:
- Ranch-style home
- Water front
- In-law suite
- Storage space
- Man caves and she-sheds
- Single-level homes
If your home has any of these features, your decision about whether now is the time to sell should be even easier: There will likely never be a hotter market for your home. All of these things are even more in demand now than they would normally be, as buyers massively outnumber sellers and homes containing these features will be gone in a snap.
The Bottom Line
If you’re looking to sell your house, you probably won’t find a better time to sell than right now. You’ll likely be able to sell at the best price, in the least amount of time, and will be able to take advantage of the low interest rates available right now when buying your new home.
So, if you’re beginning to be convinced that it’s the right time to sell your house, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me by phone or email. We can set up a meeting, or talk virtually about your options; you can even just call to ask me a few questions, I’m happy to help.
At the end of the day, I just want to make sure you get the best price possible for your house, so you can have an even easier time getting into a new home that will fit the needs of you and your family.