This year, sellers are unabashed in stating that they think now is a good time to sell and that they hold the power in the housing market. According to the latest Redfin Survey of home sellers conducted this month, 52 percent think now is a good time to sell in their neighborhood (up from 34 percent last year) and 58 percent think sellers have more power than buyers (up from 44 percent last year).
This is the second consecutive quarter in which the majority of sellers think now is a good time to sell and nearly the highest level of seller confidence we’ve recorded.
It makes sense that sellers are feeling good. June was the fastest and most competitive housing market on record. Inventory has been down nationally and is downright barren in cities such as Seattle, Denver and Oakland. Nationally, there are just 2.8 months of housing supply, the lowest level Redfin has recorded since we began keeping track in 2009. Six months of inventory is considered to be balanced, with lower figures favoring sellers.
Redfin real estate agents report that they’re starting to notice a newfound confidence in home sellers. That means it’s a critical time to advise against going overboard on price as today’s buyers are savvy and unwilling to overpay despite sellers’ control of the market.
“While we’re noticing a shift among sellers in terms of their confidence in getting their homes sold quickly and for good prices, it’s up to the agent as their advocate to keep their expectations grounded and recommend a pricing strategy that is most likely to get the best value for their home,” said Atlanta Redfin agent Sascha Gummersbach. “A seller’s market doesn’t grant homeowners a license to skip things like valuable upgrades, home staging or setting a price based on comparable homes in their neighborhood.”
Seller concerns about finding another home have declined compared to last quarter
Finding a home to buy remains at the top of sellers’ list of worries, with 30 percent identifying that issue. The good news is that overall concern about finding a desirable, affordable replacement home has declined seven percentage points from last quarter. Concerns about low appraisals and about buyers being discouraged by general economic conditions and rising mortgage rates are less widespread than they were at this time last year.
Sellers want larger, nicer homes in higher-rated school districts
Wanting a larger or nicer home topped the list of reasons people are looking to sell at 40 percent, up from 29 percent last year. Selling in order to move to a better school district increased to 15 percent, up from 7 percent last year.
“Many move-up buyers have told me they are buying now to take advantage of low mortgage rates,” said Redfin Little Rock real estate agent William Porterfield. “Buyers are trying to get as much home as possible before rates rise.”
Pricing in the middle is still the preferred method
Sellers’ pricing strategies have remained largely unchanged since a year ago, led by pricing in a middle range at 55 percent and pricing high at 33 percent.
About the survey
Redfin conducted the survey by email July 16-19, 2016, receiving responses from 1,793 homeowners in 24 states plus DC.
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