A continued lack of housing supply points to a spring housing market next year that is very likely to be as active as in the past three years. Even though spring 2017 may seem a long way off now, it will here before we know it. For those who are considering a move in 2017, now is the time to start planning and prepping your home for sale. This month’s newsletter includes a step-by-step guide to help you get started, but first the market data from last month.
The volume of real estate sold across all San Mateo County markets decreased 3.0% on a year-over-year basis in September and was down 7.6% over August. Although some may see this as an indication of some softening of the market (and we ARE seeing more price reductions and longer days on the market for some properties), we always have to get back to the good ol’ law of supply and demand. In this case, the supply of inventory rose slightly to 1.6 months in September, fairly consistent with the 1.5 months in 2014 & 2015.
Looking ahead to next spring, expect to see a continuing sellers’ market characterized by multiple offers, rising prices, and favorable terms for sellers as buyers compete for limited inventory. Aka, the same old story.
As a result, many homeowners are considering the possibility of selling. If you are one of those homeowners, the following are some recommended steps you can take now to get out in front of the process so you’re ready to go when the market becomes frenzied next spring:
- Get a good idea of the value of your home. You might be surprised how much your home has appreciated. The cumulative effect of five straight years of rising home prices is massive in many cases. Of course, you can start online with 8z.com, Zillow or other websites that provide automated valuation estimates, but for a more accurate analysis, you will want to consult with a professional such as myself. I will provide you with a detailed report specific to your home and the surrounding neighborhood. Just shoot me an email or call, and let me know you would like a Real Estate Review.
- Prioritize repairs and improvements. As part of my Real Estate Review consultation, I can help you develop a list of possible repairs and improvements. Our goal will be to make your home a “10 out of 10” in showing condition to maximize your sales price. The right tweaks to your home can add tens of thousands of dollars to its value. Oftentimes, the changes that have the most impact cost the least.
- Make the repairs and improvements. I can help you get started knocking off items on our punch list by recommending and coordinating with contractors, handymen, and other service providers that I know and trust to deliver quality work at a fair price. The winter months are a great time to have work done on your home. Contractors are not as busy and more available. Plus, why not get your house in tip-top shape now so you can enjoy it over the Holidays.
- Plan your next move. Need a bigger house? Looking to downsize? Want to move to a more rural setting? Before the frenzy of the spring market hits, now is a good time to get out and explore your options. There is nothing like actually visiting a neighborhood and going inside a few listings to help shape and refine your thinking about where you might want to live next. Not to mention, it’s fun to look at houses without any pressure. Just let me know if you’d like to see a few listings to see if they fit your idea of a potential new home.
I hope this plan is helpful for those who are considering a move. If you have no intention to sell, but would still like to have an extremely accurate snapshot of your home’s value and marketability, I would be happy to provide you with a Real Estate Review as part of the services I offer my clients.