2013 has gotten off to a very fast start for real estate here in the Pascack Valley, Bergen County, and even nationally. Housing inventories are way down and buyers are scooping up the available properties often within days of the house being listed.
Housing affordability, low interest rates, and optimism that America’s economy is getting better are finally getting home buyers off the fence. I keep seeing it time and time again, a well priced house gets listed on the Multiple Listing Service and its gone quickly. Especially in the lower, first time home buyer price ranges. I consider that range any home listed under $450,000 in the Pascack Valley and surrounding Bergen County.
This has happened to me many times already this year, where one of my buyer clients has either put off seeing the home until next week or even on a Monday, requested to see a home on a Saturday, and the house already has an accepted offer on the home before the end of the week. You can’t procrastinate! Some of my buyers, who have been searching for a long time, are used to taking their time, but its not like that in 2013!
I wouldn’t call it a full blown seller’s market. You still have to price your home reflecting current market values. Short sales and foreclosures seem to linger on the market for awhile unless they are really priced under market value. Many buyers don’t want to deal with the headaches of having to get the lender’s approval on their offer, which often takes months and months.
These type of distressed properties usually need updating also because someone someone behind on their mortgage isn’t likely to properly maintain their home if they could possibly lose it.
Now some sellers see this as an opportunity to try and sell their homes themselves. This is still a mistake. You need a professional to price your home properly in this ever changing real estate market, get your home marketed property for maximum exposure, and have someone on your side to negotiate.
Many of the ‘For Sale by Owner’ signs I see in the Pascack Valley have been up for months without them selling. Recently, on the street I live on in Westwood, a homeowner tried unsuccessfully to sell his home on his own for 2 months. He put it on the ‘For Sale by Owner’ sites, Zillow, and Craig’s List. Within 4 days of him finally listing his home with a real estate agent, he had an accepted offer.
So sellers, if you have been holding out on listing your home, getting it on the market NOW and buyers, if you see something you like, jump on it NOW before its gone!