Becky Dalke and Associates' Blog
Will you ever forget the winter of 2015? It was one that will go down in history as being one of the snowiest winters ever. We were blanketed with 120 inches of snow in Worcester,Massachusetts. That winter brought just about everyone and everything to a screeching halt during the months of February and March. Only the most motivated sellers were willing to put their homes on the market. By contrast,the winter of 2016 has been one of the mildest winters on record. That would explain the 14% increase in home sales in our local towns. Along with that, most towns have seen a slow but steady increase in home sale prices.
As always, there were a few towns that did not follow thenorm from one year to the next. Shrewsbury’sinventory of homes between $300K - $450K was down by 60% in the first quarterof 2016. That lack of inventory createda 26% reduction in total homes sold in Q1 2016 compared to the same time framein 2015. Southborough experienced an18% reduction in the average home sale price. This was due to an 80% increase of homes sold under $500k in Q1 2016compared to Q1 2015. This resulted in adecline in the median home sale price in Southborough from $675K in 205 to $517K in 2016. Sudbury’s home sales dropped by 26% in 2016. In Q1 2015 it took 111 days on averagebefore an offer was accepted on a home. That number dropped substantially in 2016 to 60 days to offer. This is indicative of high demand and lowsupply.
With mortgage interest rates still hovering around 4%, we are anticipating a strong Spring market. If you are interested in selling your home or know of someone who is then please contact me. I would be happy to run a confidential market analysis to let you know the value of your home in today’s market and discuss a customized marketing plan designed specifically for your home.
It all seems pretty simple and straight forward on the surface. List your home, hold an Open House, obtain and offer, DONE! Especially with the internet. There is a mountain of information at your fingertips to help along the way, and with sites like Zillow and Trulia how hard can it be? Scratch beneath the surface of any home transaction and you will see it is so much more….An experienced Realtor can make it look like a duck gliding effortlessly across the lake only to find out that his feet are paddling feverishly below. Here are few things to consider:
- Exposure and Marketing: Research shows that 88% of buyers search online for a home, and while there are sites that will allow you to post your home for sale, only a licensed Realtor can list your home with the MLS or multiple listing service, which is the biggest online search tool for both active buyers and their Realtors. Furthermore, a Professional Realtor will have an online marketing strategy that includes web sites, promotions, social media etc. You will need to consider if you have this at your fingertips.
- Paper-Paper and more Paper!: There is a mountain of paperwork that is involved in selling a home, much of which is mandatory and required by law. It can be difficult to maneuver through all the legal formalities.
- So many people so little time: Let’s face it,selling your home is probably not your full time job. There is a small army involved when transferring ownership of a property. For example there is the buyer, the buyer’s agent, attorneys, home inspectors and bank appraisers just to name a few all needing your attention and time to see your home sale through to the end. Not to mention the time required to set up showings for your home, and qualifying buyers and separating the window shoppers from the true buyers.
- Commissions:Often sellers believe they can save real estate commission by listing the home themselves. However studies have shown that on average a For Sale by Owner home sells for approximately 15% lower than those sold by a Realtor.
- Risk Management: The best reason to hire a licensed Realtor is for risk management. Realtors have a full time,seasoned interest in selling your home, providing disclosures, understanding the terms of an offer and so much more. Experienced Realtors wear many hats and can help sellers remain calm,set expectations and manage emotions that always seem to accompany home sales.
Bottom line, it never hurts to sit down with a professional and get the full picture of the real estate market.