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“Don’t list your home until we get to the spring market” …. and other myths.
I was chatting with a family friend last week and she asked if I thought putting her home on the market now was a good idea. She shared that one of the top agents in her market (NY) suggested that she wait until the spring time.
“Yikes. Why would you EVHHA do that?!” – I said to her. I let her know that buyers and sellers are always in the market – no matter the time of year. In fact, those who are serious about buying and selling are ACTIVE during the holidays / winter months because they are serious. They are motived, ready to buy or sell, and ready to move on to their next chapter.
“But Mark, the agent told me that I could get a higher price for my home, and that it would sell faster in the springtime”.
Hmmmm. Interesting – I said to myself.
At that point, I asked her for the agent’s name and number because I wanted to give them a call so that I could order the same crystal ball that she had. I needed that because frankly, my crystal ball only shows me what’s happening today.
But seriously, if you ARE thinking about selling, don’t wait. Industry news, forecasts, and statistics are telling us that some buyers are leaving the market. Those buyers are bumping into rising interest rates, record high home prices, and a general lack of inventory. The result is that the buyers are getting tired of the battle – and taking a break.
This decline in activity is showing up as longer days-on-market; more price reductions; and more concessions by sellers at closing. ( We also see a decline in mortgage applications, falling to their lowest levels since December 2014 - according to USA Today, published 11:25am, November 7th, 2018 )
We’ve certainly been in a “sellers’ market” for some time, but the winds are-a-changing and we seem to be leaning more towards a buyer’s market for 2019.
Let’s take a peek at a few local markets (using Alto’s Research MAI index) for a bit more insight.
As we review from east to west, we can seeis reporting (as of 11/8/18) the median list price in Westborough is $599,900 with a MAI index** of 32, vs 31 for last month. By the way, the “MAI Index” is a metric developed by Altos Research ( ) that indicates the current rate of sale vs. amount of inventory. Their methodology implies that a market favors a seller when the index is over 30. (Scale is 0 to 100). So, an index of 32 favors a seller, but only by a bit.
In Shrewsbury, we find that the median list price (as of 11/8/18) is $570,000 and the MAI index is 38, vs 40 last month. (Shrewsbury favors a seller more than Westborough)
And finally, in Worcester, we find the median list price (as of 11/1/18) is $279,900 with an MAI index of 46 vs. last month’s 45. Worcester favors a seller more so than either Shrewsbury or Westborough.
These indicators are showing that the market favors a seller – but not by much! (I’ve seen the MAI index sitting in the 60’s and 70’s range over the past few years)
So, now what???
Well, if I could get my hands on the NY Agent’s Crystal Ball, I could say this with more confidence, but, you just might not want to wait until the spring. You might want to go to the market at the first of the year (January), using the time now to prepare your home – and to enjoy the holidays!
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