Valentine’s Day is one of those holidays that either brings hearts and flowers or frowns and loneliness. Well… today’s real estate market is bringing the latter to today’s sellers and buyers aren’t exactly falling head over heels either! There are shifts happening under sellers’ noses and buyers are finding more of a selection, but still at higher prices.
The Casa Grande real estate market has been in flux for the last few months with prices, inventory and confusion rising. In 2013 the area experienced a 20% increase in the average price per square foot, however not everyone in the market feels that jump was warranted and a lot of folks have been scared off by the sharp increases. However, that price increase leveled off in the fourth quarter of 2013 and inventory levels kept on rising. December was one of the quietest months in 2013 with only 63 of the 590 properties on the market having a contract on them, meaning a buyer and seller came to a meeting of the minds to purchase and sell a property. These numbers pushed our growing months supply of inventory to 6.6 months which is double that of the inventory levels we saw in just August. Months supply of inventory refers to the amount of time it would take for the number of homes to be sold if no new homes came on the market… So our current inventory leaves nearly 7 months of inventory for buyers to make their way through.
So what do all these numbers mean…? Well, it depends!
If you’re a seller – you’re going to have to get a bit more aggressive. This means making sure your home is in tip top shape, the pricing is right in line with market rate and you have to be willing and ready to show your home at any time. Buyers are expecting more for their dollar and they have plenty of choices available again. The marketing on your home is exceptionally important these days. That means stellar listing photos, compelling copy descriptions and accurate MLS information which makes interviewing your agent even more important. Have a list of questions ready when you’re interviewing your listing agent, it makes the process smoother. For a copy of Realtor.com’s suggested questions, click here. It is also imperative that a seller review the listing and photos before and after your agent places your home on the market – don’t be afraid to ask for corrections, everyone makes mistakes!
If you’re a buyer – your horizons may be broader than they have been in years. You’ll have more choices, more bargaining power and will still likely experience some frustrations. Although there are more homes on the market, most sellers haven’t quite grasped the shift in the market yet. There are also a lot of homes on the market where the owners don’t have to sell. They’re simply testing the waters at a price they’re willing to sell at, but it might not quite be market value. Negotiating with these types of sellers can be frustrating, especially for a serious buyer in this type of a market. Don’t be surprised if a seller isn’t willing to come down to your number right now, most are still hoping that the price increases we were experiencing in the third quarter of 2013 are on the edge of returning.
In either case, bring an extra large dose of patience and be sure you’re working with an experienced Realtor to buy or sell your home. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and be sure to do your homework!