With an expected market time of 98 days for all of Orange County, sellers really need to pack their patience.
Current sellers have heard about how great the housing market was, generating instantaneous, multiple offers. For years, up until May of this year, sellers had been selling their homes at or near their list prices, and sometimes fetched even more. Yet, the housing market has evolved. The hot seller's market is in the past and is not coming back anytime soon.
In looking at the expected market time, the amount of time it would take to place a home on the market today and open up escrow down the road, it has grown from a low of 51 days at the end of February, to 98 days today. Anything above 90 days is a balanced market, one that does not favor sellers or buyers.
In light of this, sellers need to temper their expectations. First, the best "bait" that is working to bring buyers in today is price. Pricing at or extremely close to a home's fair market value is critical to a timely sale. Sellers also need to pack their patience, as slowing demand and rising supply is giving way to a market that is not delivering instant success regardless of how well a home is priced.
A warning to buyers: it is still not a buyer's market, so paying at or very close to a homes fair market value is vital in securing a home. Buyers writing offers below recent comparable sales are not making an effective use of everyone's time. The market is balanced; there are more choices than before, but there is not a surplus to be seen. Today's inventory has not even reached the long-term average of 8,000 homes and is about to peak for the year. Seller's are not desperate and are not going to cave to a buyer looking for a deal.
The bottom line is that the market is shifting. Sellers need to adjust their expectations and buyer's should not get ahead of themselves.
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