It’s been another fantastic summer. Many weeks of warm strolls through the Market and a stop for Blue Bucks at Market Lunch. Many more happy hours with friends along Market Row at one of its many hot spots. Still a few more happy summer weeks to go.
At the same time, the real estate market is at its annual low (happens every year in August)…just priming for usually strong market in the fall if history holds true.
Nothing has really changed since earlier in the year. Low inventory has continued to hold prices steady. Numbers of buyers are definitely down in the marketplace, but there is still strong demand in our region. There will always be outliers in the market. Unrealistic buyers and unrealistic sellers. But the bulk of the buyers and sellers who are currently in the market are realistic and properties are selling every day!
With some assumptions and guesses for the balance of 2023, the number of contracts written on single family homes will be down in 2023 by approximately 30% as compared to 2021. That reduction is completely driven by the rapid rise in interest rates over the past 18 months. Sellers who might want to sell and move up are often mentally handcuffed by their 3%-4% existing mortgages. These homes stay off the market.
If you are a prospective seller and plan to sell in the next two weeks or the next two years, it is time to sit down with your favorite local realtor and map out your sales strategy. First step, make sure this realtor is someone who you are not only comfortable working with but someone who is very familiar with what the local market is looking for. A good example is staging. For the longest time, many realtors advised their sellers not to invest the $5,000 – $10,000 to stage their home for sale. Not anymore on Capitol Hill. Today it makes all the difference. It is a big mistake to put your property on the market empty or with your own dated comfortable furniture. That may work in many marketplaces, but not here.
What goes and what gets donated? Most of your own comfortable furniture is ready for a new home. Pick out what pieces you may be moving with and let your realtor advise you as to where the rest can be donated. Get a little tax write off and put what you are taking to your new home in storage. Sometimes a bit of a balancing act but your realtor should be able to help you painlessly navigate through this process.
Finally, a little paint and carpet and strategic upgrades such as replacing your 40 year old recessed lighting. You are all set sell!
Don’t let these higher interest rates stop you from getting on with the next phase of your life.
Don Denton is an Associate Broker at Coldwell Banker’s Capitol Hill Office. Email him at email@example.com.