Home sellers are expected to command higher home prices in the winter due to high buyer demand and low inventories, and that’s an unseasonable trend in the housing market, experts say.
“Sellers will have the ball in their court, so to speak, as there are more buyers than sellers,” said Danielle Hale, realtor.com’s chief economist. “This means seller-friendly trends like rising home prices and quick-selling homes.”
Home inventory was down 39% in September compared to the same period one year ago. But at the same time, buyers are out in force due to record-low mortgage rates that mean they can save on financing costs. As such, 71% of homes sold in September were on the market for just 21 days on average, another all-time low. That’s down from 32 days on the market one year ago. Meanwhile, the median price for home sales in September was $311,800, up 14.8% from a year ago.
Indeed, home prices are on the rise. The national median home listing price climbed 11.1% in September compared to a year ago. It’s now at $350,000. Price per square foot has increased 13.9%, realtor.com data shows.
“Prices are high,” Simon Isaacs, broker-owner of Simon Isaacs Real Estate in Palm Beach, Fla., told realtor.com. “People are getting what they’re asking.”
Move-in-ready homes tend to be most in demand, real estate professionals say. Homes that don’t require repairs, as well as homes that show off in-demand amenities—such as extra space, outdoor areas, privacy, and rooms that can double as home offices or learning areas—likely will sell the fastest, real estate pros say. Homes for sale that offer virtual tours, which buyers can peruse from the safety of their own homes, have also grown in appeal during the pandemic.
Home sellers need to be ready for possible multiple offers for their home. Real estate pros are suggesting to their sellers that they don’t rush to accept offers too quickly. Sellers usually have 24 to 48 hours to accept an offer.
“Literally eight hours of sleep could net you an extra $30,000,” Matt Curtis, owner of Matt Curtis Real Estate in Huntsville, Ala., told realtor.com.