Fall in to the realty market PDF Print E-mail
Written by ALEX ASPACHER Sentinel Staff Writer   
Thursday, 05 September 2013 10:18
Andy Newlove is seen while showing a home for sale September 3, 2013 in Bowling Green, Ohio. (Photo: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
With buyers clutching tax refund checks and venturing out into nice weather to visit open houses, spring used to be the agreed-upon best time to sell a home.
Place the emphasis on "used to."
While realtors agree some of the season's ideal factors are still in play, the cost of waiting until next year to sell may outweigh those benefits.
Home markets are turning around as the economy rebounds, and Bowling Green is no exception. Buyers are slowly but surely shedding the nerves of purchasing property from underneath the shadow of recession.
"People didn't stop having kids, they didn't stop needing larger houses, they didn't stop wanting different houses," said Andy Newlove of Newlove Realty. "That pent-up demand is a huge factor."
The average total of homes for sale in the city averages between 100 and 115 under normal circumstances, but that figure fell as low as 60 recently due to residences flying off the figurative shelf. Conversely, there were as many as 180 homes on the market at times between 2008 and 2010.
The melting of winter snows typically signals a flood of property for sale, so waiting to join in the rush leaves sellers with more competition, Newlove said. But as things develop over the summer, the crowded market may become more advantageous to the seller, as it is now.
Newlove said this July's property transfers are the best the company has seen since 2007, with sales increasing by about 25 percent over the last two years since the lowest point of the economic downturn.
Interest rates are still "historically low," but Newlove expects them to rise in coming years.
"It's becoming a sellers' market pretty quickly."
While spring is the "Super Bowl" of home sales, owners can avoid competition by listing in the fall, though the threat of winter makes expediency more pressing, said Wendy Headley of A.A. Green Realty.
"With winter a few months away, sellers in fall markets need to price their homes aggressively (and) have their homes show-ready and staged, ready to impress those fall buyers in order to accomplish the sale. Buyers will be limited in numbers in the fall market, but those fall buyers that are out there house hunting are usually serious buyers."
And while spring weather has its attraction, fall has its benefits as well. Fireplaces can be turned on and showcased, with foliage often increasing curb appeal like greens do in the spring.
"Fall can be one of the loveliest times of the year to highlight a home's features," Headley said.
For those ready to take the plunge, tips for getting a home ready for sale include:
• Focus on the little things: light bulbs should be working, counters free of clutter and the exterior without chipped paint. A new welcome mat can go a long way to making a solid first impression, and if a potential buyer sees an obvious problem, they'll wonder what else they don't see.
• Think of yourself as a buyer: what would you look for and what may dissuade you from purchasing a home being shown to you are questions to consider.
• Consider a showing or open house as a "job interview" for a home: like a clean, white shirt, fresh paint and clean carpet push a positive image of your home. Also, upgrades should be complete. Nothing turns off a buyer quite like picturing a significant problem that would need to be addressed soon after their purchase.
Last Updated on Thursday, 05 September 2013 11:41

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