It's true. There are just not a lot of homes on the market right now.
Buyers are out there looking to buy homes but the choices are few and far between.
Here are some of the numbers of houses on the market as of Feburary 6, 2013 compared to February 6, 2012*:
- In Canton, there are 45 single family homes on the market in Canton. Last year, there were 89 single family homes on the market.
- In Milton, there are 54 single family homes on the market. On this same date last year there were 82 single family homes on the market.
- In Sharon, there are currently 59 single family homes for sale. Last year, Sharon had 73 homes listed.
- Stoughton currently has 53 single family homes listed for sale. One year ago, there were 70 homes for sale.
- Walpole has a little more with 64 single family homes on the market but it is still down compared to last year when there were 78 homes listed for sale.
That does not even take into consideration those active listings where an offer has been accepted but the property is still listed as active as the Sellers wait out contingencies like home inspection and financing. If I were to subtract out those listings, the numbers would be even lower.
I have buyers looking in all of these towns. Some have even branched out to look in other neighboring towns, but the story is the same in most towns and across all price ranges. Many buyers new to the market are surprised to find out that the market has changed.
I know what you are thinking....that home I drive by every day has been for sale for a long time. If inventory is down, why aren't some of these homes selling?
It's true, there are some houses that are not moving. They typically are either overpriced, need a lot of work done to them, are not in a desirable location, might be a short sale or some combination of all of the above.
Houses that are well priced, in good condition and in a desirable location are moving fast in most communities.
I recently had a local listing agent tell me that when he talks to potential sellers, they tell him they are waiting until spring to list their homes for sale. Why wait? If the home is ready to list, then put it on the market now. You'll have less competition with other Sellers. And there are Buyers out there looking for homes to buy.....today.
Buyers on the other hand need to be ready to move if they find a home that they like. A good preapproval must be in hand. And working with a buyers agent who knows the local market is more important than ever. While you do not want to miss out on the home of your dreams, you also do not want to get caught up in a bidding war and end up paying more than the home is worth. A good buyers agent will help protect your interests every step of the way.
About the Author: Christine Smith is a Realtor, Buyer's Agent, Attorney, Social media fan, parent and Canton resident. She writes about real estate and events in the Canton area on her blog – Canton MA Events and Real Estate.