How does the second quarter for residential sales compare with last year’s figures? Is it the right time to sell? What should a potential buyer look for and expect in today’s real estate market?
Overall market conditions read: Stable.
Local homes sales have slowed this quarter, compared to 2014 figures, but that isn’t a bad sign for buyers or sellers. On a statewide level, there was a 16 percent increase in homes sales between the first six months of 2015, at 2,600 sales, compared to 2014, at 2,241 sales*.
Agents in our local Vermont offices have seen customers and clients more excited about the market then in other months (and years) and current sales prices are more closely aligned with town-assessed values – a sign of market stability.
Buyers are looking at features that add real value and factors such as proximity to good schools, town amenities and recreation that will impact future worth, which is setting a higher standard for sellers. In the luxury market, especially, homes that are out-of-date or require multiple upgrades – or are over-priced – continue to see unsuccessful sales.
Regardless of market conditions, a strong understanding of pricing and a clear home-selling strategy are important for success in real estate. It seems simple, but not having factors in place to be really ready to sell can make all the difference. With a flood of housing information available on the web, properties need to be positioned (and staged) well from their first day on the market, helping the home or land put its “best foot forward.”
For a perspective on real estate conditions across New England, William Raveis offers the following statistics: “In May 2015, as compared to May 2014, Unit Sales rose 5.8% in Connecticut, 10.8% in New York, 25.1% in Manhattan, 16.3% in Brooklyn, 4.6% in Rhode Island, 14.6% in Vermont and 5.8% in New Hampshire. Meanwhile, Sales Price rose 2.1% in Massachusetts and 4.2% in Maine.” (To download the full report, click here.)
As we move into the third quarter, our agents offer the following take-away messages:
- People are more excited about the market
- Sales prices are aligning with town assessments (in most cases)
- Correct staging and sales pricing are even more paramount
- Market properties with “value forward” for today’s savvy buyer
- Deferring maintenance or upgrades will diminish home appeal
*Statistics are based on current Northern New England Real Estate Network’s MLS data. For additional information, please read the Stowe Reporter’s article “Market regains stability,” with references pertinent to this post.