Our weather may be cold and snowy right now, but the Madison real estate market is heating up. Right now a huge window of opportunity is opening up for local home sellers. In fact, this spring promises to be one of the best sellers markets we've seen in many years. Sellers who take advantage of this opportunity and who also do the right things will be rewarded with a quick sale and a high market price. Below we cover why the time is right for home sellers. We also cover a few things sellers can do to properly prepare for a successful listing.
A Time of Opportunity for Home Sellers
In real estate timing can be everything, and right now a perfect storm is forming to the benefit of many Madison area home sellers. Here are 4 key reasons why this spring promises to be an excellent sellers market.
Low mortgage rates. Interest rates in Madison remain historically low while monthly rents in our tight apartment market continue to rise. This is causing many long-time renters to make the jump to home ownership. Low rates also make it easier for existing home owners to move up into larger and higher-priced homes.
High demand. All of the key statistics point to a very strong demand for Madison area real estate. For example, Dane County single family home sales were up by 14% in January of 2015 compared to January of 2014. Listings with accepted offers are also trending much higher. At the end of January, the number of Dane County single family homes with accepted offers was up by 29% from last year. These numbers from the South Central Wisconsin MLS suggest very strong sales totals in the months ahead.
Low inventory. Local home and condo inventory is the lowest in many years and continues to trend lower. In some Madison neighborhoods there are less than 2 months of supply on the open market. For example, the Hill Farms, Midvale Heights, and Westmorland neighborhoods on Madison's near west side all have less than 2 months of supply as of this post. Many local condo communities also have very low levels of supply. Downtown Madison, which once suffered from a glut of condos, now has a relative shortage. As of this post, the Loraine condominiums have only 3.3 months of supply. Metropolitan Place has only 2.3 months, while Capitol West has zero months of inventory.
The spring market. As we covered in a recent post, the late winter and early spring are great times to sell a home. In fact, listing a home by March 1st is an excellent choice. Many home buyers are actively searching during the month of March, while the number of competing listings is relatively low.
4 Ways to Prepare for a Successful Sale
We've covered why this spring promises to be an excellent market for local home sellers. Now let's cover what you should do to prepare for a successful listing. Here are 4 things all sellers should do to prepare for a successful sale.
First, enlist the services of a professional home stager. A consultation from a professional home stager is one of the best things you can do to maximize the marketability of your home. Follow your stager's advice, and you'll be rewarded with great listing photos, more showings, a quicker sale, and a higher price. In most cases, home staging services are quite affordable, and your return on investment is more than anything you could make on Wall Street. For more information, check out these staging tips from the National Association of REALTORS and these additional staging ideas from HGTV.
Second, invest in professional listing photos. Once your home is properly staged, hire a professional who specializes in real estate photography. Similar to great staging, great photos have a tremendous positive impact on the overall success of your listing. Eye-popping photos command the attention of online home browsers and drive buyers through your door.
Third, use full-motion video for your virtual tour instead of a simple slide show. There are many benefits to using a full-motion tour in your listing. The first benefit is a high quality presentation. If you have a beautiful home, there is no better way to make your home shine online. Another great benefit of video is a narrated voice-over. With a full-motion video you can show and tell home buyers about the many fine features of your home. Full-motion video also has the added benefit of syndication. With a full-motion tour you can feature your listing on more websites, such as YouTube, PropertyTube, and other video portals.
Fourth, price your home properly from the start. The pricing process begins with a professional market analysis of your home. A good market analysis will give you an in-depth view of your local market, including all of the recent sales and current listings in your neighborhood. It will also provide an assessment of the months of supply in your market. Last, a good market analysis will factor in the impact of seasonality on home prices. Selling a home in the spring can offer an opportunity for price appreciation, while selling in the late fall and early winter can have a dampening effect.
Your Home may be Worth Way More than you Think
If you're thinking of selling your Madison area home, contact a trusted real estate agent for his professional price opinion. Low interest rates, low inventory, high demand, and a hot spring market are all converging to create a market of price appreciation. A listing with great staging, great photos, full-motion video and proper pricing could help your home sell for a price that you never thought possible. Even better, there are some full-service real estate agents who will pay for your staging and your professionally produced visual media.
This article is published courtesy of: Dan Miller, REALTOR Mad City Dream Homes & RE/MAX Preferred