What do our current temperatures and the local real estate market have in common? They are absolutely sizzling and are forecasted to stay hot this summer.
Just as you wouldn’t throw on a snow jacket to hit the golf course this summer, you certainly wouldn’t want to throw yourself into a real estate transaction right now without your finger on the pulse of some notable shifts.
Let’s start with some core data.
According to the Fredericksburg Area Association of REALTORS (FAAR), inventory is generally tight—though there has been a visible uptick in recent weeks—and the market, as a whole, remains strong. The average days-on-market is near a five-year record low and the sold-to-original listing price average is at a five-year high. These conditions make for competitive offers in all price points.
According to FredericksburgMarketReport.com, an easy-to-navigate and publicly accessible weekly report compiled by Amy Cherry Taylor & Associates, for the week ending June 6, there were 265 new listings, 208 new contracts and 82 properties taken off the market within the Greater Fredericksburg Region. The region comprises the city of Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania, Stafford, Caroline, Orange and King George counties.
Amy Cherry Taylor is a Spotsylvania native with nearly 20 years of experience in the biz. She is the associate broker for Amy Cherry Taylor & Associates of AveryHess, Realtors, and her team generated more than $120 million in local real estate transactions in 2020.
With an expert grasp and knowledge of the local market, Taylor notes that a “definitive shift has emerged” within the past two months. And, for any buyer or seller to make the most of the current landscape, it is vital to know what that change is and means.
“It boils down to this,” says Taylor. “Five-plus weeks ago, we would enter a weekend, have a tremendous number of showings on a new listing and, by the end of the weekend, have five, 10 and sometimes 20 offers on the table.”
In the last six weeks Taylor says, referencing data from FredericksburgMarketReport.com, there have been more homes going on the market than homes going under contract. From March 2020 until these last several weeks, it was common to have the opposite—more homes going under contract than new listings.
So, what does this equate to?
“We’re starting to see some buyer fatigue,” says Taylor. “Buyers have generally grown a bit tired of being in situations of competing with 10 or 15 other offers, thinking they’d be beat out by the offers immediately rolling in. So now, sometimes buyers are waiting a little bit longer, seeing how many competing offers are on the table and if it’s something they truly want to pursue. They are not jumping into a home that is not completely perfect for them and are taking more time due to their increased options.”
On the flip side of the transaction, for sellers, Taylor notes that the quality of offers has not wavered, but, given the evolving market and notion of “buyer fatigue,” that the quantity of offers has noticeably declined. Even with the shift to fewer offers, sellers continue to see offers at above asking price with minimal contingencies.
“It is still an exceptional time to be a seller,” says Taylor. “If you are not planning to be in your home three to five years down the line, you should consider selling now and take advantage of the current seller’s market.”
For anyone considering selling a home amid the current market, the natural and totally understandable question becomes: OK, well, how can all this work out if I’m selling my current home and then need to find a new home?
This scenario, among several others, is where the “seller to find home of choice contingency” becomes your very good friend. With this contingency built into an offer and once under contract, this allows the seller an established number of days to find and lock in another residence. At the end of that timeframe, the seller has the option to proceed with the home sale or void the contract.
In addition to this contingency, Taylor notes that in the current market she is seeing longer closing periods and more flexibility from the buyer side. For buyers, there are still many benefits to purchasing in this market, including the historically low interest rates and nearly instant equity.
“We have had many successful transactions this year for clients who sold their home while simultaneously purchasing a new home,” she says. “In the beginning, many folks did not know their options or perhaps didn’t have the confidence to put their home on the market before having secured a new home. The market has pushed Realtors, buyers and sellers to establish creative strategies in order to maximize their opportunities on both sides.”
Navigating a real estate transaction is no small feat and these statistics and strategies are just the tip of the iceberg.
“You need someone who is actively engaged in the market, every day, on your side,” says Taylor. “It is shifting on a weekly basis. So, who you choose for representation is more important now than ever before.”
For more information on the current market or to discuss your own unique buying or selling scenario, contact Amy Cherry Taylor with Amy Cherry Taylor & Associates of AveryHess, Realtors at 703/577-0135 or visit www.amycherrytaylor.com. The Amy Cherry Taylor & Associates / AveryHess, Realtors office is located at 11019 Leavells Road, Fredericksburg, VA 22407.