Although we keep hearing about the glut of homes on the market, there is actually a shortage of homes available. That means that if you’ve been thinking of selling, this is a good time to list your home.
There were about 100 homes listed but unsold in the Chesters as of the end of September. At the end of June, that number was 211. In Mount Olive, there 28 homes listed but unsold in March. That number slipped to 20 in August and down to 18 in September. Across Morris County, there were 439 homes available at the end of May. That number is now down to about 317.
A recent report says the pace of home sales in New Jersey was stabilizing in September, with the rate of sales dropping back to last year’s pace after a brief increase. This same report says that the number of unsold homes fell for the fourth consecutive month in September.
The question, of course, is why is this happening and how does is it impact you if you’re thinking about listing your home. The first answer is typically murky: Most experts cite the low point of the selling season and that people have taken their homes off the market or chosen not to list them until they can get more for them.
But for those thinking of listing their homes, it means less competition in a market where it’s tough to sell homes.
OK, enough confusing statistics: What do you need to know for your decision whether to list or not list?
First: If you need to sell your home because your family, financial or job situation has changed, there is no bad time. Prices are not going to rise soon, but interest rates and the number of houses on the market will.
Second: While supply and demand usually impact price, it isn’t working this time because consumer confidence, employment numbers and other factors. But basic math tells you that the chance of your home being chosen from among three homes is better than your chances of being chosen from among six homes.
Third: Your circumstances are as unique as you are. You’re Realtor or financial advisor is in the best position to counsel you about listing your home, the price at which to list it and what expectations you should reasonably have about sales success.
Finally, this note: If you’re thinking about selling your home because your mortgage is swamping you and you really don’t want to have the bank foreclose on you, there are lots of options. One of those is a short sale, where the bank agrees to take less for the home than you owe them. Mark you calendar for 7 p.m. Nov. 14, when a panel of experts will discuss short sales as an alternative to foreclosure.