Market continues to improve

Last week two reports were released indicating that the housing market continues to improve. Existing home sales have increased 8% in August when compared to last year, according to the National Association of Realtors. The new home market also increased 29.1% from last year based on housing stats from the United States Census Bureau.

Home builders are becoming more confident about the real estate market because of recent sales, buyer showings and projected sales. According to this month’s index of homebuilder sentiment, home builder confidence reached its highest level since the peak of the housing market in June 2006.

 

With the decreasing inventory of homes for sale across the nation, some markets are experiencing an increase in home prices. The median home price is $187,400, which is a 9.5% increase over last year’s levels. CNNMoney reported that this is the sixth straight month of home price increases and that’s the first time this has occurred since May 2006.

In Greenwich, as earlier reported, we are just starting to see a slight increase in prices in certain markets. Land is seeing more of an increase as developers are seeking it to meet the demand for new construction. There are 36 properties of all types on the market that have been built since 2011 in Greenwich. They range in price from $594,000 to $23,000,000. And of those properties, 23 were built in 2012.

Sellers of existing homes in Greenwich need to renovate and upgrade their properties as much as their budgets permit. Central air, newer windows, wood floors, neutral paint are valued by buyers, as are updated kitchens and baths. Homes with older furniture need to be streamlined with more up-to-date furnishings added. Darker rooms with older furniture make the home appear tired and needing renovation, which doesn’t make for a pretty picture, literally, when you’re displaying a home you’re trying to sell. The home should be in pristine condition to draw serious buyers.

Sellers are encouraged to visit competing homes during public open houses. They should compare the amenities along with the usability of the floor plan. Any relative deficiencies should be factored into the pricing or adjustment to the pricing of their home. Being realistic will prevent a seller from enabling the sale of a competitor. Some homes can be shown to prove the value of another home. Once a home is listed, positioning relative to competition should be done every four to six weeks until an offer is accepted.

Realtors are still showing homes with accepted offers in case a buyer does not perform.

Once contracts are executed and all contingencies are removed, a listing agent will stop showing the home. As banks are still being restrictive in providing loans, concerns remain that a buyer will not perform until a commitment letter from the bank is received.

 

Mary Ann Clark is a Realtor with Coldwell Banker at 177 West Putnam Avenue in Greenwich. Questions or comments may be e-mailed to [email protected] or reach her directly at 203-249-2244.

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