The Real Estate market here in Carroll County turned the corner in 2012. For the first time since 2006, the average sold price of homes was up, year over year. The number of available properties for sale (inventory) continued its downward sloop and the average number of ‘days on market’ continued its overall downward trajectory. **(Look at my pervious post “How is Carroll Doing in 2012″ for the current market statistics- it’s interactive and updated on the 10th of every month)**
So what does this mean? We are in a period of “normal” market conditions. It’s not a Buyer’s market anymore and we are not in a Seller’s market right now. Homes that show nicely, are up to date and priced right are most likely going to sell under a 100 days. There will be the usual flood of listings this Spring as sellers who have equity and have been waiting out the market, put their homes on the market. But in 2013 they will not be competing with as many foreclosures as in years past. There will continue to be Short Sales, but most buyers are not interested in waiting 3-6 months for an “as-is” property. The turn-key, up to date home with good curb appeal will sell before any short sales, as long as the price is inline.
As usual, the southern end (below Westminster) of Carroll County continues to outperform, as homes have had a higher increase in their average sold price. Properties selling less than 10 days with multiple offers were not unheard of in Sykesville, Eldersburg, Finksburg, Winfield and Woodbine in 2012. Mt Airy and Westminster had a good year, with Taneytown, Hampstead and Manchester still having the longest days on market in Carroll County.
2013 will be a good market for both buyers and sellers here in Carroll County if there are careful and have a good Realtor on their side.
For Buyers, interest rates are staying below 4% on 30 year fixed. The ultimate loan right now is the 15 year conventional fixed, where rates are currently below 3%. If you can put down 20% and qualify for a 15 year fixed rate- you are golden! This is your year that the history books will be writing about. Still FHA rates with 3.5% down payment continue to be below 4% on 30 year fixed, though the PMI (private mortgage insurance) continues to raise and eat into your monthly payment. If you credit score is below 700, FHA is the first place to look. There are other programs out there, and that’s where having a good Realtor working on their behalf here in Carroll County can help. Now that the market has ‘normalized’ and not a true Buyer’s Market anymore, a new mindset has to take place- compromise. And Buyers are going to have to move/decide quicker. There are a lot of qualified buyers out there right now and with the housing inventory so low, the nice ones go quick. If you have been looking and looking and watching homes you like go under contract, you know what I’m talking about. Maybe the home and property doesn’t have 100% of you ‘wants’ you were looking for. This is where having that all important ‘needs ‘vs. ‘wants’ list comes into play. MAKE SURE YOU REALTOR HAS YOU SET UP ON AN AUTOMATIC EMAIL PROPERTY SEARCH THRU THE REGIONAL MULTIPLE LIST SERVICE. As soon as a new listing that matches your search criteria comes on, you’ll know about it. This is key, if a great property comes on, don’t wait for the weekend to go see it, it might be gone by then!
For Sellers, if you have been sitting on the sidelines during the Great Recession, now is the time to contact a Realtor and start running some numbers. Does it make sense to sell now and what is a true “marketable” price and what is the ‘net’ price? With a normal market you still have to do everything you would do to the home and property in the Buyer’s Market. The home HAS to fresh, clean and de-cluttered and needs to be as up to date as possible. It MUST have curb appeal and it must be ready the first day of the listing. And it MUST have a great on-line presence starting with professional photography. It still MUST have a verifiable price point that will appraise when the Buyer’s lender sends out their appraiser. But, sellers don’t have to take that first low offer, they don’t have to agree to every repair the buyer wants, and IF it’s priced correctly you may have multiple offers. If a seller doesn’t any offers in writing within 30 days of a listing, it’s over priced in the eyes of today’s buyers. If the seller has been getting a steady stream of buyers and no offers, it comes down to price, even in this normal market.
My name is David Post and I’m a full time Realtor here in Carroll County Maryland. If I can assist you or someone you know in either buying or selling a property in Carroll County or any other nearby county, please call me direct at 410-984-2221 anytime. This is what I do and this is what I love…. Real Estate!