To list or not to list? That is always a tricky question. (Sorry, Shakespeare.)
Timing any market is always a gamble. But the current pandemic has added another degree of difficulty to that decision.
It is certainly possible to sell a home in today’s business environment. I listed a house near Nellis Air Force Base on April 1, early in the stay-at-home period. The house was empty as the owners had moved to Idaho. That made it easy to show. It was under contract April 12.
Here are some things to think about.
- Not much competition. Inventory is down as sellers wrestle with this decision. Today there are only 7,832 active listings in the MLS.
As you can see from the chart, the lowest number of active listings was about 13,000 in January 2018. There were over 17,000 in January.
You know the story about supply and demand. Right now the supply side is working in your favor.
- Low interest rates. Last week the 30-year mortgage rate hit 3.15 percent. This was the lowest rate since 1971. That’s almost 50 years! When I bought my first house in 1978, rates were between 18-20%. But I digress.
You can buy a lot more house at 3.15 percent than 18 percent.
- Lots of buyers! The Mortgage Bankers Association reported yesterday new purchase applications for last week reached the highest level in 11 years. That means a lot of buyers are out there ready to spend that mortgage money.
- Pandemic emotions. If you’ve been cooped up in a small space, you suddenly believe you need a bigger house. If you don’t have a dedicated home office, you definitely want one now. If you’re living in a kewl high rise on the Strip, you don’t want to get into that elevator and push button 38.
- Finding somewhere else to live. Rates are low. (yes) But inventory is tight. (ouch.) It’s possible you may have to put some of your stuff in storage and rent until you find the right place. That means moving twice. (ouch ouch.)
However, this scenario was true in January before anyone knew what a coronavirus was. In any sellers’ market, it is common to sell your house but not find its replacement immediately.
- Showing challenges. Currently in Las Vegas, Realtors can only show empty houses in person. And open houses are verboten. But virtual tour technology has stepped in to give your buyers a really good idea about what your house looks like.
- Easier to back out. Buyers do have the option to back out once they actually can see, touch and smell your abode. If your cat didn’t like using the litter box, well, that was a problem pre-Covid.
- Strangers in the house! These days YOU have to turn on all the lights and open all doors so no one has to touch anything in your house. The buyers’ Realtor is supposed to wipe down everything they touched…but you know you are going to do that anyway after they leave, right?
These are Covid-19 safety considerations. But I am going to wipe down everything I touch henceforward because it’s a good idea. Still, you have to be OK with letting strangers in your house.
The Bottom Line
Putting your home on the market is always a calculated risk. Do a SWOT analysis to clarify your thinking. Or just go with your gut. I’ve listed just a few things to think about.
P.S. Choose the right real estate agent. S/he will know how to market your home in this first-ever market but also help you navigate through the process safely and effectively.
P.P.S. Call/text/messenger me! I will watch out for your physical and financial health.
((hugs)) BETH Ellyn
YOUR Las Vegas Real Estate Concierge
70.758.4318 Talk. Text. SMS. Video chat
MBA: L’ecole du Hard Knocks
Licensed in Nevada since 1996: I have previous!
When competence AND creativity matter!