Is the Columbus Real Estate Market Slowing?
As you may have read online in the last couple of weeks, realtor.com released their report of the hottest real estate markets in June. Midland, TX topped the list again (as it did in April and May). But second place was held by our beloved Columbus, which moved up from fourth place in May (we were unranked in April).
So if we are in such a hot real estate market, why would I possibly suggest that the market might be slowing? People are listing their houses on Thursday, getting 15 showings on Saturday, having 35 parties come to the open house, receiving 5-7 offers to choose from, and accepting an offer over asking price before lunch on on Monday, aren’t they? Because it seems like everyone has heard that story from someone they know.
Yes, that is still happening… in some cases. I had a buyer client just this week agree to pay almost $10,000 over the asking price and offer to pay up to $5,000 if the appraisal came up short. In the end, the house went to someone else whose offer was even more generous. However, that kind of craziness is not happening as often as it used to. Areas like Grandview, for example—which was recently in such demand that people looking to sell their home were able to get an offer at their asking price advertising by word of mouth alone, without help from a Realtor—remain hot, but now you’re starting to see for sale signs pop up where you didn’t see them before. And they’re staying in the yard a little longer than they used to.
I have seen three of my own listings, all of them lovely homes that I was sure would be in contract shortly after they hit the market, linger for longer than any of us expected. And other Realtors in my office have shared similar experiences with me.
So what’s the deal?
A large part of it is just the typical real estate sales cycle. Sales start picking up in March or so as people start to see the thaw of spring and begin to consider moving. By late May/early June, school is nearly out, and folks start to get serious about moving so they can enjoy their new home throughout the summer. By mid July, demand has started to wane a little bit as the thermometer rises, and we start to see houses that might have gotten multiple offers and people fighting for a chance to buy them are now sitting for longer than before. And while those houses were selling for more than asking price earlier in the year, their sellers are now considering offers below their list price.
This is normal.
If your house is taking longer to sell than you thought, it’s not necessarily a sign that you’re doing something wrong. It may just be because there quite aren’t as many buyers out there as there were in the springtime. Demand for housing in Columbus is still very high, and inventory remains well below normal. However, the days of aggressively pricing your home and assuming that you will have multiple buyers willing to pay even more than your list price are behind us. Your pricing needs to be realistic. If it is, you will find a buyer. It may take a little longer than you would like, but you will find a buyer. Just make sure you’re working closely with your agent to make sure your home is as attractive as possible (yes, your actual home, but also the overall offer to the market—price, closing terms, home warranty, etc.).
The good news is that if you are on the buying side of the equation, things are starting to get a little bit less stupid. And it’s a good thing, too, because as mortage interest rates start to rise, it means now is a great time to be looking for a house.