Spring officially arrives on March 20. Daylight Savings will arrive this Sunday, March 6, so remember to set your clocks FORWARD. Some tips on how to adjust to the new time change:
- Start going to bed 10 minutes earlier each night before Sunday.
- Control your light.
- Exercise the afternoon before daylight savings.
- Take melatonin over the counter.
Spring is the transition from winter to summer. It is considered the time of rebirth, renewal and regrowth. It lasts three months – March, April, May - and it's no coincidence that these months match the traditional home buying and selling season. It is a time to push forward.
If you are on the fence to sell here’s some good reasons to move forward. The market is hungry for inventory. In Mill Valley alone, there were 59 homes for sale in February, down from 93 homes for sale in February 2011, a 36.6 percent drop in inventory. At this inventory level, it would take 4.2 months to sell all of these homes without adding any new listings. But based on pending sales, or those that are in contract now, it would take 2.8 months to sell our present inventory. NOW is the time to bring your home to market! The market is ready.
For example, just this past week in the above $2 million range, two homes went into contract in one day – a brand new, $3.5 million home on Oakdale Ave., and one in Tam Valley on Northern Ave. for $2,295,000. There is pent-up demand in all ranges, but if you have a home you think is worth $1,500,000 to $3,000,000, I would suggest the time is right.
There seems to be a market uptrend on prices. The median price from November 2010 was $1.27 million, while the median price as of January 2012 was $875,000, representing a significant drop in prices.
The fast pace of sales and the return to multiple offers indicates the pent-up demand and low inventory. Since January 1, 2012 there have been 37 homes sold in Mill Valley. The lowest price was $209,000 and the highest was $3,050,000. Days on the market (DOM) averaged 115/131 days on the market.
What do buyers want and who are they?
- A Well-priced home is first and foremost
- Good condition, preferably updated, not much work
- Reasonable access, meaning homes that don’t have a lot of stairs to get in or out, tend to sell quicker than those that have this issue.
Buyers are mainly young families moving to Marin from San Francisco looking for good schools and neighborhoods. There are Mill Valley move-up buyers, too. I was involved in a contingent sale where my seller was able to buy up in the market. The seller/buyer profile was a young family with two kids looking for more space. I am also involved in a sale of another home that is on a hill and the owner is moving to a home that has less steps in a contingent sale situation. While it is difficult to purchase a home that is contingent upon the sale of another, it is not impossible.
In conclusion, if you're thinking of selling, now is the time. It is still a very price sensitive market. While you cannot expect multiple offers, the leading indicators are suggesting that buyers are prepared to pay more for the right house at the right price.