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Marty and Max:Should I Stay or Should I Go

by MARTY WALKER
| October 13, 2023 1:00 AM

Hey Max, we are in the fourth quarter of the year. If I want to sell, should I wait till Spring and list in the Prime Selling season?

There are so many factors to consider. Most have nothing to do with real estate directly, but rather confidence in the economy and job security. What happens if gasoline prices double? We have military action in Ukraine, and declared war in Israel, what happens if we have more military actions? What if there are terrorist attacks in the US? What happens if the economy tanks? What happens if interest rates go to 10%? Next year is an election year. What impact does that have on our real estate market? The last presidential election we were in a lockdown. Can that happen again?

  • Uncertainty Can Make It More Difficult to Sell Your Home. Historically speaking, election years are good for buyers. That’s because during an election year home prices tend to rise more slowly.

  • Uncertainty Can Make It More Difficult to Sell Your Home. Another factor impacting home sales is the uncertainty that comes with a new president. In years where an incumbent is not running (like in 2016), someone new will most certainly take office. This can make buyers hesitant to invest in a home. When consumers feel confident, they are more likely to buy. With consumers on the fence about the economy, the uncertainty of the elections could create more pessimism than optimism. Appreciation May Drop Off During an Election Year. Is Joe going to be running and if he runs, will he win?

  • Real Estate Tax Rates, Deductions and Credits May Change. The tax deductions and credits for property owners are among the longest-running tax breaks on record. But that doesn’t mean they are a given. Like other tax credits and deductions, they have to be approved in order to be extended. This means that the incentives that make owning real estate more affordable could be up in the air. They may increase or decrease, but that’s never known until the new policymakers take office and vote on it. The property tax rate and capital gains taxes could also change with new people in office locally and federally.

  • The Consumer Confidence Factor. The health of the economy and housing are closely tied together. When consumers feel confident, they are more likely to buy. With consumers on the fence about the economy, the uncertainty of the elections could create more pessimism than optimism.

Forbes reported that during an election year real estate sales underperform from June through October. Sales can be down as much as 13%.

Locally Home sales continue to outstrip supply and the Market Action Index has been moving higher for several weeks. This is still a Seller’s market so watch for upward pricing pressure in the near future if the trend continues.

Prices have continued to rise as a lack of inventory has kept the market competitive for prospective buyers sparking bidding wars and homes selling above asking price. According to the National Association of Realtors, the US median home sales price has risen 3.9% compared to this time last year.

That is great news, but do homes still sell in Northern Idaho in the winter? Let’s review 2022. Although the second quarter of the year is traditionally the prime selling season with 29% of all homes sold during the year, it is interesting to note that the first quarter of the year sold 23.4% and the fourth quarter of the year sold 20% of all homes sold. Q4 and Q1 contributed 43% of all homes sold last year. Although that is not nearly as good as 57% for the other two quarters, homes are moving in the off-season at a very good pace.

No one can predict the financial forecast for next year, but if you know you are going to sell in the next 12 months there is little downside to selling now and much risk in waiting. Confused minds don’t buy. There is still time to capture amazing fall images of your home before the seasons change. With all of the uncertainty the question is, do you want to try to time the market and wait? As Clint Eastwood said, “Do ya feel lucky?”

For your market analysis, contact Marty Walker at marty@21goldchoice.com or call (208) 518-6636. This article was not written by and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Coeur d'Alene Regional REALTORS®