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A seller's market for homeowners

‎08-11-2014 01:35 PM

Mark Burrage bylineSome good news if you are thinking about selling your house – based on supply, prices and how quickly deals are getting done, it’s a seller’s market in many areas of the country.


The number of homes for sale in the U.S works out to less than six months of supply at the current rate of sales, according to the latest estimate by the National Association of Realtors. When there are more buyers than there are homes available (Figure 1), sellers typically have a better chance of getting their asking price. Inventories are exceptionally tight on the West Coast and in Texas and Louisiana.


The median sales price of a home is about 5 percent more on average than a year ago, the NAR says, with the strongest gains coming in the West. And with supplies tight, homes are moving fast. More than half of sales are occurring within two months of listing, and only a small percentage of homes are still on the market after six months.


Figure 1

Scales graphic.PNG


One of the big reasons why housing inventories are so tight is that many would-be sellers are hesitant to hang a “For Sale” sign at the curb. In some cases, homeowners don’t want to give up the very low interest rate on their current mortgages. There’s also the worry that in a rising market they will have to pay more for their next home.


If you are among those sitting on the fence, here are some factors to consider:


  • As we discussed above, demand for homes is outstripping available supply. As a seller, this means you may have more pricing power than if supply and demand were more in balance, and it’s more likely that you will find a buyer quickly. In other words, you may have a better chance of a pleasant sales experience. The downside of a limited supply is that you may have a harder time finding your next home. You should be prepared to rent for a while to give yourself time to find the right deal.


  • Housing prices are expected to keep rising at a moderate pace over the medium term. As the economy continues to improve and the jobless rate continues to decline, demand for homes may strengthen from the current level, so you may be able to get an even better price later. Rising prices may especially benefit those homeowners now “upside down” in their mortgages – that is, they owe more than their home is currently worth.


  • A mortgage rate under 4 percent is a wonderful thing, and if you have that now, you shouldn’t give it up for just any old reason. That said, today’s mortgage rates are still very attractive by historical measures. They’re also likely to rise in the next year or two, so if you expect to sell and the only question is when, you should take this into account. At stake is more than just what you’ll pay on your next mortgage: Higher borrowing costs could also reduce buyer demand and thus your ability to sell.


As a potential home seller, we advise that you work with a real estate agent to get a comprehensive view of conditions in your area. When it comes right down to it, the national housing market is a collection of local housing markets, each with its own unique supply and demand drivers. How you proceed (or don’t proceed) as a seller will almost certainly be shaped to some degree by those local factors.


Take Action


USAA offers a wide range of products and services that can help make your home buying experience easier. These offerings include:


MoversAdvantage®is a program that offers rewards to members buying or selling their home and pairs them with USAA-preferred real estate agents who have been specially trained to serve the needs of USAA members.


USAA Move Checklist - An on demand checklist that will help to simplify, manage and personalize tasks associated with a move.


USAA Home Circle has all the tools, guidance, and products you need to buy, sell, finance, and help protect your home.


USAA Bank Home Loans - VA, conventional, jumbo and home equity products.  Get pre-qualified before beginning your search for a new home.




Investments/ Insurance: Not FDIC Insured ∙ Not Bank Issued, Guaranteed or Underwritten ∙ May Lose Value


MoversAdvantage® is offered by USAA Relocation Services, Inc., a licensed real estate broker and subsidiary of USAA Federal Savings Bank. Program may be unavailable for employer- sponsored relocations. Not available for transactions in Iowa or outside the US. This is not a solicitation if you are already represented by a real estate broker. 



by CCox
‎09-10-2014 03:32 PM

As a frequent benefctor of the Movers Advantage program, I'd be happy to share if anyone has a question on how it works.

by AnnSaves
‎09-10-2014 04:04 PM

I needed to see this as I have a house for sale in Oklahoma.  Need to sell it and move into my house in Texas!!

by Airborne Jorge
‎09-10-2014 05:41 PM
I guess these rule don't apply to Killeen Texas. They have an excess of inventory and hard to sell a home even with a lower than market value price. My house has been on the market for almost a year now.; very frustrating.
by alamobpo
‎06-10-2015 09:21 AM

I have been told by real estate folks (and I take it with a grain of salt) that my property near Ft Sam has a market value of 95000. I recently had an inspection done. It needs a lot of work. My plan was to use inheritance money from a still-unfinalized probate distribution to do a fix up and rent one more time and then sell.

Does USAA have endorsed remodeling fixupper folks? Where might they be listed?

I took off 2 whole weeks use or lose leave after tenants cleared.

Extensive termite damage and some electricl concerns.

Please have your Real Estate dept phone or txt me at 803-553-7776

And I think you.

If David STringer the property guy is still on your books I need to speak to him as well concerning what and when was all the foundation stuff done? A buyer will need to know that.

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