Given all the publicity given to supply chain disruptions, energy prices going bonkers, interest rates heading either slightly or not-so-slightly uphill, etc.—with all this going on—why are we also hearing that now is such a good time to sell? Especially if there is no pressing reason to compel a move, why would you choose now as a prime time to sell your house? Wouldn’t it be more logical to hold off until things settle down?
The answer is based on one of the most rational of economic truisms—namely, that when there are more buyers than sellers, you’d rather be a seller. Assuming that waves of supply and demand inevitably ebb and flow, the next change would be a market with more sellers than buyers. In a buyer’s market, sellers compete to offer the best deals in price and terms—when it’s beneficial to be a buyer.
These simple notions might seem to be easier to act upon when the “goods” you are dealing with are things, rather than the place where you live. If you’re a potato farmer, you already know you’ll get a better price if the crop is small—but you have to sell it, no matter what. Not so with residential real estate (unless you’re a builder). You don’t have to sell your house because it will spoil. So, why sell now?
The answer lies in degree. It isn’t just that there are more buyers than sellers—it’s that there are a record number of buyers chasing a record low proportion of sellers. Money magazine exemplified the phenomenon in its summary, “11 Major Real Estate Records Broken in 2021.” Among the shattered marks: “Price of homes reached new highs” and “The lowest housing inventory since NAR started keeping track….”
If the old truism were ever a valid signal, now is the time. You can’t say that there will never be a better time to sell — “never” is a long time. But the logic is clear: if you’re ever going to sell your house, this is a market that’s worth checking out.