Listing Your Home While the Iron is Hot!

man forging horseshoe

The ancient saying, “strike while the iron is hot,” is still heard today—even though there aren’t many blacksmiths around to exemplify why it’s a good idea. Once a bar of red-hot metal cools, you can’t shape it into a horseshoe—or anything else, for that matter. The memory of when horses were a transportation mainstay has long faded, but the truth of the ‘iron is hot’ metaphor remains. Today’s homeowners don’t need exceptional memories to recall residential market conditions that were a good deal less inviting than what we have this spring. The banner reason is the near-boom level of price appreciation. In the past year alone, the nationwide median rises were north of 13%—and that’s in addition to the string of previous gains.

It’s not hard to recall times when putting a home on the market seemed a lot less likely to fetch as favorable a reception. That’s not only because listing your home now takes advantage of what is historically the most active season for residential real estate—that’s only one of the positives. As we entered the month of May, with the pace of the economy steadily improving and analysts projecting strong results to continue well into the fall, the backdrop for listing your home had seldom been sunnier. Today’s historically low home loan interest rates complete the picture.

It’s an eventual reality, of course, that this picture will change. Should economic forecasts falter, buyers will grow more cautious. If mortgage interest rates head back toward the historical mean (more than double today’s), that’s bound to add a psychological dampener: the “I should have bought…” regret. When the monthly mortgage figure escalates, it won’t matter if the asking price is unchanged—it has a way of making buyers feel as if a home they are eyeing is priced higher than it should be.