Who’s In Charge – Buyers or Sellers?

To start, let’s expand a little on the tight statistic used in my all important first post (number of active listings in TMLS: 16,000+).

One year ago there were about 2,000 less active TMLS listings (14,000+).  However, the average sales price was approximately $20,000 lower.   Average sales price in mid 2006 was just over $230,000.  Average price in mid 2007 is around $250,000.  So, in the past 12 months we’ve seen a large increase in the number of homes on the market (15%) combined with a significant increase in average price (9%).

Here’s the question.  Does this indicate a Buyer’s Market or a Seller’s Market?  Ignoring the differences between specific neighborhoods, I argue that Raleigh and the Triangle area is a Seller’s market.  Some folks may disagree.

Here’s the correct answer  –  Who cares.
If you need or want to sell your house – Sell it.
If you want to buy a house – Buy it.
Don’t worry about market timing.

House Photo

Granted, it’s interesting to discuss the advantages of today’s market from both buyer’s and seller’s standpoint.  It’s also interesting (to a certain extent) to mull over how things may change next year or what affect the next spotlighted government report will have.  However, I counsel clients against basing decisions to purchase or sell on any of that stuff.

Market timing doesn’t work well in the stock market and it doesn’t work well in the housing market.  You’ll drive yourself (and those close to you) nuts if you get wound up in whether buyer’s or seller’s will have the advantage in the future.  Everyone’s crystal ball is murky.  If an expert tells what is going to happen next month, go talk to someone else.

There are plenty of other more important factors to consider.  In making the decision to buy or sell a home, be guided by things like your desired lifestyle and current financial situation.  Don’t worry about market timing.  You’ll be happier in the long run.