Is The Economy Right For New Home Sales?

How to reassure clients it’s safe to sell their homes.

It has been seven years since the collapse of the real estate market, and now increased prices and scarcer inventories have created a wealth of opportunities for prospective home sellers. Confidence is building, as shown by the amount of multiple offers made on properties—buyers are striving to take advantage of record-low mortgage rates before they purportedly begin to rise.

A recent report published by real-estate analytics firm CoreLogic showed home prices have increased 8.3% nationally in December, compared to the same period last year. This has been the largest increase since May 2006, and includes foreclosures and distressed sales.

These gains are good news for prospective home sellers, buyers and their agents looking to maximize this new market opportunity. Sellers are likely to hit a snag if mortgage rates jump or the economy suffers. How can you help reassure your clients? Focus on five metrics: price changes, inventory of homes for sale, competition from foreclosures, average time to sell, and gap between sell and list prices. Has the economy-draining foreclosures competition subsided enough for a healthy sale? What advice would you offer to your clients?