Spring is the season where we see the Real Estate activity pick up, particularly in areas where winter is really winter.
After a cold and/or snowy winter season it simply feels good to get outside. Attending open houses sponsored by local REALTORS is a great way to see what is on the market. To encourage you to get out, the Northeast South Dakota Association of REALTORS will be sponsoring an Open House Weekend April 20-23. Yes, we know that the weekend is technically Saturday and Sunday, but many of you enjoy Thursday and Friday Open Houses so we have expanded our celebration to include the extra days. Many of our REALTORS will be participating in what has become an annual event by scheduling multiple properties for you, with some properties having multiple open houses. Last year we had over 80 scheduled open houses during the 4 day “weekend” with activity heavy and constant.
Open houses have always been useful for both buyers and sellers. Buyers have the opportunity to look at homes that are currently on the market. If you have a specific price range in mind, your eyes may be opened to the features that are available within that price range. It is always helpful to look at homes beyond your price range to see how those homes compare without feeling like you are wasting your REALTORS time scheduling showings. You may find that moving up just a little in price gives you more of the kind of home that you were hoping for and a visit to your lender may surprise you to find out that the higher price range is workable. Make sure you make some notes as you are looking at these homes so that you can remember when you get home why you did or did not like a specific property.
For sellers, open houses can be a useful tool in determining an appropriate price for their home. Keep in mind that everyone feels that their home is worth more than the ones that they are looking at. So go in to this open house weekend with an open mind and an honest assessment of your homes features and drawbacks. Understanding what homes are currently for sale that will be competition for your home is a big step in pricing your home to get an offer. Another consideration for potential sellers is taking advantage of the open house weekend. You may want to move your schedule up a bit for listing your home so that your REALTOR can showcase your home during this busy weekend of open houses.
Please watch for the schedule of open houses prior to the April 20th kickoff.
As you might imagine, statistically, the last 3 months have not been anything exceptional. But as we look forward to the next 3 months we have every reason to be optimistic.
The number of active listings took a nice jump in February, returning to the November 2016 level after dropping in December and January. Numbers of listings traditionally go up in the April through July time period, so look for more listings on the market for our potential buyers to consider. We certainly hope the trend of new listings continues as January and February were double the extremely low level in December. The market needs more listings to satisfy the demand of our buyers.
Our pricing of properties seems to be very well placed for the month of February. The median sale price of properties, the median list price of all active residential properties and the median list price of new listings were all in a range of $170,000-$190,000. This shows a good balance between sales and new listings to give us some assurance that properties are appropriately priced.
We hope that you will take advantage of the Open House Weekend April 20th-23rd and enjoy all the changes that spring brings to South Dakota.