I read a blog recently that was based upon a story about an experiment that was done some time ago with fleas in a glass jar. When the fleas were initially put in the jar a lid was screwed on the jar to prevent them from getting out. At first the fleas would still climb up the jar walls and try to jump out. They would bang their heads on the jar lid and fall back down into the jar. After a few days the fleas stopped trying to get out because they had become conditioned that trying lead to a bump on the head and a fall. The lid was then removed fro the jar and none of the fleas tried to get out because they had been conditioned that trying that lead most certainly to failure and a sore head.
The real estate market has undergone similar conditioning that is keeping would-be sellers bottled up. The “lid” that was on our market – low property values caused by the recession – has been removed and yet too few have even tried to get out of the jar and put their homes on the market. Property values certainly aren’t all the way back to where they were at the peak of the bubble that burst and led to the recession; however, they are also not mired at the low point of the recession. Values have come back over 10% year-over-year in many areas and the low inventory in the market right now has led to bidding wars over the few homes that are available. Even appraisals have started coming back to support the price increases.
The point here is to shout out as loud as I can that THE LID IS OFF! TRY AGAIN! You may still bang your head on a market price that is too low to allow you to sell. People who bought at the peak or who took all their equity out at the peak are likely still underwater; however, most owners are probably better off that they know. You won’t know if you don’t have a current market analysis done by a real estate professional. Having a Realtor® give you an updated Comparative Market Analysis doesn’t usually cost you anything. It is quite likely that the recent uptick in the market will allow you to again consider listing your current home, so that you can get on with retirement or job-relocation plans. Call me and let me see what you house is worth on today’s market.