As agents, we all look forward to the monthly “Market Action” that is published monthly by the RMLS, and as much as we hope for good news, we have to take what we get and try to interpret what it means for our sellers (pricing strategies) and for our buyers (offer strategies). First we’ll look at the numbers and then suggest what it means to consumers:
•· Inventory: 19.2 months, a new high in Portland (formula – divide the number of active listings by the number of closed sales for the month)
•· Closed sales: a new low of 732 sales for the month of January
•· Pending sales: up 52% over December, finally an encouraging stat!
•· Average sale price: down 13% over January of 2008
What does this mean for sellers? It means that there are more competing properties for sale, so AGAIN, yours needs to be in the best condition at a price that will encourage offers. For buyers, it means that you have more choices. It also means that since homes have been sitting on the market for longer, the notion of making a super low ball offer may seem sensible, but ask your agent to check the history of the listing. While some sellers may look at very low offers, many others are in a financially compromised financial condition and may have reduced the price to barely cover their cost of selling. Your agent may recommend a full price offer depending on how long the home has been listed and how many price reductions have occurred.