Tribune Print Share Text

Right time to sell

Low inventory, rising home prices benefit sellers

Created date

February 26th, 2013

When Joan and Ward Coleman put their Plano home on the market in October 2012, friends and acquaintances offered mixed feedback. Some people told us it was a great time to list our house, others said it was a terrible time. We didn t know who to believe, says Joan. Fortunately, the positive thinkers got it right. The couple s home went under contract within two weeks. Within six weeks, Joan and Ward closed on their house and were settling into their new apartment home at Highland Springs, an Erickson Living community in North Dallas. Inventory [of available homes] is down significantly in the Dallas area, and home prices have begun to rise across the board, says Judy M. Jones, president of Metrotex Association of Realtors. Home builders essentially stopped building in late 2009 and are ramping back up now. Most of the houses available on the market are pre-owned existing homes. That s good news for potential sellers who have been waiting for the opportune time to list their homes. Properties that are in good condition and priced appropriately are going fast, says Jones. Many sellers are receiving multiple offers.

No time to worry

For Joan and Ward, the bustling market meant they didn t have to wait long to make their move. We wanted to simplify, says Joan. Our children live in other cities across Texas. There was no reason for us to maintain a four-bedroom home. The quick sale also meant less anxiety for Joan and Ward, who both continue to work as missionaries for Campus Crusade for Christ. Ward is an ordained minister, so we lived in parsonages prior to purchasing our Plano home, says Joan. That was the only house we had ever bought and the only house we had ever sold. We lived there for 23 years. I was a bit apprehensive before we listed it, not knowing what to expect. As it turned out, the buyer had been looking at houses for many months. Our house was the right home for her, says Joan. The layout and the upgrades appealed to her. Joan and Ward s home was an ideal candidate for a quick sale, says Marilyn Lair, an Erickson Living-recommended real estate agent who listed the couple s house. Even though it was an older house, it was well-maintained and updated.

No reason to wait

The numbers tell the same story. In November 2012, the number of homes sold in Collin County, whereHighland Springsand the Coleman s home are located, was up 20.5% from November 2011. The median sales price was up 10.3% over the previous year, and inventory of homes on the market was down 41.1%. In the Dallas metro area, homes on the market for November 2012 represented 3.9 months of inventory, which is low, says Bill Head, director of communications for Metrotex. Six months is more of an ideal balance between a buyer s market and a seller s market. That s good news for people who have put off listing their home until the housing market strengthens. Dallas has never been an up-and-down market, says Lair. And now sellers have the benefit of rising prices and low inventory. For those thinking of listing their home, I don t see any reason to wait.