Survey: Sellers Waiting Out Pandemic Are Ready to List
Owners who postponed selling during the pandemic – perhaps waiting for a sign that price increases were slowing – appear ready to list their home within the next six months. Many, however, plan to overprice it – and they expect bidding wars to push the final price even higher.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Homeowners have had all the usual reasons to sell over the past two years – marriages, deaths, children, etc. – but many hunkered down during the pandemic, and some feared the housing market because selling might be easy but finding a new home? Not so much.
A survey conducted by HarrisX for realtor.com, however, suggests that many of those people might be planning to list their home in 2022, with 65% of them planning to do so this winter and spring. The survey of 2,583 consumers was conducted online in September-October 2021.
Many sellers, however, want to set an asking price higher than they think their home is worth, and they expect buyer bidding wars.
“The pandemic has delayed plans for many Americans, and homeowners looking to move on to the next stage of life are no exception,” says George Ratiu, manager of economic research for realtor.com.
“Buyers should be ready for high asking prices and offer deadlines as seller expectations of the upcoming market are greater than in the spring, but an increase in new sellers could mean some relief from the inventory crunch,” he says, saying price growth has moderated some, and many sellers will likely wait until after the holidays to make a move.
However, early 2022 home listers may have an advantage, he adds. “As buyers race against the clock of rising mortgage rates, sellers who price their homes in line with today’s market and stick to their plans will likely see their expectations met.”
When will sellers list?
- Among homeowners who seem prepared to enter the market in the next year, 65% will do so within six months, including 19% who have already listed their home.
- Compared to the spring (76%), more prospective sellers (93%) have already taken steps toward listing their home, including working with an agent (28%).
- More than one-third of prospective sellers (36% each) have researched the value of their home and others in their neighborhood, and started making repairs or decluttering.
Top reason for selling? More time at home during COVID
- Compared to the spring (15%), nearly two-times as many prospective sellers (33%) want different home features.
- With more sellers having children at home this winter (65%) than in the spring (43%), family considerations are a top reason behind homeowner decisions to enter the market: 37% of prospective sellers say their home no longer meets their family’s needs and 32% want to move closer to friends and family.
- The rise in remote work is also a key driver: 23% of sellers want a home office and 19% don’t need to live near work, up from 6% in March.
- Nearly half of today’s prospective sellers want to take advantage of the current market and think they can make a profit (45%), nearly doubling from the spring (24%).
- When asked about current market impacts, 42% said they plan to list their property for more money than they think it’s worth, and 29% will push for a quick close.
- Compared to the spring, more prospective sellers anticipate buyer bidding wars, more offers above asking price, and more buyers willing to forgo contingencies like inspections and appraisals.
Price range changes
- Sellers with homes at the core of the market ($351,000-$750,000) remained the same over March (29%). However, more sellers plan to list in the $500,000-$750,000 price range.
- More than three-quarters (77%) of prospective sellers would be willing to accept a lower offer to close quickly versus just over half in March (54%).
- Compared to spring sellers, a higher number plan to take alternative routes to moving out, such as living with family initially (19%) or temporarily renting their home back from the buyer (29%).
“For homeowners who do feel ready to sell, getting pricing right from the start is key to a fast and successful home sale in any market – take the Goldilocks approach,” says Lexie Holbert, home and living expert at realtor.com.