Shoreline Market Watch: Navigating Ocean City's Spring Real Estate Surge - 4/9/2024

In this week’s podcast, Ryan Haley discusses what buyers and sellers can expect as we enter the spring market. Spring real estate market throughout most parts of the United States is typically the busiest time of year. 

We get this question every year: when is the best time to buy or sell? It still depends on on your unique circumstance and what your goals are, but in general, the spring market is typically the busiest time when it comes to real estate, meaning we have the most properties on the market, great inventory, lots to choose from, and we will also see the greatest number of contracts and the most settlements coming actually to the settlement table this time of year. 

But what defines the spring market? When does it peak? We don't 100% know because every year it's a little bit different. In a resort market, some factors that come into play on timing of the peak of the spring real estate market can be weather. Here we are in April, but we're still having 30-degree temperatures that are on our 7-Day forecasts. 

So with it, weather can delay things a little bit. Also, it could come in line with holidays that are on the calendar, like we just got through Easter which varies every year, so sometimes Easter weekend's a little bit earlier, sometimes it's a little bit later. But then also one of the bigger factors is the overall economic conditions, and right now all in all, the economy is kind of status quo.

Our interest rates are somewhat stable, anywhere from 6.5% to 7.25% depending on the product that you're going after. And the thing that we can't change is the fact that summer is quickly approaching. All of these elements are coming together, and what we anticipate is the busiest couple of weeks here in our local spring market will be in the next six weeks. That's when we should see the most activity. 

What to Expect as a Buyer or as a Seller

There are two angles to cover: 

First, if you're a buyer, this is the time of year when we're going to see the most inventory that's available. And right now, here in Worcester County, we're at 2.5 months' supply, so there's roughly 500 homes for sale in the entire county. And if we look at Sussex County, Delaware, we currently have just under 3 months' supply, so 2.9 months in total, and roughly 1,500 properties to choose from. So as a buyer, there's lots of inventory, there's lots to choose from, there's still some time to be able to find that right one before summer comes. 

As a seller, this is the best time to be on the market when it comes to the greatest number of eyes on your property. And the more people that are looking at your property, the more exposure that your property can get, typically the greatest results you're going to have with selling at top dollar. 

How to Price Your Property Strategically

Now, the next phase of this podcast that I want to talk about is strategically pricing your property as a seller to be successful in selling your property in the spring market, which is typically the time of year when we're going to have the most number of eyes. 

A couple of things to think about: there are sellers who like to point to more recent sales, or maybe the end of last year or in the last year, a unit down the hole sold for X. Well, as we are in the current marketplace with a little bit rise in inventory and rates that are much higher than they were a year ago at this time, we need to be very mindful of accurate pricing right out of the gates. And if you had a property that sold considerably higher maybe a year ago, if we're using that as the gauge, we may run into some issues. So we want to shorten our window of time as to what we're looking at as far as comparables. 

When a seller comes to us right now, we’re typically looking in the last 90 to 180 days. We're not typically extending beyond that. So we want to see a true representation of the properties that are on the market that are currently pending, and then ultimately have successfully gone to the settlement table. We look at what are the averages in sales price, and then take that data and look at what the current inventory look like. If you're in a building that has lots to choose from, then we might need to be more strategic with how we price your property right out of the gates. 

Finally, what I'm going to leave you with is I believe, and this isn't mine, I borrowed it from another real estate agent in another market that made sense, but I try to coach my clients to consider energy pricing. 

What is energy pricing? 

What we ultimately want to do is we're going to take that list of the most recent sales, use that as the guide, but then we also need to be mindful of what's around us, what are our competing properties, and what we ultimately want to happen is we want that buyer to walk into your property and start to look around and say, “you know what, I like this location, I like this condition, you know, what's the price on this one again? Wow, that makes sense. That's a pretty good price. You know what? I don't want to lose this one.” And that's what we're trying to accomplish. We want the buyer to think this property is priced at a level which we call energy pricing, where it gets them energized to the point where they don't want to lose it, they don't want somebody else walking in there and saying, I'm going to buy it. So that energy pricing gets them to move forward and hopefully make an offer on your property. 

That is in contrast to what we call regular pricing, and regular pricing or needle in the haystack pricing for some folks is the opposite. It's where a buyer is going to walk into your property, they're going to look around, they're going to say, “I like this location, I like the condition, but what's the price on this one again? Huh, it just seems a little high to me.” 

And if they second guess it and or question that pricing strategy, it's going to keep them in limbo. It's going to keep them from moving forward and making a decision. So energy pricing, there's no specific formula for that. You can't go to an online portal or you can't plug all the information into a database and it's going to spit out energy pricing. 

Energy pricing really comes down from having a conversation between myself as your confidant, as your agent, you and your goals, ultimately deciphering what the market data is telling us, and then looking at the most recent comparables and competition to try to come up with that number that's going to make the buyer feel energized and get them to move forward with that offer. So that is my philosophy and the conversation that we're having with our sellers to ensure that we have a strategic plan when it comes to pricing to not just market their property in the spring market, but more importantly, successfully get their property sold for top dollar in this unique and ever-changing resort landscape.

So there you have it. If you like this information, please share it with a friend, subscribe to this channel, and if you have any additional questions as to how we can energize your property in pricing for the spring market, please let me know. Thanks again. I look forward to seeing you next time on the running real estate podcast.


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