A newly-released Homeowner Sentiment Survey found that 23% of current homeowners were thinking about selling their homes, but hadn’t listed them for sale yet.
Housing inventory is down nearly 5 percent from this time last year according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Right now, there are 4.8 months of home inventory, which is substantially below the 6 months of supply indicating a balanced or normal housing market.
Inventory numbers show that the housing market is in the sellers’ favor. So why 1 in 4 homeowners hesitant to list their homes?
Lack of Knowledge
That’s right. It all comes down to being misinformed or misperceiving what is really going on in the housing market.
The survey, conducted by Edelman Berland for HSF Affiliates, found that many homeowners would sell if they had a better understanding of today’s real estate market.
In fact, the survey showed that 55% of the 23% who were thinking about selling “would be more likely to put their homes on the market if given more information about the process.”
Perception vs. Reality
One thing the survey made clear is many would-be home sellers have a wrong perception on the state of housing market.
Here are some of the misperceptions and the realities.
Perception: 53% of those surveyed didn’t realize that housing inventory was down and as a result buyers had fewer choices. Amazingly, only 6% of prospective sellers believed that the number of houses listed for sale had declined over the last year or so.
Reality: Housing inventory has dropped below levels indicating a normal market, as I mentioned above.
Perception: 8 out of 10 survey takers thought credit scores had to be higher than they really did to qualify for a home loan.
Reality: Studies have shown that many Americans think you need an excellent credit score — 780 or higher — to qualify for a home loan. But the actual median credit scores on most closed home loans are lower.
Perception: More than 3 out 4 respondents thought strict lending requirements made it harder to qualify for a home mortgage.
Reality: According to the Mortgage Credit Availability Index, banks are easing lending requirements and it is getting easier and easier to get a home loan.
Perception: 7 in 10 people thought existing homeowners were stuck in their homes due to a lack of equity and cumbersome mortgages.
Reality: A recent study by Fannie Mae (which backs many conventional homes loans) found that 32% of Americans thought they had much less equity in their homes then they did.
Get the Facts if You’re Ready to Sell
Now is an opportune time to put your home on the market. Housing inventory is down and that means more people looking and your house and potentially buying it.
You can start the process by going here to find out how much your home is worth. Or if you have questions about how much equity is in your home, give us a call at 912-844-9000 or fill out our online contact form and we’ll get in touch with you.