Better times ahead

March statistics show ositive signs in the real estate market.

The statistics for March showed significantly more properties were sold than in the same time period last year. If the economy continues to improve and interest rates remain similar to the low rates we have been enjoying, we could see the market stabilize this year.

With such a high inventory of listings and not enough demand from buyers, prices have been inching downward since 2008. I believe the end of that downward trend could possibly be in sight.

If you want to be fortunate enough to sell at this time, it is essential that you be asking the right price. If you are priced even slightly high, you will lose buyers to other properties that show better value.

Currently, buyers need to feel assured they are getting good value or they won’t buy. On a marketplace that is barely showing signs of stabilizing, one can understand why.

However, if you are both selling and buying on this market, prices will have less impact on you. If you sell for a lower price and buy for a lower price the amount you receive or pay is less significant. Only the difference in the sell and buy prices are what matters. If you wait for prices to rise, not much will be gained. The property you replace it with will only cost you more at that time.

If you are not prepared to offer your property for sale at a competitive price then it is best for all concerned for you not to be on the market. Overpriced listings don’t sell. They only add to the problem of having a high supply of listings and insufficient buyer demand. In that way, they add to the delay in the recovery of the marketplace. It would be better to wait until prices rise again. There are a number of statistics that make me and others optimistic enough to predict that prices may begin to show increases within the next couple of years. Do I think prices will rise sharply? No, I don’t. But, I do believe better times may be in the foreseeable future.

To my readers: I have written this column since 2004. I took a break  from it over the last part of 2011. I am back now to write a monthly column and as always would appreciate suggestions you may have for subjects for future articles.

Jane is affiliated with RE/MAX Vernon and has more than 35 years’ experience in real estate in Vernon. To suggest topics for future columns email her at