According to the MLS, residential active listing inventory in the Municipality of Anchorage bumped up to over 900 units for sale in April and May, similar to the available inventory in 2010, turning the Anchorage market into more of a buyer’s market than a seller’s. Just a year ago, inventory was in the 600 for sale range for the same months. At that time, frustrated buyers dealt with competitive multiple offers on homes with some offering more than listed price. Not so today where homes are selling for 98.23% of adjusted list price and that percentage does not include any buyer paid closing costs by the seller. Adjusted list price means any reduction from the original listed price and that percent sale to original list price is 95.98%.
Anchorage is a small market with 2,860 single family homes selling in 2014 and 2,993 in the past year. It is hard to generalize and put percentages on any specific home or subdivision but midway through 2016, the trend is pretty clear. Inventory is up but sales are still strong. Through the first five months of this year, there have been only 69 fewer sales than in 2015 for the same time frame. So with inventory up, the approximately same number of buyers have more choices and are taking more time to make a decision. This is reflected in longer days on the market with the six month average of 51 days on market compared to 44 the past thirteen months.
Sellers, whether builders or private parties with pre-owned homes, need to do more to make their homes attractive. That includes fresh touch up paint, cleaning out the garage so that it appears more spacious and the important lawn and landscaping care. First impressions are the most important. If the exterior of the home is not attractive and well cared for or looks exactly like the same of every other home on the block, that buyer is going to drive right by, whether they are with their realtor or by themselves. An unkempt lawn or dead bushes make a negative impression that is not retrievable. Once the home is in market condition, it is all a matter of price. Sellers need to look not what the home down the street sold for six months ago but what is currently on the market that competes with the home they are selling.
Every home has attractive features which is why the sellers bought the home in the first place. Although Zillow and Trulia are for many buyers the first online stop, they don’t provide enough detail as to what was an important feature to the seller and prospective buyer. Buyers shopping only online may miss out on the home of their dreams. This summer is one of our best for sunny skies and warm temperatures. If you’re looking for a new home, get in your car, on your bike or walk around the neighborhood where you would like to live. You might be surprised at what you find.