Slim inventory and low interest rates bring out the serious buyers

Year end seems like an odd time to sell your home. However, it has been a long time since we’ve seen a home sale market that approximated normal. So, I wouldn’t necessarily abide by the guidelines that applied to another time.

2011 was a lackluster year for the housing market. The spring and summer markets, usually a busy time for home sales, were sluggish. The market picked up in November 2011. Many sellers who chose to sell then had a successful result.

Several factors contributed to this. Interest rates were low. The bad global news — the catastrophic earthquake in Japan, Greece on the edge of bankruptcy, problems in the eurozone, and a stuck-in-the-mud unemployment rate — had been absorbed and digested by consumers. Buyers began to believe that home prices were bottoming; there were years’ worth of pent-up demand.

Sellers in some areas who sold at the end of last year presented their homes well and priced them right for the market. Some received multiple offers, although this didn’t always result in a higher price. Many were sold and closed by the end of the year.

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