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Turning Owners Into Sellers


Inventory shortages have plagued markets across the country, but a new survey suggests a turnaround may soon begin to break for frustrated buyers who can’t find enough homes for sale.

Ten percent of homeowners say they plan to list their home for sale this year, and more than a quarter—26%—say they plan to list within the next three years, according to a new survey from realtor.com® of 657 potential home sellers conducted during the week of March 29.

The homeowners most likely to sell have homes valued below $350,000, which could help relieve inventory woes in a particularly tight price segment, the survey finds.

“In a typical year, we see about 8% of the nation’s homes hit the market, and we’re expecting about 25% more this year,” says George Ratiu, senior economist at realtor.com®. “This signals that many homeowners who were wary to list during the pandemic are getting ready to do so, and this much-needed inventory—especially for starter homes—will begin to relieve buyers’ challenges in a very competitive market.”

Many homeowners remain hesitant to sell because they fear they won’t find a new home within their price range, the survey shows. Homeowners also said they’re not selling because they aren’t sure where they want to move; the current economic climate; the logistics of buying and selling at the same time; and concerns about showing a home during the pandemic.

The majority of homeowners who say they plan to sell in the next two to three years said that they would be more likely to list their home sooner if they knew they could buy and sell perfectly, according to the realtor.com® survey. Also, 37% of homeowners with plans to sell said that if they knew they could make a lot of money on their home sale, that also would be a motivator to list sooner.

“With home prices at historic highs, now is a great time to sell a home and many first-time sellers might be surprised to learn how much equity they have,” says Rachel Stults, deputy editor for realtor.com®. “For consumers who are worried about the stress and planning involved, there are a number of resources available to help with everything—from perfectly timing buying and selling to removing the hassles of doing repairs and staging.”

Other factors that could prompt homeowners to sell sooner: having more affordable homes on the market (33%); not having to handle the logistics of buying and selling at the same time (29%); not having to prepare the home for sale (27%); and if the health risks from the COVID-19 pandemic were lower (24%).

Realtors

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