In the last month, I have seen the uncertainty in the market make some home buyers more nervous. Don’t get me wrong, people are still buying homes in the Chattanooga area and home prices are still pretty stable. 1 year ago, a seller had the option to easily counter or dismiss an offer that they did not like. Today, if you counter an offer on your home, it is more of a risk. The buyer may be more likely to move on. You may loose your home buyer. Home buyers are concerned about over paying right now, so price your home right. Some of those concerns end up being a buyer’s misunderstanding of the market. Be sure you have an experienced Realtor representing you who can give you good guidance on home values. I have run into several agents lately who did not understand the sub-market and therefore did not encourage their home buyers to make the kind of offer that would get them the best house for their clients. Also, don’t consult a non-expert. I have seen several home buyers consulting friends or family out of state who do not know the Chattanooga market and who do not understand real estate prices in Chattanooga.
Here are the facts about the market from the latest Greater Chattanooga Realtors home sales report. Newly listed homes for sale are down by 12.9%, so that means that there are less homes to buy and sell. That fact impacts the number of Chattanooga pending homes sales, that are down by 6.3% and the current Chattanooga closed home sales that are down by 9.3%. Home buyers are looking for homes, but there are not many homes to buy in most of the sub-markets. For example, Signal Mountain only has 16 homes for sale in March of 2023. Lookout Mountain, TN only has 2 homes for sale. Riverview only has 5 homes for sale. Those are 3 smaller sub-markets, but it gives you an idea of how much we need more homes to sell. Despite all of that, there are still twice as many homes on the market right now than 1 year ago.
The low inventory of homes is keeping home prices stable. The median home sale price in Chattanooga TN even went up 3.3% in February.
Another sign of nervousness in the home buying market can be seen in the average days on the market in Chattanooga going up to 39 days compared to 21 days 1 year ago. Home buyers are a bit slower to pull the trigger, and they are more thoughtful right now. As a home seller, do not expect your house to go on the market and sell tomorrow. You still may see quick sales in some sub-markets but not in most.
In the end all, you need to marry the house and date the rate. Find the house you love, put it under contract, and refinanced in a year when interest rates have stabilized. The interest rate is not forever, but the home you want to live in lasts for years.
Call Nathan Walldorf to sell or buy a home in 2023. 423-544-7700