The first quarter numbers are in, and for the Folsom housing market, there's good news and bad, depending on your perspective.
Although both closed and pending sales were up slightly compared to the same period last year, the real story is in the lack of inventory and the effect it has on buyers.
There were 373 Folsom homes listed for sale in the fist quarter of 2015, vs 279 this year. This lack of inventory is causing buyers to act, and in many cases they are acting quickly. Agents are reporting multiple offers, and with only one winner for each, there's a growing trail of disappointed buyers, and some are growing desperate.
Of the 115 listings that went pending in March, 57 were on the market for less than a week. They are selling fast, and for top dollar (if priced right in the first place).
The sold-in-a-week-or-less homes went for an average about 101% of the listed price.
Speaking of prices the average listing price for those fast sellers was $457K, while the average list price for the rest was $512K. Not much has changed there, as the average sale price has been bouncing between $445,000 and $465,000 for about a year. For that price you can generally get a home of about 2000 sq ft.
With homes selling so fast, does that make it a seller's market? Many of the so-called experts would call it a seller's market if we have less than 3 months of inventory. At the current rate of sales, we have less than a one-month supply.
Some would consider it a seller's market if buyers are paying more than asking price. That's happening to some extent, but not like the Bay Area, where a homes are going for 10 to 20% above listed price.
Others consider a seller's market one in which homes are selling in less than 30 days. As mentioned before, 57 went pending in less than a week during the month of March.
That doesn't mean that you can just plant a sign in the lawn and immediately get multiple offers over asking.
Looking at the current Folsom homes for sale, 21 have been on the market for 2 months or more. It's doubtful they'll be getting those multiple offers over asking any time soon.
So, I guess the answer is, it's a seller's market if the seller prices it realistically.
Before you list your home for sale, take a good look at what's out there, what's been selling, and be realistic about your expectations.
If you are a buyer, be calm, but be ready. Get yourself a full pre-approval, a good agent, and a clear understanding of the market. Compare the homes you're interested in with what else is out there and what's been selling. If you see that homes are selling quickly in just a few days, at or above asking, don't think you can be the first in line, offer less and scoop the market.
Smart sellers will give it a couple of days exposure before settling on an offer. Make yours a good one if you want to get the seller's attention.
From my own personal experience I can tell you that of the 10 homes I've put under contract in the first quarter, 9 were on the market less than a week, and the other, the over priced on, 115 days.