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Reasons Not to Sell a House in a Seller’s Market

As you’re aware, the Treasure Valley real estate market is hot as record-low mortgage interest rates and out-of-state interest are fueling demand for homes. With the area being a strong seller’s market due to the limited availability of homes and high demand, it would seem there’s no time like the present to try and sell a house to capitalize on the market.

Last month, the Intermountain Multiple Listing Service (IMLS) reported record low numbers of homes available for sale in Ada and Canyon Counties. The numbers were staggering, with supplies dropping more than 70% from the previous year. This begs the question, why aren’t more people selling their homes? Recently, Zillow surveyed many homeowners nationally to understand better why they’re not listing their homes for sale. Only 1% of those surveyed said they had homes on the market. The other 99% offered a variety of reasons as to why they’re not selling.

Let’s take a look at the reasons why people aren’t selling their homes.

The most common reason mentioned, by more than a quarter (26%) of those surveyed, said: “they’re concerned that they wouldn’t be able to find or afford a new home once their current home sold.” Nearly a third (31%) indicated that they’d have similar feelings about selling their home in three years.

The next most common response was, “life is too uncertain for me and my household.” Twenty-two percent cited this response. The third most common response was, “I anticipate a more favorable home sale price if I wait.” Indeed, prices will continue rising as demand outpaces supply. Thirty-nine percent of those surveyed who would consider selling their home in three years said they expect to get a better price by waiting.

“I’m planning or completing a home renovation,” and “my current financial situation is uncertain or precarious” were the fourth most mentioned reasons for not selling a home, each earning 19% response.

“I am concerned about my health and household’s health during the COVID19 pandemic” and “I recently refinanced my home/mortgage” were the next most popular responses, each being referenced by 15% of those surveyed.

Just under ten percent of those surveyed said, “my children or other family members have moved back in with me.” And the last reason, with only four percent citing it, “my home is in forbearance.”

The common theme is that potential sellers are staying put due to financial anxiety or general uncertainty. Interestingly enough, reasons pertaining to the pandemic were not high on the list of reasons not to list. Certainly, a case can be made for those not listing due to virtual schooling or working from home and not wanting to upset those experiences while moving.

Reasons abound as to why people aren’t listing their homes. Zillow’s research, at least, gives us some insight into the thinking of homeowners when it comes to listing or not listing their homes for sale.

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