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Home sellers are excited and have gained confidence to repurchase

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Posted: Friday, January 24, 2014 7:14 am

Home sellers are more optimistic about repurchasing a home than in the past few years, thanks to strong growth in home prices, record-low interest rates, and better personal financial situations, according to the California Association of Realtors’ “2013 California Home Sellers Survey.”

More than two-thirds (69 percent) of home sellers purchased a home after selling their previous residence, up from nearly half (47 percent) in 2012, and from only 12 percent in 2011.

“Much-improved housing market conditions in the last year have given sellers more confidence to own a home rather than to rent one,” said CAR President Kevin Brown. “With sellers being more positive about the future of home prices, the vast majority of sellers who are currently renting plan to buy again in the future. In fact, 70 percent of sellers who are currently renting said they would purchase another home, up from 22 percent in 2012.”

Nearly half of sellers (43 percent) believe that home prices will rise in one year, compared to just 9 percent in 2012, and nearly three of five sellers (58 percent) believe home prices will increase in five years, up from 12 percent in 2012.

Additional findings from CAR’s 2013 California Home Sellers Survey include:

The reasons for selling changed significantly in just one year. In 2012, the majority of sellers sold primarily because of financial difficulties, but as home prices surged, a desire to trade up became the top reason for selling in 2013. Others wanted to take advantage of low interest rates to finance their next home, and some sellers believed the price of their home had peaked and wanted to cash out.

Heightened market competition in the first half of 2013 led to an increase of multiple offers, nearly all home sellers (98 percent) said they received multiple offers, up from 83 percent in 2012. On average, each home sale received 5.9 offers in 2013 compared to 3.1 offers in 2012.

Fierce market conditions also led to bidding wars, with nearly half (45 percent) of all sellers receiving offers higher than the asking price. In fact, more than one-third (37 percent) received three or more offers above asking price. Sellers, on average, received 2.2 offers above asking price.

The Internet continued to be the most common resource for sellers to find an agent, with 51 percent of sellers finding their agent online. One-fourth of sellers used the agent with whom they had previously worked, up significantly from just 3 percent in 2012.

Website listings were an integral part of the selling process, with more than two-thirds of sellers finding Realtor.com as the most important website in the selling process.

Social media is playing a larger role in the home-selling process. Nearly three-fourths (74 percent) of sellers incorporated social media into the selling process, up from only one-fourth (24 percent) in 2010. Sellers used social media sites such as Facebook (83 percent); Twitter (52 percent); YouTube (39 percent); LinkedIn (24 percent); and Yelp (19 percent) to learn more about their agents or to communicate with them.

Eileen Schamber is the president of the Lodi Association of Realtors and can be reached at president@yourlocalaor.com

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