Another year behind us, my name is Terry Isenbecker and I’m a 15 year veteran Realtor selling properties here in Fort St John as a Century 21 Energy Agent and my specialty outside of listing and selling properties is market data and trends. Being an expert in my field is all about knowing when to buy and sell and how to do both successfully. So all in all 2016 was a year for Buyers. The downward slide in sales and in sale price started around the beginning of January 2015 and just maybe now in 2017 the Real Estate Market appears to have plateaued and today even shows signs of a slight recovery. If we compare Fort St John Real Estate Market 2015 to 2016 the market has experienced a severe 48.7% decrease in total sales volume. 8 months though out the year experienced a decrease in number of sales compared to 2015. This was especially notable in the spring and summer months of 2016. A good question to ask is was it due to lack of inventory? No, not at all, we actually had record breaking amounts of inventory on the market at any given time. June 2016 being the peak with 645 MLS active listings. So let’s investigate it a bit further. Buyers had an abundance of choices and closed up the year with only 345 sales*. Another good question is how long did it take for a property to sell? If we look at the DOM data (Days on Market) a sale occurred with an average of 60 days exposure on the market with the month of September peaking at 90 days. All this data indicates that Buyers, the few that did purchase, negotiated more aggressively making the average list price to sale price hover around 92.9%, driving the sale prices down. A sure sign that the Buyers had taken well advantages of the market situation. The down turn of 2015 and 2016 brought down the sale prices significantly evaporating any increases of past years putting the average sale price comparable to that of the fall of 2013. So what does this all mean? Well if you are a Buyer this could be considered an optimal time to make a move, interest rates are as low as 2.5%, the government has implemented first time home initiatives and the fact that there are more properties to pick from then statistically will sell this year should be all the reason to get into the market.
If you are a seller and have your home listed on the MLS® and are feeling a bit frustrated that your property has not seen an offer, the best thing is to understand that you are not alone. Statically you have about a 25% chance of experiencing a successful sale if the stats of 2016 has anything to do with indicating what 2017 will be. First and fore most arrange a meeting with your Realtor® or myself for that matter. Discuss the feedback from all past showings as well as allow the Realtor® to give you an idea of what is happening in the market for competition, sales and even what should be done to be more attractive to a Buyer. The worst thing is to assume is that a Buyer that views your property will bring you an offer, even a “low ball” offer. Buyers, for the most part, are very aware of what is available to them and what they feel they need to pay. Buyers want to negotiate, especially in this market. If your property has had 8 plus willing and ready buyers view your home and you have no offer to consider, then an adjustment is needed. It may or may not be the asking price it could be as simple as de-cluttering, minor repairs or updates, or even the general cleanliness of the home. Remember, your Realtor® is there to assist you with selling and marketing your property, and they are a resource...so don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions. Picking the right Realtor to get the job done is just as crucial to your success as having the correct list price. Each Realtor brings their own unique business practice and personality to the task at hand. I would suggest a proven, successful Realtor that has the experience, knowledge and capabilities to lead you to a successful transaction, you really need to ask yourself if it is the time to do anything but. Call a Realtor today.
*(Just for clarification purposes this number does not take into account private sales, commercial or large farm holdings.)
All Data collected from BCNREB Stats center and are deemed correct but are not guaranteed. PRIN