Listing Courtesy of KELLER WILLIAMS REALTY
Many people don’t fully understand why it is that St. Patrick’s is the perfect day for selling a Bethany Beach home, or for buying one. But if ever there were a right time to explain it, this is it. There is one drawback to any such explanation, though: namely, that it makes so little sense.
That does not seem to make much difference to a lot of real estate industry marketing supply companies. I can bear witness to that fact, in the form of the postcards and various art pieces that are pitched to Realtors en masse ahead of every St. Pat’s. As you might guess, they are green (usually very green), and almost without exception bear some rendition of a four leaf clover. Also rainbows, pots of gold, wee leprechauns wearing green top hats with buckles on them, and sometimes horseshoes (to indicate the Luck O’ the Irish, of course).
What could this have to do with selling a Bethany Beach home, or buying one? That’s very hard to pin down. There is the simple good will postcard, that says, “Happy St. Patrick’s Day” with no further connection. That’s a nice thought, certainly, and not risky. Who wouldn’t want to have a happy St. Patrick’s Day? There is one with a good-looking home at the end of a rainbow, with a wee little leprechaun holding a “Welcome Home!” sign—certainly a strong connection between selling an Sussex County home and the celebration.
One of the best ones is the poster that features two shades of green, a cartoon three-leaf clover (mistake there, if you ask me) upon which is printed in Celtic-looking letters, “You don’t need to have the ‘Luck of the Irish’ to sell your home.” You have to like that one, because it doesn’t discriminate against people who aren’t Irish (the closer you get to St. Patrick’s Day, the more you run the risk of seeming to snub the non-Irish among us).
There is one postcard with a lady bug crawling over clover leaves emblazoned with a sentimental poem, but the emotionality of the poetry is tempered by the heading, “For all Your Real Estate needs just give me a call!” Balance is important on St. Patrick’s Day…but it’s not clear that the card with the green beer mugs got that message (which is “Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Remember, parade watching is like real estate. Location, location, location.”).
One that also tips the scales in the direction of crass commercialism is the picture of the big pot o’ gold brimming with gold coins. It says, “It takes more than Luck to sell your home.” I’m not sure what the St. Pat’s message is for that one—that selling your Sussex County home requires you to go out, find a leprechaun or rainbow, and wangle a pot o’ gold? It’s simply not the case. If you ask me, an experienced Realtor with a great marketing plan and a reasonable price will do the trick better than pots o’ gold or four-leaf clovers. Still, that can’t keep me from wishing you a terrific St. Patrick’s Day, as too!
As we enter the spring selling season, it’s only natural to look for clues about what to expect for Dewey Beach home sales. Normally, one of the principal barometers comes from the National Association of Realtors®. Their Pending Home Sales Index is a national compendium of hard data that can be useful for predicting home sales in Dewey Beach. It is both “forward-looking” (an indicator of future activity) and part of a long-standing and continuous sample-gathering procedure.
When you take a wide sample of the same data for the better part of a decade (the PHSI has been recorded monthly for nine years now), you can chart the results, note when similar patterns repeat or diverge, and infer meaningful results. Further, when an acknowledged authority like NAR’s Chief Economist Dr. Lawrence Yun provides commentary in plain English that any Dewey Beach homeowner can easily understand, the monthly published reports comprise perhaps the best basis there is to project how our own local market is likely to fare.
Last week’s release of the Pending Home Sales Index and commentary was every bit as authoritative as we have come to expect—backed up by the same rigorously collected data from across the country. As a tool for projecting how upcoming Dewey Beach home sales are likely to fare, however, it’s fair to say its usefulness is…uh…less than usual.
It’s fair to say that because it is possible to read the entire 700-word document and emerge without a clue as to what you just read. It is, in a word, confusing. But in case it’s just me who is confused—and you are a typical Dewey Beach homeowner who would appreciate information about how active our market is likely to be in the next few months—I think I should share a boiled-down version of the report’s key takeaways.
The Report’s headline is “Pending Home Sales Cool Down in January” (January’s data is the most recent). From this, we can gather that home sales activity is trending downward. Then, from the first paragraph: “…pending home sales…remained slightly higher than a year ago.” From this, we can gather that home sales activity is trending upward.
There follows an explanation about the first idea (home sales trending lower): it was partly to blame because of bad weather in January. A little later, there is a buoyant observation about the second idea (home sales trending higher): “Sales are now 11.0% higher than a year ago—the largest year-over-year gain since July 2013!” (exclamation point added by me, which seems appropriate, given that this is such good news).
More good news for Dewey Beach homeowners readying to sell their homes dealt with prices: “Last month’s price increase was the largest since April and marks the 47th consecutive month of year-over-year gains!!” (I added the two exclamation points). This, however, was also miserable news: “Home prices ascending…aren’t healthy” because household incomes didn’t rise as fast. But good news would make that much less of a factor, because fixed-rate mortgage rates were really wonderful: “declining to 3.87%, the lowest since October 2015!!!” (exclamation points—oh, you know).
Because sales cooled down in January for the highest year-over-year gain in years, I think the report tells Dewey Beach homeowners that they might well expect a hot-cold/falling-rising market! Or perhaps prudent homeowners should just forget about this report, get their homes ready to list, and call me…I promise not to share what’s in next month’s report! Call/Text me Russell Stucki at (302) 228-7871, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, visit more listings at www.beachrealestatemarket.com.