Saucon Valley Property Pulse is a biweekly sponsored column featuring expert insight and analysis of the local real estate market by realtor and Lower Saucon Township resident John Cummings. Whether you’re looking to buy, sell or are simply interested in local housing trends, we hope you’ll find the information in it helpful.
The trend for the real estate market has become the same news, unfortunately. Low inventory, unaffordability and interest rates remain at the center stage of the market. This ultimately leads to not much change from our previous month’s edition of the Property Pulse. However, one side note that isn’t mentioned enough is list price. A common trend that has been playing out throughout the U.S. and especially in the Lehigh Valley is the idea that your list price doesn’t matter. With more people tending to focus on how crazy the market is, this fundamental process of valuating properties is being forgotten. When homes are priced correctly, the sale process can be much more positive for a seller than if it is done with no thought. This is true for the national housing market and Saucon is no exception!
A look at key takeaways
List Price Still Matters
• The first 30 days on market are the most valuable. After that, you’re typically setting yourself up for lowball offers.
• Most serious buyers are set up with listing alerts in their price range.
• You’re leaving money on the table.
• What you do affects the market as a whole!
But how is this possible? There are multiple offers for every house that goes up for sale in Saucon…right?
Even Saucon Listings Expire
The overall hype in the area detracts from the real struggles some owners have with selling. The question that remains is, why did they struggle?
So far in 2023, 18 home listings have expired that were not for commercial, luxury or new construction properties. That means that 18 homeowners had an issue where they couldn’t sell in one of the hottest sellers markets in the country. Now some of these were properties that needed TLC, but some were not. The only factor that ultimately determines home value is the market, and these owners chose not to adjust pricing accordingly.
Why the First 30 Days Are So Critical
At any given time in any given market, there is a limited buyer pool. This buyer pool also gets segmented into different price points and end goals (e.g. first-time homebuyers, downsizers, upgraders, investors, luxury). In each of these categories, you have a limited pool. So let’s look at this year’s sales and break them into each buyer category in order to see what type of buyer is most being catered to in Saucon.
So clearly, the focus in Saucon is first-time homebuyers, downsizers and upgraders. Luxury listings are also quite high in the area. But let’s look at how many actual families this is per month.
On average, you can expect as many as 16 families or as few as one that will be interested in your listing. This doesn’t seem like such a huge number once it’s broken down. These are the people who are serious about buying, and who will be your primary focus as a seller. I guarantee these families will be notified any time a listing comes up in their price range, and that they will be looking at your property in the first 30 days, if not the first five.
Things to Monitor
One thing that we hear over and over again is our lack of supply, especially here in Saucon. What we need to pay attention to is the amount of supply that does eventually come to the area, because it will disproportionately affect us if we over-supply (which is very unlikely). What we never focus on is how one home value can affect the entire area as a whole. For example, real estate professionals will likely sell around 400 homes in Saucon this year. A typical year for us is about 600 to 650 sales. Why is this important? Because every home that sells now has a greater weight on the change in home values. This can be good for home values when we’re in our current situation, but just remember that if inventory does pick up and one home’s value goes down, its effects are more pronounced due to the lack of overall sales. The prices are set at the margin for homes.
What This Means
For Home Buyers
Again, buyers are facing tremendous hurdles when looking for a home. However, there are still listings out there that you could get. Even Saucon gets expired listings. Work with an agent who’s willing to get creative, put all options out there and consider new development. There are options; you just need to think outside the box.
Remember that your home may be the best home ever in your eyes, but you need to pay attention, or have an agent who’s paying attention to the actual buyer pool you are catering to. Don’t have one of the few listings that expire in one of the hottest markets in the country!
Expired listings could be your best bet in our area, however you will likely face challenges with owners that have overestimated the value of their home and are now unwilling to come down in price. This creates an opportunity, but you have to be willing to dig for that diamond in the rough.
About the Author
Hey there, I’m John Cummings, and I’m thrilled to be your local Saucon Valley real estate expert! As a proud resident, I feel incredibly fortunate to have discovered this charming community alongside my wonderful wife and three boys. My mission is simple: to share the joy and excitement of living in Saucon Valley with you and your family. Whether you are looking to buy or sell a home, I am dedicated to making your real estate journey a seamless and rewarding experience. With a deep understanding of the local market and a passion for helping families like yours, I’ll go above and beyond to find the perfect home that matches your needs and desires. I believe that finding the right home is not just about the property; it’s also about finding the perfect place to create cherished memories and build a fulfilling life. When I’m not busy making real estate dreams come true, you can find me exploring the beauty of Saucon Valley with my family, attending community events and giving back to the place we proudly call home.
Phone: (484) 280-8433
Office: (610) 882-1653
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