Will the summer real estate market continue to sizzle?

Hispanic couple outside home with sold sign  Will the summer real estate market continue to sizzle?

When Gail Swiader put her Henrietta home on the market the last week of June, she had no idea what to expect. Within a week, the three-bedroom colonial-style home built in 1983 was sold. The asking price: $180,000. “It was more than what I expected it to sell for,” said Swiader, 55, who paid $119,000 for the home in 1990.

On the heels of a spring market that favored sellers, the summer market is now here in the Rochester region. The summer market traditionally starts in the beginning of July and is usually slower than the spring market as families settle into vacation pattern, area real estate professionals say.

But with a later start to the spring market due to the unusually cold winter and an extremely active spring market, agents are hopeful this will be one hot summer for home sales. “It was so frozen this (early) spring, I think sales are going to pick up right through summer,” said Bill Arieno, an agent at Nothnagle Realtors. Many buyers still are motivated to purchase before the children return to school, Arieno said. With a contract now they can still meet the time frame. Many homes on the market during spring received multiple offers in competitive situations, Arieno said. That means there are still many buyers searching for a home as they may have been left out in competitive situations. That’s because the inventory of existing single-family homes is extremely low in the current market.

Data for the quarter ending June 30 is not yet available from the Greater Rochester Association of Realtors. Inventory levels fell almost 18 percent during the first quarter in the greater Rochester 11-county region, according to the association. Persistent low inventory slowed regional home buying as sales of existing single-family homes fell 4.2 percent during the first quarter that ended March 31, according to the group. More inventory is available now than in the spring, so condition and price point are critical, Arieno said. Even though the market is favoring sellers, the buyers are being selective, opting for homes in good condition. “It still comes down to ensuring the home is in model home condition and ready to tug at the buyer’s emotions,” he said. Having a home staged, cleaned and painted are important, as is it being priced properly for current market conditions.

If you list your home in the summer, you have to take extra care to make sure the property stands out, said Richard Sarkis, an agent at Nothnagle Realtors. Swiader painted and staged the home before putting it up for sale, following her agent Bill Arieno’s advice. An empty nester, Swiader had been thinking about downsizing for some time before selling her home this summer. Listing it later did not deter sales, she said, adding that timing is crucial in a real estate transaction. “I gave no thought to the time of year,” she said. “My timing was just right.”