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As more trouble brews, short window for sellers

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis August 1, 2012 10:45 AM

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You snooze, you lose.

One of my old Herald editors loved to dish out this snappy piece of advice when a competitor scooped us.

And homeowners sitting on the fence, waiting until the perfect market comes along before they take they plunge, might consider whether they too are choosing the wrong time to doze off.

Boston area home prices rose 2.4 percent in May over April, according to the latest Case-Shiller report, just released yesterday.

Year over year, prices were down .1 percent - essentially flat.

The double dip in home prices now officially appears to be over.

But prospective home sellers don't seem to have gotten the memo yet.

Too many are still sitting on the sidelines, worried about taking the plunge and driving inventory levels to record lows.

And as more trouble builds in the world economy, sellers should consider the idea that time actually may not be on their side.

OK, staying on the sidelines may seem like a safe move after years of housing market turmoil.

But all those fence sitting homeowners could be making a real mistake.

Yes, the double dip is over, great - just in time really to clear the way for the next leg down in prices. The triple dip, if you like.

The housing market rebound that seems to be taking hold rests on an uncertain foundation, that of a wavering economic recovery.

It's hard to see how the real estate market in Greater Boston and across the country can keep up the positive momentum if the nascent recovery in the jobs market stalls out.

Then there is Europe, where an epic debt crisis continues to brew that could trigger a repeat of 2008, or worse.

If you are looking at selling your house, the window of opportunity could prove to be shorter than you think.

I hope I'm wrong - and I am certainly no economist.

But as the great Cosmo Macero like to say when he ruled the Herald's business section, you snooze, you lose.

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About boston real estate now
Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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