Are sellers waiting for prices to come down?

Selling a home is a little like clutching a rope swing and jumping off a high spot above a lake. In both cases it is critical to let go at just the right time.

If you’ve been holding onto your Lakes Region property, now might be the right time to let go and list.

Home prices have been steadily climbing in the Lakes Region, as they have been nationwide, for several years. The spike in home value is not surprising. Swinging like Tarzan is the direct consequence of jumping from a high perch while gripping a knotted rope. Similarly, elevated home prices are the direct consequence of low inventory. The lower the supply of homes for sale, the higher home prices tend to swing.

If you’re watching equity go up in your home, this probably sounds great. But just like you can only swing so high on a rope, home prices can only go so high before they inevitably swing the other direction: down and back.

There are several indicators that the backward swing could be coming any time now. First, for years now home values have been climbing at a far faster pace than median household incomes have been growing in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, our two primary buyer markets. Many prospective buyers are getting priced out. Or waiting.

Then consider the apocalyptic-level coronavirus panic going on. Look at the impact on stocks, which have been selling off at a record pace. Even after the virus is contained and fear overcome, supply chains could be impacted for some time to come, which can impact business, sales and employment. You don’t think that has the potential to eventually impact the real estate market?

Oh, and as you may have noticed, it’s presidential campaign season. The presidential election hype will cause further market uncertainty for some time to come.

Finally, there’s the fact that the U.S. is overdue for a recession, according to the historic trend for their cyclical reoccurrence.

As a result of low inventory, homes in several Lakes Region towns have been selling at the highest prices and fastest speeds in at least a decade. But with home sales as with rope swings, timing is everything because markets can swing like pendulums. Hold onto the rope for too long and you risk landing in the shallow water, or the dirt.

When prospective home sellers hold on too long, home sales can plummet, which typically causes prices to drop a few months later.

Lakes Region homeowners who held on too long and missed the opportunity to sell at the previous peak had to wait nearly 10 years for home values to recover.

So if you’ve been thinking about listing, what the heck are you waiting for? Prices to swing back down?

If you’ve been thinking about selling your Lakes Region home now might be a great time to let go and list. If you’re ready to take the plunge, I’m here to help.

Brent Metzger is a Realtor® with Roche Realty Group in Meredith. He may be reached at (603) 229-8322 or You can learn more about the Lakes Region real estate market by visiting

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