file000692520569The tight housing market isn’t easing up any time soon. That’s the opinion of real estate economists, as quoted in HousingWire. This spring’s market saw about 6.6% fewer houses for sale than last year’s.

Nationwide’s chief economist, David Berson, predictged that sales will rise a little, thanks to the strong jobs market. That might encourage some renters to buy their first homes.

If you are pondering selling, you have some breathing room. Here’s how to make the most of the five months left in the 2017 selling season, which traditionally slows to a crawl after Thanksgiving.

Track the sales in your neighborhood – you’ll probably see quite a few of them in the next few weeks. Compare those houses to yours to get an idea of the current value of your house. Be sure to make apples-to-apples comparisons – a strong market won’t offset an outdated kitchen or crumbling roof.

Watch your neighborhood for renovation activity. If your neighbors are expanding their houses, your house might shift, in the eyes of buyers, from ready-to-live-in to ready-to-renovate. If you wait too long, your house will fade in value compared to shiny, upgraded neighbors. If buyers look at your house as a fixer-upper, they’ll bargain hard because they’ll figure they have to invest big bucks right away.

Is your neighborhood suddenly teeming with young couples and young families? If so, it might be enjoying a burst of popularity among millennials – the twenty and thirty-somethings that are finally starting to buy houses. If your neighborhood is suddenly hot with thisi group, make friends with your new neighbors and ask them if they have friends who also want to move nearby. You might be able to sell directly by-owner, or use local word-of-mouth, combined with the professional presentation of a listing, to ride the coattails of your new neighbors to a swift sale.