Sales data just released from the Reno-Sparks Association for March 2010 was a real eye opener.  Here are a couple of intrepreations of the data…

  1. For homes in price points under $400,000 it is a seller’s market.   Overal in the Reno-Sparks market we have 2.8 months of inventory.  The National Association of REALTORS categorizes a “sellers market” as any market where there is less than 6 months inventory.   In price ranges under $200,000 there is less than 2 months of available inventory.  In the $200,000 to $400,000 there is 2.3 to 4.8 months of inventory –  signaling a seller’s market.
  2. The median sales price was $175,500 for March 2010 up from $170,o000 in February and $167,000 in January.  This is the 3rd straight month we have seen an increase in prices.  (Unfortunately the median is still down from March 2009 when it was at $200,000).
  3. The number of distressed listings (bank owned, corporate owned or short sales) coming onto the market in March (new listings) was at August 2008. 


  1. You need to be working with an experienced REALTOR that can help you locate inventory, and make a strong offer against the competition that is out there.  Believe the media or not, it is a seller’s market.  Your offer will need to be strong in order to get the property
  2. Median prices have been increasing for the past 3 months.   If you are inclined to “low ball” you may miss out on the property you want and if you are still waiting for the “bottom” of the market you may have missed it.  NOW is still a great time to buy.
  3. Distressed properties accounted for 55% of the new listings that came on the market.  Again, make sure you are working with a REALTOR that has experience both listing and selling distressed properties in order to avoid possible pitfalls.


  1. Equity position sellers you are in the driver seat.  The shortage of inventory and the challenges in purchasing distressed inventory puts you in a great position to attract buyers quickly and get top market prices.  (That doesn’t mean you can over price your home, but if you want to sell and you price your home at fair market value it will sell.)
  2. Prices are improving.  For sellers that are underwater or teetering, if this trend continues we will all be happy.  I caution sellers to keep in mind that we won’t see 2005 prices again for quite some time.  If you are waiting for another boom you may be old and gray before it gets here.  If you have considered moving up and you have equity now is the time.  The move up home you want is available at a great price as well.  You may lose your “imaginary gains”, but you can move up to a bigger or new home at much more affordable prices.
  3. With less distressed inventory, you have less “low market” competition and more opportunities to attract buyers. 

Time will tell.