A new year and a new decade have started, and I've never heard so many people say that they were happy to put the old year behind them. We can tell that they've moved on, because our phones, even in Commercial, have taken a big leap from December. It will be a few weeks before we see the results, but, in the meantime, we're busy.
What does that mean for sellers and buyers? It means that people are coming off the sidelines. They've put their lives on hold for long enough. Even in commercial real estate, where there are dire predictions for the next couple of years, business goes on. The leases may be shorter and smaller, but space needs will prevail at some point.
Therefore, there will be competition for well-priced listings. Well-priced is the key here. There are still plenty of listings getting no play, but others go right away. The latter ones are perceived to be good deals. There are also a lot of short sales in the market; i.e., houses where there the proceeds will not cover the debt. Banks are required to get within a certain percentage of fair market value, so don't look for big bargains in that department.
If you're a serious buyer, buy now. You need to leave time to get through the whole sales process, and you don't want to miss out on the tax credits available. And please, don't assume that you can take 10 or 20% off the listed price (see paragraph above!).
If you're a serious seller, be realistic about the price. And list now, to get a jump on the competition.