Is this a good time to buy a house? Is this a good time to sell?

I talked about these questions in my email blast of May of 2017 – almost two years ago. And folks keep on asking. Not without reason, of course. Buying and/or selling your biggest asset can be loaded with uncertainty and challenge.
Usually, my answer to both questions is – after a few caveats – something like, “Sure. Why not?” But markets change. They rise, and fall, and shift, so the particulars can vary over time. 
Right now, in early 2019, our local market is certainly different from the spring of 2017. It has slowed from its white-hot pace and become much more balanced. So, how do we answer these questions now?
I don't have a crystal ball, of course, but I do have a few thoughts …

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Buying? Jump right in!
And do it right this minute. We are in an interesting – and likely quite temporary – period of declining interest rates and increasing inventory. This is great for buyers! After rising last year, interest rates have dropped below 5% again – near historic lows – but this won’t last forever. Inventory is hard to predict, but it is likely to continue to rise as we move into the traditional spring selling season. So, now is the time to find the house you want and buy it with cheap money.
Selling? Time to get realistic.
As my broker/mentor, the fabulous Bobbie Noreen, says, “Anythingwill sell if it is properly priced.” But, with inventory and days on the market increasing, sellers need to be realistic about asking price. As of last month, 37% of the active listings in Davidson County have had at least one price reduction. This tells me that many sellers are pricing their property above what the market will pay. There is plenty of action in this market! Your house willsell. But gone – for now – are the days when you could pull a number out of the air and expect to have a deal within 36 hours. 
And overall? Sure. Why not?
Even though, over time, real estate is one of the best – if not thebest – investment vehicles in the history of mankind, most residential real estate decisions are based on other drivers. Needs related to family, schooling, job location, physical health, retirement. And, in case we forget, there’s nothing in the Constitution that guarantees a profit on any and every real estate deal. So, buyers and sellers, both, need to take stock of life, know that uncertainty is absolutely certain, and do what is best in the here and now­ – with a view toward the future if possible.
Of course, a good realtor will help guide the process and lead you toward smart decisions.