From the desk of Mae Nowak, Realtor®
Tackling the misconception of "off season"
The general assumption in most markets is that spring/summer is the best time in real estate to buy or sell and the fall/winter is “off season”. Likewise, many realtors will advise clients to wait until the spring to list their home.
The truth is, there are many advantages to buying or selling in the so called “off season”. While the market may be quieter, real estate never stops completely!
Reason #1: Less competition.
Take a look at the graph above showing new listings over the past 3 years. You can see a clear trend. The most new listings hit the market between March-June. They continue to decrease the remainder of the year with the lowest new inventory being in December.
Buyers are likely to continually scan the market early, even if they don’t need to purchase for a few more months. Come spring, a large wave of new listings will to hit the market. While inventory is down, you’re chances of standing out among the crowd increases, so “off season” could be your opportunity to get ahead of your competition.
Reason #2: More motivation.
During the spring, sellers are more likely to stand their ground negotiating when they know there are more buyers in the market. Those who stay listed in the winter are generally looking to get their home sold before the new year. That gives you a little negotiating power to get them to the closing table before the holidays!
Buyers who are active in the winter are likewise more motivated to purchase. During the winter their kids are still in school, holidays are around the corner and lets face it, summer would be more convenient for families. However, those buyers looking at your home are more motivated due to a job change or life event that is forcing them to make a move during their busy season.
Reason #3: Increased attention.
While realtors seek to provide top quality service throughout the year, the truth is, there are multiple people involved in a real estate transaction. Lenders, title companies, appraisers, inspectors, insurance agents and other realtors also have a hand in your transaction. See the graph below. You'll notice that the overall number of sales is much lower in the fall/winter than during the spring. That means all of these professionals have a little more time on their hands to spread out. Winter gives you quicker access to all the individuals looking to get you to the closing table!