One of my agents has a super busy real estate time coming up. In the spring. She has a list of clients who already know, in the second week of November when I am writing this, that they will not be moving until March. In the minds of many, the best time to sell is spring. While there is certainly logic behind that, and the market does drastically slow down in late November through the end of January, the reason for the slow down might surprise you.
In 15 years of selling, here is what I have noticed.
n Sales don’t necessarily slow down but showings do. I have client friends who bought a house from me 14 years ago. They still love going to open houses, with absolutely zero intention to buy, because they love to look at houses. Buyers who are curious, just starting to look or even aren’t financially able to buy but might want to test the waters, won’t come out during these months. But people who are serious buyers or need to buy now, will be out in full force. So if your home is on the market, you may have LESS showings, but you have also eliminated leaving your house in the middle of the freezing Ohio tundra for someone not super interested in the buying process.
n The schedule. Showings tend to slow down in November and into early January due to schedules. A buyer is being pulled into a million different directions at that time due to not just their normal schedules but Christmas parties (work and family), school programs, and family traditions (like driving around and looking at lights, etc). They don’t have time to randomly see houses unless they are serious or they are pretty sure that they are going to like the house. The “I am curious so let’s look on the off shot that I like it” mentality is out the window during this busy time.
n We live in the freezing tundra. Seriously. Buyers don’t like to go out to see a house if it is crazy cold or bad weather could be approaching. So, again, only the serious buyers tend to venture out into the frozen abyss.
n Buyers, and sellers for that matter, want to be settled somewhere for Christmas. It becomes the “do I put up the tree or not” conversation. People love their traditions (I know I do!) and the thought of moving right before Christmas or even a few days after, can be daunting for many. So they tend to wait until “after the holidays.”
*Buyers think more inventory will be available in the spring. I hear that a lot. I also hear some sellers saying that they want to wait until spring to sell when more buyers are out. Honestly, it is a wash. From a buyer perspective, while a few sellers might wait until spring to sell, you are taking a big chance by not knowing what those sellers have to offer. Is it in your price range, your type of house, your preferred location? With all of the unknowns, you could be missing out on what is on the market now for what might not even be something that you are interested in. From the seller side, it goes along the same lines. By waiting, are you missing out on the buyers who are looking now to take a chance that your perfect buyer is waiting until spring?
So when you decide to potentially wait until spring as a seller or buyer, really think about it. Does waiting really meet your your needs or are you just guessing and crossing your fingers?
I hope that you are soaking up a lot of family time and enjoying the Christmas season! Have a blessed week!