(Published on - 10/19/2015 4:14:24 PM)
The digital thermometer in my truck read 24° this morning as I made my way to the office, a chilly reminder that winter will soon be here.
A lot of sellers and buyers think the real estate business ‘dries up’ from November through February. As a result, buyers stop looking and sellers say they'll wait until spring before putting their house on the market.
But is this premise true – does the real estate market really dry up in the winter? My research says the answer is an unqualified ‘No’. Last winter more than 300 deals were put together in November, December, and January. In addition, more than 1,000 properties were listed over the same three-month period.
There are sound reasons for sellers being on the market over the winter months. While it is true activity is not as great as the spring, the buyers looking this time of year are usually more motivated. Inventories are lower as some sellers unwisely ‘take a break’ over the holidays. The reduced inventory often means a stronger negotiating position for the seller. And then there's interest rates. Most experts expect them to rise, eroding buying power for purchasers.
There are sound reasons for buyers continuing to look over the winter months. It may be better to lock-in a mortgage rate before rates increase. Also, the perfect house – the house in the right neighborhood, at the right price, in great condition may come on the market and the buyers who have stopped looking will never know what they missed.
If you have been trying to sell or looking to buy, it is wise to continue your search for a home or a buyer even though the days are shorter and the temperature lower. The perfect buyer or the perfect house may be out there and as the saying goes, "You've got to be in it to win it”.
So far this year our office has closed 215 sales – an average of more than 5/week. We are just 40 deals short of our all-time best year of 2014. We are more than 10% ahead of last year’s pace. At this rate we should set a new record the first week in December. I'll keep you posted.
Thought for the Week
"Opportunity does not knock. It presents itself when you beat down the door.”