Winter traditionally is real estate’s slow season. Buyers, sellers, and real estate agents seem to go into hibernation mode between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. This winter, just like the rest of the year, looks like it will be different. The chief economist of the National Association of Realtors, Lawrence Yun predicts “it will be one of the best winter sales years ever.” Sellers often think that they should wait until spring market, which is traditionally our hottest market; yet there are plenty of reasons that NOW might be the best market.
1) LOW INVENTORY
Listing inventory metro wide is the lowest on record. In the metro area, listings are down almost 205 from last year. When supply is low, and demand is high, the competition over low inventory can make winter a great time to sell.
2) WINTER BRINGS OUT SERIOUS BUYERS
People who just enjoy looking at homes are usually not doing so in the winter months. There may be less buyers out there but those that are looking are serious. Some home buyers who kept getting beat out in the fall frenzy of multiple offers, put home buying on hold until winter, hoping there would be less competition. Those buyers having already written offers are more apt to be able to make a quick decision, are prepared to put their best foot forward, and have their financing in order.
3) CORPORATE RELOCATIONS
Many companies fiscal calendar runs from January to January. Therefore, they may have hired new employees to start the first of the year. The biggest months for corporate relocations are January and February.
4) THE ELECTION IS BEHIND US (ALMOST)
Buyers with political leanings towards either party were apprehensive of what would happen post-election. Those fears of more violence, burnings, and a negative impact on the housing market have dissipated.
5) HOMES CAN FEEL EVEN MORE HOMEY
Homes often show their best when they are decorated for the holidays, fireplace on and toasty warm, providing a sanctuary from the cold.
6) CONTINUED LOCKDOWNS CREATE A NEED FOR MORE SPACE
COVID-19 has changed how we use our homes. With many people working from home, doing school virtually, and working out from home our need is for more space. Prior to this we were seeing a trend towards smaller homes (tiny homes) and now we are seeing multiple offers on the 4,000+ square foot homes that had been slower to sell.
7) HISTORICALLY LOW INTEREST RATES
Typically, rates tend to increase in the spring. The Federal Reserve has stated that they will keep the rates low through 2021. Rates have not been this low ever. The lower the interest rate the more buyers can afford your home and the more home you can buy with the proceeds of your sale.
8) ANOTHER ROUND OF STIMULUS MONEY
This money may be just what a buyer needed to be ready to purchase a home.
9) SELLERS CAN GET TOP DOLLAR
Low inventory, high demand, low interest rates and a need for more space puts seller in a place where they can call the shots regarding price, time frame, and repair.