The One Time of Year to Find Real Estate Bargains
The leaves are changing color. The air is crisp. There is a pumpkin-spiced version of everything at the grocery store.
Fall is here. Kids are back in school. Summer days at the beach have long been forgotten. Everyone resumes their work routines and begins talking about the H-word: Holidays.
Starting with Halloween and running through New Year’s, the holiday season is the busiest time of the year for many people. Kids need shuttling to and from school and sporting events and social gatherings. Parents undertake the annual tradition of figuring out whose in-laws visit and whose in-laws are visited.
Which Halloween party will we go to? What will the kids be for Halloween? Are we hosting Thanksgiving? Did we overcook the turkey last year? What are we doing for Christmas? Did we get presents for everybody? Should we go big for New Years?
The last thing on anyone’s mind is real estate. But should it be?
It is well known that real estate is busy in the spring and slow in the winter. Some of this is driven by school schedules and some is driven by the seasons. And some is even driven by groupthink.
It is common to hear phrases like, “I’m going to list my house in the spring, fall is just too busy” or, “I’ll shop for a new home in summer, there aren’t many homes for sale in winter”.
But what if we remove ourselves from this infinite feedback loop? Could we then use the seasonality of real estate to our advantage?
From a buyer’s perspective, there is typically less competition in fall due to the busy holiday schedules many people keep. Fewer competing buyers means greater odds of having your offer accepted.
From a seller’s perspective, there are fewer homes on the market. Less inventory means more eyes on your home. Remember: real estate agents work year round. We always have an eye on the market and are sure to relay this information to our buyers. Your home will be seen.
To draw a comparison to the retail industry, it is common knowledge that if the consumer can live without that seasons latest trends, great value can be found shopping for off-season items. Jackets in spring. Swimsuits in fall.
Similar trends can be found in the automotive industry. The 2016 Toyota Prius just hit the dealership? Probably a good time to get a deal on the 2015 version.
According to California Association of Realtors data for Santa Barbara County, median home prices in December were the highest of the year for 2012 and 2013. Groupthink would tell you that the highest median home prices would be achieved in the spring or summer, but groupthink isn’t always correct. The real estate market is constantly in flux and there is never a hard and fast rule governing it.
Contact an agent to get a factual and current market breakdown instead of falling into line with uninformed buyers and sellers. Think independently. Differentiate yourself. And maybe you’ll get a perfect deal on a new home where you can enjoy your pumpkin-spiced food and drink.