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Houses sell in Fall and Winter too!

Every year about this time, I hear the same thing, “Houses don’t sell in the Fall and Winter”, or “We want to take the house off the market until next Spring.”  Sellers seem to think that the buyers disappear during the Fall and Winter months, but this simply isn’t true.
Yes, there are less transactions during the fall and winter months, but selling a home from October – February is still a very common occurrence.  Why?  It really comes down to simple supply and demand.  I know it may be hard for some of you, but try to remember back to your high school or college basic economics class.  Supply and Demand.  A little political side note:  Our country’s economy is based on the supply and demand functionality.  If people want something, they will pay for it, and based upon the supply of inventory, the price will be determined according to the demand.  This principle has stood the test of time, and it will stand during fall and winter for the local real estate market as well.
During the fall and winter months housing inventory is typically lower, which means less competition for the seller during the fall and winter months.  But, during these same months when inventory is lower than any other time of the year, life still happens.  Life changing events continue even when the leaves are changing color, snow is falling, or you are celebrating Christmas.  What are life changing events?  New babies.  Deaths.  Divorce.  Loss of Job.  New Job.  Relocation.
All of these life changing events create demand for housing.  If the demand is there, and the supply is lower than it is possible to not only see shorter days on market, but better pricing as well.  Yep, I said it.  It is possible to sell a home at a higher price and shorter time frame during the fall and winter months.  The typical fall and winter buyer is ready to make a decision, either due to these life changing events, or to get a fresh start by or around the new year.
2011 was a classic example of this for Central Arkansas.  Throughout the Greater Little Rock area, October 2011 thru February 2012 was HOT with real estate activity.  Don’t miss this wonderful time to sell your home!
Here is some research I conducted over 2012, for West Little Rock and Maumelle, to show that the numbers may support a better selling time is during the fall and winter.  In January 2012, there was 1 buyer for every 2 active listings.  In July 2012, there was 1 buyer for every 7 listings!  Inventory, and competition, had increased greatly so there were more sellers fighting for the active buyers.
New Article just published:

Let the Fall Buying, Selling Season Begin

Daily Real Estate News |      Friday, September 28, 2012

The fall housing market isn’t known for being as robust as the spring market, but there are different motivations that tend to attract consumers during this season, experts say.”We’ve observed in seasonal household buyer patterns that there is a higher ratio of first-time buyers and childless couples in the fall,” says Walter Molony, economic issues media manager at the National Association of REALTORS®. “Families with children time their purchase based on school-year considerations, so they peak in the spring and summer.”
According to a recent Real Estate survey, based on 30,000 of broker and agents, about 20 percent of buyers are emotionally driven in the fall to purchase a house so that they can be in a new home by the holidays. Ten percent are motivated by tax benefits.
Sellers in the fall tend to be highly motivated too and face less competition with smaller inventories, says Shaun White, vice president for corporate communications for RE/MAX LLC in Denver, Colo.
“Some sellers will opt to lower their price in the fall because they’re afraid of missing the boat and being stuck trying to sell during the holidays,” says White. “Buyer traffic drops in the fall, too, so buyers may have less competition as well as better prices. You find motivated sellers and motivated buyers in the fall, especially as you get closer to the holidays.”
In some areas of the country, such as in Arizona and Florida, the prime selling season doesn’t even begin until the fall as snowbirds come in from the cooler climates looking for new homes, White says.
Source: “Homebuying: Fall Is the New Spring,” HSH.com (Sept. 26, 2012)
By: on September 24th, 2012 Category: Home Selling Tips, Local Market Conditions, Real Estate News Tags: , , , , , ,