Three reasons why January may historically be the best time to sell
By Steve Levine, President of Steve Levine Inc., and an agent for REMAX Prestige
First and foremost, I want to wish you all a happy and healthy holiday…and thank you so much for reading all of my articles for all these years. It means so much to me when people call or come up to me and let me know they enjoyed my material.
Before you think I’m crazy in my passion for the month of January, let me explain my rationale, and then ask you to take it from the standpoint of one who has been selling real estate here in this area for 28 Januaries!
Normal logic might dictate that nobody buys or sells in the winter, and that, in fact, spring is the best time. However, that is rarely the case at all. In fact, the winter has proven time and time again to be an incredible time for many homeowners, and here are just a few reasons why.
First is the issue of inventory, based on the simple laws of supply and demand. In the winter, far fewer homes are on the market for buyers to choose from. This puts the balance clearly in favor of the sellers, as there are people who need to purchase, and have limited options.
Secondly, many homebuyers put off their purchase during the months of November and December. As January kicks off, there is a virtual stampede of cyber-Monday buyers looking for homes. Think of it this way. If X number of people typically buy each month, and they don’t buy in November and December, that means 3X people purchase in January.
Third, as a seller, there is nothing more frustrating than getting your home all ready for showings, only to find out that the people weren’t really “buyers,” but rather just “lookers.” On a gorgeous day in mid-May, those tire-kickers are out in droves, but in 10-degree weather in January, the only people you see are SERIOUS buyers. Yes, you have less showings, but that’s a good thing, not a bad one, because each showing is more productive.
By now you’re asking yourself whether I have the data to back all of this up, and the answer is: “Of course I do.” I did a quick set of stats, showing all properties that sold in Northborough, Westborough, and Shrewsbury, with an off-market date in January of this year. There were 39 of them in total.
In February, there were only 13! Think the spring was better? In April there were only 18! What this means is that the earliest sellers to hit the market were the ones who ultimately succeeded. That puts the onus on both you and me to be talking about all of this now, even as you’re decorating the tree. No, I don’t want to start showing your home on Christmas Eve….but I would love to talk to you between now and the end of the month, come up with the best possible game plan, and be ready to hit the ground running just as soon as the ball drops on 2014.
By having it all in place early, we can beat the rest of the folks to the market, and by the time they’re ready to list, you’ll be signing your contracts. I’m working throughout the holiday week, so call 508-735-4663 or email me email@example.com and we can arrange to have a casual chat.
Steve Levine is President of Steve Levine Inc., and an agent for REMAX Professionals. He has been ranked 10 times as the Top REMAX Agent in New England, and can be found online at www.stevelevine.com.
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