Reaping the benefits of a winter home sale


By Steve Levine

Reaping the benefits of a winter home saleOkay, so let's face it. There's finally snow on the ground, more on the way, and if you'se got kids in school, you'se probably already starting to think about whether 2012 is going to be another where we wind up getting out two weeks late from school.

What so few people realize, however, is that winter can actually be the very best time to sell your home. That probably sounds crazy, but it's really true, for many reasons. First and foremost, there is very little inventory in the winter, and so you have far less competition. Right now, as I mentioned in my last article, the inventory of nice properties is so incredibly low, that people are sitting on the sidelines just waiting for something to jump at. At times like that, it's possible to actually get a higher price than you might see in the middle of spring when a glut of homes is sitting out there for sale.

Now that we seem to have finally broken through the worst part of the market, we can begin anew with an exciting and fresh approach, with nothing but hope and optimism for what lies ahead.

In recent weeks, I'se had multiple clients re-enter the marketplace after being previously for sale with other agents last year. So far, I'se been pleasantly surprised to see many of those properties sell with multiple offers. When that happens, we know that we'se on the right track in terms of our marketing approach and pricing, and that the overall health of the market itself is vastly improved over where we left off last year. Surprising to some, we'se still seeing inventory shortages in many towns and ranges, so if you were on the market in the past, or even if you weren's, now is the time we should be talking. Once the tulips are blooming you may find you were the last one to the party.

Working with people re-entering the market is one of my favorite things. It's sometimes a bit challenging, because these homeowners usually feel as though their last agent let them down, and made promises they didn's keep – and so naturally they are scared to trust anyone again. In the end, we need to look at each and every one of these as an individual situation and come up with the most decisive marketing strategy to get the job done. The one thing we know for sure isn's the answer is that “nothing was selling” last year. In fact, an analysis of some towns shows that sales in 2011 were actually up year over year.

We all are aware that these are challenging times in the market, but they are not unique. After 25 years in the business, I'se been through this type of market three times, and know very well just how to navigate it for maximum results. Just the other day, a homeowner and I were chatting about that and how when the market is hot, everyone is a hero, but it's at times like this that the true professionals show their colors.

As I do each winter, I'se opened up the Homeowners Blend program in the hope that we can get 10 or 12 new listings on that program this month. That's always been a huge hit with the local home sellers, in that it provides real estate fees as low as 2.5%, which is a huge difference when your equity position is low to begin with.

We already have four people signed up, but still have room for about six more, so if you'se looking for a solution that will put a bit more money in your pocket, just give me a buzz at 508-735-4663 or email me at [email protected] and I'sl save you a place in the program. Until then I hope you have a happy and healthy 2012.

Steve Levine is President of Steve Levine Inc., and an agent for REMAX Prestige. He has been ranked as the top REMAX Agent in the six-state New England region, and can be reached online at or by phone at 508-735-4663






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