Real Estate Agents Hibernate – Sellers May Hibernate – Buyers Do Not Hibernate

There is a common belief in Real Estate that homes don’t sell during the winter months. Agents and Sellers just disappear. They hunker down for the winter months, wait for spring to arrive and then blossom to sell.

Historically speaking, this was most likey true. The Old Guard agents would shut down for the winter season and many still do. The perception is most-likely a hangover from past generations. Prior generations faced harsh winters with less amenities and “hibernating” would have just made sense. Then there is the whole life in the northeast thing. A large percentage of the U.S. population lives in that part of the country and they face considerably tougher winter conditions than we as Southerners do.

Let’s take a look at the following statistics from the National Association of Realtors®:

Yes. Over 19% of yearly home sales are transacted in the months of December, January and February. Hold on a second, I thought you were supposed to have to wait and list your home in the spring? Well ... apparently not.

Consider this:

• When is the best time to sell your home? My opinion is, “whenever you’re ready to sell your home.”

• Many agents still subscribe to the Old Guard method of “hibernation.” The New Guard choose to work for their clients and understand the data.

• There are Sellers ready and even needing to buy or 19% of home sales wouldn’t be transacted during the months of December to February.

• People still need to move based on careers, relocation and many other life events.

• Many families choose to move over the Holiday months based on their children, school districts and holiday vacation time.

Just some food for thought. When does your home look it’s best? Often the answer is when it’s dressed up for the Holidays. So why not show it off?

There is also the possible opportunity to use this dated thought process to the advantage of both buyers and sellers during the negotiation phase of home sales.

• As a seller, there actually are less homes on the market which means less competition, but as discussed there are willing buyers are still out there. Less inventory can potentially equal a higher sales price.

• As a buyer, there is this idea we have discussed that nothing happens over the winter months. Could this not be used in the negotiation process as well? A perception of fewer buyers could hypothetically stretch your purchase dollars further.

In summary. We live in the South where there is simply no need for hibernation and the data proves that there are buyers out there and that real estate transactions are being, well…transacted. Truthfully, the best time to sell your house is when you’re ready to sell your house.

September Houston Market Statistics via Houston Association of Realtors:

• The Houston housing market saw sales cool in September, as 6,548 single-family homes sold versus 6,953 a year earlier. That represents 5.8 percent year-over-year decline.

• On a year-to-date basis, home sales are running 5.6 percent ahead of 2017’s record volume.

• Single-family home prices reached September highs, with median price up a fractional 0.2 percent to $232,500 and average price up 1.7 percent to $295,765.

• Inventory held steady at a 4.0-month supply, slightly below the national level of 4.3 months reported by NAR.

• Leasing activity fell in September, with single-family home rentals declining 35.4 percent year-over-year and rentals of townhomes and condominiums dropping 44.5 percent.

Real estate is a local business. As a local living in Cross Creek Ranch and a Katy market expert, I can guide you through the ins and outs of our market and the issues most likely to impact sales and home values in your neighborhood.

If you have specific questions or would like more information about where I see real estate headed in the greater Katy area, let me know! I’m here to help you navigate this changing real estate landscape.

It’s your move, I’m here to make it smooth. 

William