As we draw nearer to hunting season, Thanksgiving, and Christmas in Wisconsin, many of us begin to think that we are ready for a big slow down in the residential market. What is even worse is that many of our potential customers are thinking that now is not the time to list their house, but they should wait until spring or the end of the school year to do so.
I don't know about you, but I'm not interested in sitting idle all Winter moaning and groaning about my woes. I want to be able to demonstrate to potential sellers that we can get their house sold in Winter. Here's what I plan to do this year.
1) Arm myself with facts. For example, I did an MLS search of residential properties which closed in Oct,Nov, & Dec of 2006. The results of my findings show that in Oct. 2006 374 houses sold in our mls, with 84 in our particular city; in Nov. 2006 the numbers were 345 and 71, and in Dec. 2006 305 houses sold in our mls with 75 in the city of Eau Claire. For some of you in larger markets your thinking, "I'm going to starve this Winter" when you see number like the above. However, consider that in our market in July 2007 461 houses sold in our MLS and 117 sold in Eau Claire, then what you notice is that we certainly have a slow down in Winter, but not a death knell. Homes are still being bought and sold and one could be your sellers.
Which leads me to # 2.
2) Remind your seller again and again that it only takes one buyer. The realty of our business is that every day of the year there will be someone looking for houses (my broker even had one on Christmas two years ago and I bought my last house on January 3rd.). Taking your house off the market in Winter could keep the one buyer who has an opportunity to see your house from seeing in and writing that offer.
3) Celebrate the Holidays. Really guys, I hope your going to mail out Thanksgiving and Christmas cards to past clients. In them, mention some of the above information and let them know your still on the job full time this Winter. You know how quickly they forget you anyway. Keep in touch and some holiday listings may come your way.
Well, those are some of my ideas. I would love to hear yours. What will you do this holiday and Winter season?