Time tested advice is worth re-posting. The expectations of 1 year ago were perhaps a bit grander than the actual market results but, over all, the landscape hasn't changed much. There IS demand for second homes and primary residences. Condo sales are a little higher than previous years and detached homes are selling primarily to vacation property owners along with a smaller market of home buyers, either relocating within the valley or coming into the valley. So there IS a market out there. But we are still looking at much more inventory than we will see in sales. At the same time new listings will continue to come onto the market. I believe that this environment will sustain itself for some time. "Days on market" will remain consistent with the post-recession second home market of 180 - 400 days. This does not mean it will take 180 days to find a buyer for a property. This is an average amount of time. The properties on the market for over a year or two are adjusting to price changes and are often behind the curve. It is hard to adjust to changes in perception of net worth. Homes are huge assets and no one wants to feel like they lost 25% of what they thought they had for a while. Unfortunately the market speaks for itself. Sellers with a more adjustable "bottom line" have sold their properties and have moved on. It is the seller with a firm bottom line that pushes itself against current value (which is just about anyone that bought a home with less than 30% down from 2004-2006) that finds themselves sidelined by the less than robust volume of actual buyers (shopping for homes is still a favorite past time in tourist destinations). The bottom line, and I say it often, is that good deals are sitting while great deals are selling. A properly priced home should still be under contract within the first 90 days. That is why all good agents will start to suggest price reductions about 48 hrs after they get the listing, during which they suggested a lower price. The market is not even bearing up to showings if a property is over-priced by about 5%. The best results, and often very close to, or over, asking price is when a home is priced just right and the market responds in multiple offers. This is the best indicator of accurate pricing. There is very little tolerance or margin of error for the seller. Market excitement at the time of listing the home is worth more than the time spent testing a higher price only to come down to a realistic price after the "new" feeling has worn off on the listing. The browsing consumers have already written off the home by not-justifying the house at the inflated price.
I just need to stop for a second. Thank you. I love the blog environment because I am writing to everyone and no one. I accept that no one may read this. I enjoy the fact that I get to put my thoughts on these subjects in writing and with no client bias. There is no one to convince or motive to "get the listing", this is simply my opinions about the home selling process.
Here is my "Top 10" - Why to List Your Home in the White Mountains For Sale in the Winter?:
Listing your home for sale in the Mt. Washington Valley in the winter.... Hmmm... WHITE Mountains...
Some of the items I list are true of listing property for sale anywhere but some are exceptionally true of homes in the Mt. Washington Valley area (Bartlett NH, Jackson NH, North Conway NH, Albany NH, and surrounding areas in Maine and NH).
1. Holidays. Holidays create a sense of fun around buying things. Homes, especially ski country vacation homes, look great during the holidays. The fun feel of holiday decorations can carry over into the sense of fun of owning a home in the mountains.
2. Less competition. The superstition regarding of listing homes for sale in the spring and early summer creates an annual increase in inventory. In other words, increased supply in the supply and demand balance.
*This brings us to #3....
3. More advertising. Inventory goes down and therefore there are fewer properties to spread around the broker's advertising dollar.
4. Winter buyers are more serious. Let's be real, it is not the easiest thing to do so buyers looking at real estate for sale when it is cold out and there is snow on the ground are looking because they really want to find a reason to buy.
5. Timing. January is the biggest month for corporate transfers and relocations. Having your home on the market when this group of buyers are actively looking increases your chances for a sale.
6. Agents will put more attention into bringing buyers to your home and will generally feel less hurried because the have fewer clients to juggle.
7. Vacation days. Many buyers have some time off that they need to use before the end of the year so they don't lose the days with their employer. These folks get out and look at the smaller inventory and have time to devote to finding a home.
8. Taxes. Many people are looking to invest before the tax year ends. many North Conway NH area vacation homes are also considered to be investment properties. Investing before the end of the year is often a goal of vacation home buyers.
9. More Boomers. Grandkids are back in school. Hotels are quieter. Many baby boomers wait until the "off season" to get out and start looking in places like North Conway NH because they can enjoy the quiet time in the valley.
10. The market. No one knows when rates will go up but it is pretty clear that they can't go down (much further or longer). Waiting until next spring, when inventory has increased and buying power could be severely undermined by even a 1% increase in rates could be a decision that costs a home owner not just thousands of dollars but possibly even tens of thousands.
Every month of every year dozens of properties sell in my marketplace here in the White Mountains of NH. The belief that there is a perfect season to sell is a myth that is busted year in and year out. Only in an improving market can I cite any cases where it obviously paid off to wait sell. In my 15 years of being a real estate professional that was only during a 3 - 4 year time span in the early 2000s. The time to sell is when you are ready to sell.- See more at: http://activerain.com/blogsview/3503777/10-reasons-to-list-your-white-mountain-home-for-sale-in-the-winter#sthash.URzJsAd1.dpuf