Are Homes for in sale Erie CO, at a disadvantage during the Holidays?
For many families the Holiday season is one of the busiest times of the year, filled with family gatherings, parties, travel, and visits from relatives. It’s no wonder that most people view this as the absolute last time of the year, that they want to sell their home. Very few people are willing to endure the stress of having to keep their home spotless for showings, and be prepared to vacate for showings at a moment’s notice, during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. It would only reason that home buyers suspend their house hunting efforts during the Holidays for the exact set same set of reasons, right? If you make this assumption, you’re certainly not alone. Most people would probably agree, however the MLS statistics clearly indicate that this simply isn’t the case.
This doesn’t mean much, since no one is looking for homes during the holidays anyway… right? Well, not exactly… The number of families out house hunting during the holidays is much higher than most of us would assume. The semester break at mid-term, makes the Holidays an attractive time for families with kids to move without disrupting their school schedule. The fact that many workers and students have a few weeks off during this time, also makes the holidays a perfect time to schedule the daunting task of packing up and moving. Additionally, the aggressive nature of the Peak Summer market, also means that many buyers can’t win bidding wars to buy a home in the Summer. As a result, many of those buyers resume their home-search once the “back to school” market-lull passes, and their schedules return to normal. These factors all combine, and lead to a tremendous amount of pent-up market demand around the holidays. Problem is, there are 38% fewer homes for sale in Erie CO to choose from during the holidays than in the peak Summer months.
How can sellers work the seasons to their advantage?
A seller sitting on a highly desirable home, will always be able to get a relatively fast sale, regardless of seasonal timing. However, a bit more strategy is required if that same seller also wants to set a record high sales number. Simply selling an unusually nice house fast is typically easy. However, also commanding a record high price generally won’t happen without a bidding war. When bidding wars break out, competing sellers are often forced to bid above the amount the home will likely appraise for. They’re usually required to back those stratospheric bids with a guarantee of additional cash, to make up for any appraisal deficiency. The key component required to maximize the odds of a bidding war, is an agent’s ability to drive lots of buyer’s through the home during the first weekend the home comes to market. It’s obviously easiest to do this, during the Early Spring, or the peak Summer season when the absolute highest volume of buyers is active in the market. Therefore, Summer is still the season of choice, for selling a truly incredible home. If you have a house that’s capable of standing out in an inventory-rich market, it makes the most sense to offer it up when the absolute highest exposure to buyers is possible.
The strategy for selling a mediocre or distressed home, takes an entirely different approach. When a home’s lack of upgrades, poor lot, or layout put it at a competitive disadvantage… the best strategy for getting it sold, is to avoid as much direct competition as possible. The key to selling a lackluster home, lies in finding the point in the market with the best ratio of “high demand to low inventory”. When inventory choices are limited and people need to move, they are the most likely to compromise their standards and take what’s available.
I can personally attest to this, because it happened to my own family. When we were moving to Erie CO, it was at the beginning of December and inventory was “slim pickings”. In fact, there was only one home in our price range that met our minimum criteria. I was a relatively new agent, with a little under 2 years in the business. Therefore, the mortgage underwriting guidelines wouldn’t allow us to add my income to the qualifying ratios. As a result, our home options were limited to the ones we could qualify for on my wife’s teacher salary. The only home in our budget, had been used as a former rental. It had broken down appliances, an ugly kitchen, and was full of cheap carpet and fixtures. Unfortunately, we needed to move. The low holiday inventory caused us to lower our standards substantially, and take it. As Murphy’s Law would have it, 20 to 30 far superior homes came up for grabs (at the same price point) just a few months later in the Spring. Had any of those choices been available to us, we never would have picked our present home. We were "proof of the concept" that rougher homes truly do sell better, when there isn’t as much competition. For sellers of less than perfect homes, the Holidays may just be the perfect time to list them!
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