Every year near the end of August as I pass by Wheeler Park in downtown Flagstaff, a special tree near the corner of Humphreys and Birch catches my eye. This one tree seems to change color, to a spectacular red, far earlier than most. It is a subtle reminder of the beautiful (and colorful) season before us. Fall is one of my favorites. Aspens are bright golden yellow and mornings cool and crisp. It’s the time when we get to stoke up the fireplace for the first fire of the season, and take in a football game or two.
This is also the time of year when realtors are asked by their clients if they should put their home on the market now or wait until spring. It seems that many people believe that market activity goes into a deep freeze in the fall and winter, just like our cooler nighttime temperatures. But this deserves a closer look.
Without question, summer is the busiest time of the year for real estate transactions in the Flagstaff area. According to the Northern Arizona Multiple Listing Service, the highest number of closed residential real estate transactions has been in June, July or August for the past three summers. In 2015, July led the way with 237 closed sales. In 2016, August was the busiest month that year with 229 closed sales. And this past year, June took the top prize with 248 closed transactions.
It makes sense that summer is a busier season for real estate sales since it is the time of the year when families with children are more apt to relocate before the new school year starts. But that doesn’t mean everything comes to a stop in Flagstaff when the last aspen leaf falls to the ground.
The numbers show that fall and early winter are still quite robust for real estate sales. In 2015, from September through December, the average number of closed residential real estate transactions per month was 154, about 65 percent of the peak month that year. And in 2016, an average of 167 sales per month was an impressive 73 percent of the peak month. So yes, people are still very busy buying and selling homes in the fall! Flagstaff is a year-round market.
It is true that there are fewer buyers shopping in the fall and winter. However, the numbers demonstrate that the world doesn’t come to a halt for people wanting to sell their home. Just as the number of sales drop slightly, so does the inventory. A homeowner who puts a property on the market now can actually be in a favorable position with less supply and competition from other properties. And with buyers wanting to capitalize on what are still very low interest rates, they are hovering, waiting for the right home to become available.
So, if you would like to sell your home, don’t hesitate to contact your realtor. He or she will be able to provide a comparative market analysis and advice on pricing your property. Your realtor will provide tips and suggestions for preparing your home for sale, and will market your property so it gets the best exposure with buyers just waiting for the right home to come along.
Enjoy the fall! FBN
By Bradley Ryan
Bradley Ryan is the Managing Broker of Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty located at
1750 S. Woodlands Village Blvd.; Suite 200, Flagstaff, AZ 86001. He can be reached at 928-779-5966.