Summer has historically been Flagstaff’s selling season. Soaring Phoenix temperatures send folks to the high country, and kids are out of school, so if folks have been contemplating a change, summer is an ideal time to accomplish that. Also, the weather cooperates for a move. Mild temperatures, no snow or ice, etc., make for a smooth transition. Although we tend to see more transactions in our summer months, we certainly see a fair amount of business being conducted in the inclement winter months as well.
Traditionally, there is a slight lull around the back to school timing, which lasts about two to four weeks. Late August through approximately mid-September, we usually see a slowdown in the real estate traffic. Parents are getting their older kids off to college and younger kids settled back into their elementary, middle or high school routine. Once that lull is over, we usually see a surge in buyers and sellers that makes October a very good month for real estate closings.
Off-season is typically the winter months. November and December slow down as consumers are busy with their holiday preparations and celebrations. January through April are slower, but not dead. Real estate transactions are still going on. New construction is completely reliant on the weather during these months. During bad weather with frozen ground, new construction comes to a halt.
Are there better deals when the market is in the off season? Not necessarily. One benefit you may enjoy is slightly fewer buyers looking at the same property you are looking at. Therefore, your offer might not get so competitive. Home inspectors and appraisers are less busy as well, so wait time for those services might be less. However, you may be having slightly less inventory from which to choose. One of the reasons the market is cooled down is the fact that people are taking a break from buying or selling; therefore, there simply aren’t as many homes from which to choose.
If you are selling your home in the winter months, make certain to choose a real estate agent who will continue the marketing efforts throughout the slower months. Whatever an agent would do to sell your home in the peak time is the exact same thing he or she should be doing in the slower months. Slower packed markets aren’t an excuse for agents to slack off on their duties to their clients. Make sure you’re still getting the professional photos, the Internet exposure, everything the real estate agent and the firm has to offer. Point blank, you should expect the same great service from your real estate agent, escrow officer or lender, regardless of the time of year. Photographs need to be timed accordingly, as landscaping is difficult in the winter. Trees are barren; things can look dirty. If you can time photos around a new snowfall, that can work wonders.
Another tip for being a proactive seller (regardless of the timing) is a pre-inspection. Knowing any potential issues with your home will help you to be prepared for any repairs your buyers may be asking for. It will allow you to plan financially for what may need to be done and alleviates any last minute surprises.
Again, hiring a responsive and trustworthy real estate professional with a reputable firm will make all the difference in the world. FBN
By Sherri Monteith