Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Web Traffic Patterns

We have always known that people take a few months to think about a real estate transaction, so that we need to pay more attention to visitors to our site than someone selling sneakers or office supplies, but we didn't have much empirical evidence to go by.  Now we have more.

We track all of the new and returning visitors to our site, as well as all the visitors who click on our website from a search.  Although we know that our region is education-driven, and therefore not, in many cases, the usual seasonal pattern found elsewhere, even we were surprised to learn the two-week period in which the greatest number of new visitors appeared.  Can you guess?

It was during the last two weeks in January!  That means that, despite weather and paying off tax and holiday bills, more people are starting a property search right after the first of the year than at any other time. Our greatest number of clicks from Google last year came in February and March, suggesting that the search for specific properties might be ramping up just after the new visitors started the process. 

Since all industry data suggests that most property closes in the late spring and summer, except for a surge in commercial closings at the end of the year, this would suggest that, if you are a seller who wants to have the broadest exposure for your property, you need to list it now!  Not next month, not when the days are longer or the weather improves, but now.  This is when people want to look at real estate, at least in our region, and we should be giving them what they want, when they want it.  Because that's how property gets sold!  So act quickly, for maximum results.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Current Absorption Rates

Explanation of absorption rate: The rate at which available homes are sold in a specific real estate market during a given time period. If you look at the number for Cheshire you can say “If market conditions do not change and if no new listings come on the market it will take 5.7 months for the current inventory to sell at the current pace of the market. A balanced market’s absorption rate is typically between 5 - 7 months.”



Monday, December 19, 2016

Our Changing Sales Calendar

The rule in residential real estate has always been that people look at homes in the spring, and close and move in the summer, so that they can begin a new school year on time.  That cycle has worked well for sellers, who can then avoid fixing up or showing their properties in bad weather, so they get their homes ready in early spring, list in May, and move in midsummer. 

With fewer school-age children in the State, and more flexibility, this seasonal certainty has begun to change, especially near universities and hospitals. Those two categories work on a fiscal year, usually from July to June. They typically make their offers during the early part of the year, and get answers by early spring.  That means that, during the period when people are considering offers in and around New Haven, there is very little available and on the market.  This can lead to frustration, but it can also be good news for sellers who have their houses ready to go in late winter. 

Every year, I listen to agents say in February and March that they have nothing to show relocating families.  Every year, I tell agents to remind folks of this fact, and to get listings sooner.  Now we have proof, since we got a report of our website hits over the past 52 weeks.  Surprisingly, the highest number of unique visitors came in---drumroll, please--late January!  That continued into early March, and then settled down, before dropping to lower points in midsummer and late fall. 

So why not aim to have your property listed when the most potential buyers are looking?  We know that weather is a factor, but internal decluttering--the biggest issue for most people--can be done in any season, and why not do it when going outdoors is so much less tempting?  Internet etailing has taught us that the smartest sellers give the buyers what they want, when they want it.  In this case, that means that they'd like more choice earlier in the calendar year.  While some may be willing to wait until the traditional season, this really is a case where the early bird catches the worm!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Dynamic Pricing

One of the tools we acquired when we all took Ninja Training was the ability to help sellers by showing them "dynamic pricing", which graphs sales and listings in a town or neighborhood.  It shows, in some cases, a clear advantage for one season over another.  It also allows agents to help owners price correctly, by judging the market as it moves, and putting new listings on at competitive and compelling prices.

This information can be helpful to buyers, too, as there are times when offers will not have much competition, and prices may be lower.  Whether you are a buyer or a seller, we know that the process for deciding to purchase or sell is longer than the lead times for most other consumer transactions.  Our website visits, in fact, peak in the winter months, when people begin to look at possibilities and market trends. 

Therefore, it can make a lot of sense to bring in a professional advisor earlier in the process--in fact, it's one of the data points associated with better real estate transaction results.  So don't feel that you have to wait until you are ready to look or list--we are here year round, and we prefer to gather information over time.  Sellers often need to do work, and consultation ahead of time lets them show their homes to best advantage.  Buyers often need to be qualified, and can come out of that process with a to do list for improving credit scores, or avoiding drops. 

So don't let the winter season pass you by!  As I've written before, our selling season starts earlier in many parts of our market than most realize, and the early bird can catch those sales.  If you are a buyer, you shouldn't even wait that long--rates have already begun to rise.  Should you have a lull in this busy season, give us a call.  If not, then make a note to do so as soon in the New Year as you get the chance.  We're ready to assist you. 

Monday, December 5, 2016

Current Absorption Rates

Explanation of absorption rate: The rate at which available homes are sold in a specific real estate market during a given time period. If you look at the number for North Haven you can say “If market conditions do not change and if no new listings come on the market it will take 5.1 months for the current inventory to sell at the current pace of the market. A balanced market’s absorption rate is typically between 5 - 7 months.”