Tuesday, October 26, 2010

It's That Time of Year Again

Every year I write the same thing at this season, because every year it's true: the best time to buy real estate is between Halloween and Thanksgiving. Why is that? Because that's when sellers are most likely to accept an offer that makes a transaction either possible or particularly enticing to the buyer. As the weather gets colder, and thoughts of heating oil, plowing driveways, and holiday hiatuses on open houses and offers creep in, sellers weigh, as they should, the costs of carrying a property through the winter (for that is most likely what they will end up doing, if they don't sell by Thanksgiving) against the reality of an offer that is less than they want to accept. In addition, there's no guarantee that prices will even go up in the spring, and a outside chance that values could decline over the quiet months. As a further inducement, some sellers have tax reasons that make closing before the end of the year important or at least profitable. Although some people say that tax considerations could change with a new Congress, I think most would agree that uncertainty generally doesn't favor waiting when one is talking about the chances of taxes going either up or down. Even the economic news, which has seesawed over the past year, should make one cautious about holding out for better times.

This year, with so much inventory on the market, and so little time before the holiday season, it's especially important to consider pricing properties at levels that are not just correct, but compelling. Stand out from the crowd with a price that entices, and get your property sold while others just sit. And do it before the first flakes of snow hit the ground!