Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Real Estate Markets Are Like the Weather

As Mark Twain said about New England weather, "If you don't like it, just wait a few minutes."  The real estate market--unfortunately for us in the field--isn't quite so quick to change, but it does sometimes seem to go almost week by week.  We are learning that it's harder to tell what causes a shift than it used to be.  Hot weather, and the Fourth of July, used to mean a serious lull in activity.  This year, many agents were showing homes right into the holiday itself.  Others found that office calls were slow, and transactions sluggish. 

Hot weather doesn't slow the market down as much as it used to, before we had winters that were epic.  Now we need to use that time, because we lose so many days to snow and ice.  As I've written before, the school calendar affects sales much less than it used to, before so many jobs moved out of state.  So how do we know what's going to happen? 

We don't.  We can't tell you with certainty when to list, or when we should hold open houses.  We know certain things, like that Mother's Day is dead, while Father's Day isn't, but we aren't as sure of timing now.  There seem to be the equivalent of microbursts in weather, where one town will be slow, while others are booming. And that's not just the Shoreline in the summer, where people on vacation look at property.  It seems to be true throughout the region; one town's good year is another town's dip. 

Advice?  Follow your own internal clock, but don't wait for rates to rise, or prices to start spiking!