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!