Weather has always played a big role in the cycle of residential real estate throughout the year. I heard a group of broker/owners from around the country talk about January's results last week, and they varied in their responses from "up 40% over last January" to "down 20%, with prices lower". Many of them prefaced their answers by comparing the weather last year to that of the past few weeks, since we know that snow, in particular, has a chilling effect (pun intended!) on showings and sales. Weather like we had this past weekend, on the other hand, makes buyers think about spring, and gets them out and moving on the purchase process.
In addition to warm temperatures, we had bright sunshine. Many, if not most, places look better in sunlight than they do on a gray, dreary day. Also, since we know that people's moods are cheerier in lighter, brighter weather, they may just perceive something as better on a nicer day. Whatever the reason, there is a noticeable effect on the market when the weather improves. Sellers should bear that in mind. We know that most sellers wish that they had started preparing for sale sooner; given that, they should, at this point in the year, weigh getting on the market before the crush of new listings versus being in better shape for sale. That's a conversation to have with an agent, because it depends upon--as with everything in real estate--location. It also depends upon supply and demand, as you would expect, and on price range.
Since sunny days also make it easier to clean up, clean out, and refresh a property, we hope that potential sellers spent the past few days getting ready for the spring market (see previous column on decluttering). When spring comes on the calendar, it always behooves you to be prepared. The price you get could be affected, plus sellers often want to purchase new property themselves, so selling early is always helpful. If the past few days made it feel like spring to you, we hope that you jumped on that feeling!