I’m not sure how you feel in the middle of winter. Some weekends I’m quite keen on warming up the house, turning on the football, and getting comfortable on the couch. It turns out that I’m not alone!
The weekends I get to do this are few and far between, but cold weather and rain certainly provide the inclination. It turns out that while the market is a little cooler in these months, it might just be the perfect time to buy or sell.
With fewer properties on the market, there can be a seasonal downturn in sales, but the sellers and the buyers are genuine. They’re out there looking to buy and sell because their desire and need are greater than the allure of the couch!
A lot of people ask me around this time of year 'should I sell now or should I wait until spring?' Tradition tells them that sales pick up with the turn of the season, and so perhaps they should hold off until the sun comes out.
Here's the flaw in the argument: traditional selling times have gone. The Internet has wiped off the 'fair weather effect' of market research for buyers. In an era when stage one of most real estate searching is now online, from the comfort of the couch, there are no seasons.
Professional photography, comprehensive floor plans, google maps, and market evidence online, give you all you need for your initial property search, and it isn't limited by whether or not the sun is shining.
These days, your 'season' is your price strategy and the way you promote your home.
Buyers no longer fall for tulips in full bloom, lovely roses, and the smell of fresh bread wafting through the house, because you can capture a property with photography in a far more compelling way and have those images available to everyone online.
So, while you may hold off in the hope that there will be an avalanche of demand and an influx of buyers for your property, the reality will likely be a small increase when lined up with the general traffic on the various property portals.
Don't get me wrong; emotion still plays a part, but buyers are far savvier these days. Much of the heart decisions are overwhelmed by the weight of market evidence that buyers are now armed with as they search for their next property.
Right now, there are slim pickings on the market when it comes to quality, well-priced properties, so these move reasonably quickly.
Bear in mind too, that 'reasonably quickly' in this market is not what it may have been at the peak of an overheated market. A rapid result in this market is more like 4-6 weeks.
The market of six to eight years back, if it's all you can remember, will give you a warped perception of what's possible. For now, those days are gone.
Spring is a long way off, and we're expecting a whole lot of rain before the flowers are blooming down the front path. Meantime, there are a bunch of buyers with their eyes out for new properties in a market with fewer properties for sale. The market is stable; there's no hiding this. In so many ways, the time to buy and to sell couldn't be better.
This stability has tended to increase the time that a property is listed before being sold, but I have certainly seen some quicker sales for well-priced, well-presented homes throughout the year.
The facts in the current market are more to do with cycle than the season. Properties are selling based on their genuine value without inflation from competition or heated market sentiment. That can be a harsh reality for some with expectations based on a market that prevailed a couple of years back.
There are now no excuses. The election’s done, it’s winter, and the market is stable. It’s a tough climate in which to sell, but hard work continues to deliver exceptional results.
It may just be your coolest time to get moving.