There are going to be some bumps in the road, and homeowners cannot expect any kind of discernible inflationary trend in home prices for a few years. Having said that, we all know that regardless of the market conditions, there sellers that have to sell and buyers that have to buy, and there are some great opportunities out there.
From a seller's standpoint, what we know about the holidays is that January is traditionally the biggest month for transferees and re-location buyers and you need to make yourself available if you want to capture that market. We know buyers are also more emotional over the holidays, they are more serious, and they make quicker decisions, and they only see what is on the market at the time. In addition, as we said in our last report, when Spring has sprung, so has the inventory, and when buyers have more choices, it affects values. If you are a seller, it is important to understand that the three most important aspects of getting your home sold in this market is timing, pricing and effective marketing. Passive marketing will only get your home lost in the shuffle. A powerful, active strategy of agent networking, international positioning, and even reverse prospecting is what it will take to get your home sold quickly for top dollar.
From the buyer's perspective, the market is your oyster. What is interesting is that over the holidays there are a number of homes not officially on the market and yet can be seen with a little notice. You need to get a list of those homes that fit your needs. Keep in mind there may be a tax advantage to buying a home before the end of the year, and because there are fewer transactions and loan applications, the turnover time can be quicker with lenders. Get some good advice on the current value of a home, although do realize that it is only a serious seller that is going to let you see their home over the holidays. If you don't have to buy right away, call and ask us for a free search program where you just plug in your parameters and it will give you constant updates of what is available. Of course, if you want to wait for the Spring, there will be more to choose from. What we don't know is if interest rates are going to inch upwards or not. Nevertheless, bottom line in whether you are buying or selling a home, always comes from that decision you need to make of whether to move and to get on with your life.