Winter is Coming - 3 Month Marin Market Outlook

Posted by Alex Narodny on Wednesday, November 28th, 2018 at 12:45pm.

Marin Real Estate Market

3-Month Outlook


Winter is coming. What does this mean for home sales?

Winter is widely considered off-peak season for home sales but with rising interest rates and an uncertain market ahead, we expect the winter market to heat up more than usual this year.

Why do home sales typically decline in winter? There are practical reasons for this long standing, historical trend including:

  • Holidays: Many homeowners aren’t looking to add “stage and prep for open house” to their to already busy holiday do list. Likewise, many buyers slow their search while juggling their own holiday plans and travel.

  • Weather: Unless you’re a highly motivated buyer, house hunting in the rain (or in some parts of the country, snow) isn’t terribly appealing. From a seller perspective the shorter, darker days and bare trees may not show-off a house in it’s full bloom splendor.

  • School Schedule: The hassle of listing mid-school year doesn’t appeal to most families who would prefer to list or buy in the spring to move early summer when the kids are on break.


Why is the 2018/19 winter market different? In spite of the seasonality factors, the real estate market does not come to a standstill in the winter. Career changes and relocations happening in Q1 account for many moves this time of year. In Marin, weather is not a significant factor and many homeowners are empty nesters free from school calendars making the season less prone to decline than in other markets. This year in particular, we’re also seeing interest rate hikes and an unpredictable market motivating sellers and buyers alike to take action. Accordingly, there are compelling reasons, especially in the hot but softening market we’re experiencing, to sell this winter including:

  • Less Competition: Since the number of homes for sale drastically goes down, sellers have the opportunity to stand out and appeal to eager buyers.

  • Motivated Buyers: As interest rates rise many buyers are looking to strike soon before rates take their next tick up. Some buyers also are motivated to buy before January to receive the end of the year tax credit.

  • Supply and Demand: In Marin, the Months Supply of Inventory (MSI) levels are still at a historic low even during winter months.

What’s the best sales strategy for winter?

Consult with your licensed real estate agent to discuss the market, your home and desires for selling this winter season. Consider a different way to sell your home. An increasingly popular “winter proof” approach is to market your house as a Private Listing. Designed to connect your home to its perfect buyer without stress or hassle, the Private Listing lets your agent share your home with pre-qualified buyers. With no “days on market” and no address so you can wait to sell until you get the right offer. Additional benefits include:

  • Top-Dollar - Sell only when you get the right offer

  • No Pressure - An open buying window means more time to get the right buyer

  • Privacy - No ‘For Sale’ sign, addresses are hidden

  • Control - No public record data means you can edit your listing without scrutiny

  • Flexibility - Set your ideal move date and stay in your home until it sells

  • Security - Keep your home’s photos and details off public real estate websites

  • Peace and Quiet - No open houses, no looky loos, no nosy neighbors

  • Analytics - Learn how buyers interact with your listing to make smarter decisions



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