I know, I know. Someone told you that you can’t sell your house in the winter. Or during the holidays. Or during the winter holidays. Or anytime except June.
I want to tell you the story of a recent Friday afternoon/evening in November, from
4:00-7:00 pm. Sounds like Happy Hour, right? Well it was. But not in a bar and not with drinks. It was a real estate Open House. Now we all also “know” that real estate Open Houses happen on Sunday afternoon. Not Friday. Not Evening. Who on earth would go to a real estate Open House on a Friday evening in November??
Answer: 26 groups of people!
Yes, you read that correctly. On a cold November evening, 26 groups of people passed up Happy Hour to go visit one real estate Open House, for a home that had just gone on the market.
Maybe you don’t have a frame of reference for whether 26 is a large or small number of visitor groups to an Open House. I would say that agents generally feel that an Open House has been very successful if 5 groups come through. 8 is wonderful. 3 is really not a disaster.
26 is insane.
Of those 26 groups, several started working with their agents right away to get offers put together. And, boom, the house was under contract.
So do houses sell at this time of year? Yes.
In general, we do tend to see a slowdown of not-so-serious buyers during the winter. But there are still plenty of serious buyers out there and they are ready to roll. And many of them are having trouble locating homes for sale in the areas that interest them! I continue to see Pent Up Demand among buyers because the inventory of homes for sale is very low in some areas. In some areas the available inventory is very, very, very, VERY low. Sellers who hopped on the market now could see some very grateful prospective buyers walking through their doors!
Another local occurrence means there are apt to be even more eager buyers out there. Just this weekend, grants for $15,000 of down payment assistance have been distributed to hundreds of local buyers, and these grants must be used to purchase in City of Cincinnati neighborhoods…and must be used in the next 2 months! It is an amazing incentive program, and these buyers have a deadline. (Please note the grants are specifically for City of Cincinnati neighborhoods, not for homes further out in the burbs. But this should mean things will be hopping from Downtown to Oakley to Pleasant Ridge and more!)
Don’t fear if you are a more suburban homeowner. I don’t think you’ll be ignored! Some of your communities are ones where we still have a big backlog of buyers waiting and WAITING for something to come on the market! I have over a dozen buyer clients in this category right now…and that’s just little ol’ me. Multiply me by the thousands of agents in Cincinnati, and you’ll start to picture that Pent Up Demand I was talking about.
Does that mean selling right now is the best plan for every seller? No. Demand is different for different neighborhoods. Price points vary. Your situation, your community, your house are all very specific. But talk to your agent. Review the market data together, consider how the agent would market your house most effectively. Some folks might be served best by waiting out the winter. But (Oh. My. Goodness!) some of you are missing an amazing opportunity if you wait! (I really want to write that entire last sentence in capital letters, put it in bold print, and maybe have it flash in neon lights.) You could be looking at a Very Happy Hour yourself. And by “Happy Hour” I mean that hour in which you finalize a contract to sell your home for terms that you love…no matter what time of day. It really(!!) could be the perfect moment for your Happy Contract Hour. Cheers!
On Facebook: Laurie Simon Goldman, Sibcy Cline Realtors
Tags: fall/winter real estate market, home sellers, listing your house in winter, lots of unmet demand, sellers, selling your home
Feels like I should add an epilogue. Some folks thought my clients were crazy for listing their house the day before Thanksgiving, since “no one” is house hunting over the holiday. Multiple offers, jammed Open House. There are plenty of buyers out there and they are buying!
You are so eloquent and brilliant. I am so proud of you and your creative antics to get the best job done. I wonder if you got all of that from me???? 🙂 Love, Adrienne
Ha! I’m sure I got it all from you, Adrienne! 🙂
And thanks for the kind comments.