By Craig Lowe
Real Estate transaction volumes follow very predictable seasonal trends. Regular readers of this newsletter will note that I have commented on this before. Spring is the busiest time of the year – the general theory being that homes benefit from better presentation when the weather is fine – with an increased number of homes listed for sale from August through to the absolute peak in November.
Houses obviously present better during spring and summer, however I have more than a sneaking suspicion that the reason November rates as the busiest month has more to do with the fact that people tend to procrastinate on the decision of selling their home, which can seem like a monumental task. As Christmas creeps towards them, the “we have to do it now otherwise it’s next year” effect kicks in. November is the last chance before the year is over, putting a lot of pressure on us salespeople to manage our time effectively (not to mention our finances during winter!). Those that don’t get the home ready in time, tend to opt for February/March as the next best option, making those the busiest months during the first half of the year, with everything slowing down from April through to the lowest point of sales volume in the middle of winter.
This creates a very lop sided supply issue during the year. Real Estate is a market like any other, and prices are driven by supply and demand. With more houses on the market during November and late February/March, there is more supply and buyers are spread thinner. There are considerably more buyers out during this time than in mid winter, but the buyers always come out much earlier than the influx of listings, as many buyers complain!
For those interested in real estate marketing strategy (as anyone contemplating selling should be) it is worth pointing out that this creates a very real and definite opportunity to take advantage of the natural supply and demand imbalance that occurs each year. If there are many comparable properties for sale in your area, rather than just your property, it should be obvious to anyone that this will have an impact on the number of potential bids or offers, which in turn affects the end value.
The two best timing opportunities are late January to early February and late August to early September. By getting organised and putting your home on the market during these periods you can beat the rest of the market and make a very real difference to your sale price. Odds are your home will be one of the few for sale in your area, and with a well managed marketing campaign you are far more likely to achieve multiple offers.
Unfortunately, there is no way to quantify the exact financial effect that the timing of your sale could have. However I know for certain that the difference between getting one offer as opposed to two or three is usually tens of thousands of dollars. On higher priced homes, differences between offers can be in the hundreds of thousands, which seems a lot to ignore!
With Christmas been and gone and the new year upon us, I know that this year will be no different than any other. My phone will start to ring with people looking to sell before the end of summer. My advice to all clients who are preparing to sell now, is to get yourself organised and if possible, be ready before the late February rush.
Of course there are many more strategic advantages we can use to get a premium price for your house. Some are much more crucial than timing, but obviously combining them all is optimal.
I am conducting free appraisals in your area all of this month. You can reach me anytime on 021-764 647. I would love to give you my opinion on sale price and the best strategy for your situation.