Its Always Real Estate Season in California
Common wisdom says there is a hot market for real estate, in the spring, but when winter comes its best to sit out the market. Not so my friends. Our near perfect weather means that real estate is happening 12 months out of the year. But here are a few things to keep in mind.
First and foremost...when everyone is doing something, do the opposite. If you want serious buyers to look at your listing than list in August when everyone else is waiting for Labor Day. When there is no inventory, buyers should give the houses that have been sitting a second look. The sellers may be ready to cut you a great deal.
Going on the market on Christmas Eve is not a good idea even in sunny California but our spring market starts January 2nd. The houses that come on soonest will get the most attention. By March or April your house may get lost in the shuffle.
This week I want to tell you about Amy. I helped Amy buy her house six years ago. We have stayed friends and I know well that Amy marches to her own drummer. The timing of the market is powerless in the face of the timing of Amy. So it did not surprise me when Amy called me the last week of October and told me she was ready to sell her house now. Like, NOW now. I told Amy that coming on the market at Thanksgiving was not a good idea. We decided to hustle. Movers where at the house within a few days and the painters were at their heels. We got the house painted, staged, and marketed in two weeks. It was dizzying.
When you are pushing against the holidays everything happens fast and the timeline is contracted. We decided that there would be just one weekend of open houses. To get the most out of it I help the property open on Friday for a twilight pen, on Saturday and Sunday. Then we reviewed offers. Despite the Thanksgiving adjacent marketing four offers came in and Amy closed in 14 days.
On Thanksgiving weekend while everyone else was sitting out the real estate game Amy and I went exploring for a new house. We were looking at houses that have been sitting for months and now forgotten. The third one was the charm. It was perfect for what Amy had planned next. Over the weekend I pulled together an offer and with Christmas looming the sellers were willing to take an offer that was tens of thousands of dollars below recent sales. Going her own way, and ignoring the expectations of seasonal flow worked for Amy on both the sell side where she sold for over market value, and bought low, well below market value.
Are you thinking of selling a property? Don't wait to be part of the spring crowd. This is a good time to march to your own drummer.