Smart sellers use the cycles of real estate to give themselves the best chance of selling for their expectations.
The real estate market is very seasonal in Bend and Central Oregon. The sellers’ cycle is usually characterized by a peak of active inventory in the months of July and August. This coincides with the peak of green lawns, blooming flowers, and the completion of outdoor property improvement projects. As the leaves start to turn and snow is in the forecast, unsuccessful sellers pull their properties from the market and vow to return in the spring.
The problem is this: this trend doesn’t exactly match up with the buyer demand trend. Buyers are not quite as driven by warm temperatures. The buyer demand is a little more consistent through the year, and really starts to take-off in early Spring when the peak “homes for sale” inventories are still many months away. There are also many buyers that get through the month of August and still haven’t found a property that fits their needs at a price they’re comfortable with.
Sellers have three advantages during the holiday season:
- Unsuccessful Sellers Have Left the Market – Many sellers give up after the month of August has past. They often over-estimate the impact that the starting school season will have on sales. The result is the number of homes that buyers have to choose from steadily declines through the fall and winter. These sellers are loosing sight of the metric that really matters…and that’s the ratio of buyers to sellers. Not the total number of buyers.
- Fewer “New” Listings to Compete With – Well-priced listings have their best chance of selling in the first few weeks of the listing. The “launch.” (It always surprises us how little time most brokers spend planning the launch..but that’s another topic.) The great thing about the Fall market is that the number of new listings coming on the market is so few. That means that new listings are getting are getting much more attention in the Fall than they would in the Summer. Getting that “page one” position on the “New Listings” sheet could make the difference.
- Holidays Travel Encourages Buyers – Whether people are traveling to be near family or taking advantage of time off work for a little vacation, the travel that occurs in during the Holiday season often brings up conversations about relocation. Think about the number of family meetings that occur this time of year. Moving to be close to kids, parents, friends, recreation, all come up in these friends and family interfaces. New people are coming to your community from far and wide, and at some point they’re going to picture themselves living there. Not having your home on the market would be kind of ridiculous, if you wanted to sell. After the turkey settles and the shopping is done, we get a lot of calls from visitors in Bend that had no intentions of relocating until a conversation that occurred during their recent visit.
For those that want to get the best pricing from their sale, sometimes it pays to go against the herd. The first step is to look at the active available homes in your price range here. Then you can decide how much advantage you have by choosing to market right now.