Much is made in the real estate industry about the spring selling season and the bump it gives the market. There is the natural tendency for prospective buyers to see more property when the weather is nicer and this leads to more deals. Depending on what side of the transaction you are on, you need to take advantage of seasonal listings to find opportunities. If you were considering selling in the winter, you should wait until spring time when more buyers are out. If you are looking for investments, you may be able to get a deal on a property in the winter. If you use the calendar to your advantage, you can time the market.
The weather and conditions have a huge impact on the real estate market in many parts of the country. This year has been particularly harsh in many areas. When the weather gets cold or roads become difficult to travel on, buyers will shy away from looking at properties. As an investor, you always want to go against the grain to find your deals. It is much easier to find deals when there is less competition for a property. If there is minimal interest and showings, you can get an owner that may panic and take the first reasonable offer that comes their way. Many investors slowdown in the winter, but if you want your business to grow you should take advantage of the winter months to find new deals.
On the flip-side, if you have a property that you may be thinking about selling, the best time is typically between April and August. In addition to the nicer weather conditions, many buyers want to be in their homes for the start of the next school year. These months gives your property the chance to show in the best possible light. Instead of having buyers rush in and out of the house because they are cold you can have a window open and a much more relaxed atmosphere. With a larger pool of interested buyers, you have the ability to create demand and drive up the price. There is never a guarantee that simply listing the property in the spring will bring added interest, but past sales numbers indicate this is the case.
Your goal as an investor should be to try to use historical data and seasonal market interest to buy just one additional property a year or squeeze enough out of a sale to make the transaction really successful. If you hold off on selling from December to May, it can impact your bottom line just 2-3%, but that additional revenue can pay for your closing costs or help fund a future deal. If you can increase your bottom line 2-3% on a couple of properties a year, you will start to see a real impact.
New properties are constantly hitting the market regardless of what time of year it is. If you are buying, don’t shut your business down in the winter months. If you are selling, it may make sense to wait until the spring. Little changes like these can have a huge impact on the rest of your investing business.