Hello everybody this is Bill Heenan from the Heenan Group at William Ravis Real Estate in Niantic and if you’re thinking of listing or selling your home this winter, you’re gonna want to stick around for episode number 10 of the Bill Heenan Real Estate Show.
Welcome back everybody to episode 10 of the Bill Heenan Real Estate Show. I’m excited to have you aboard on this snowy December morning here in Waterford Connecticut. I have a topic that is quite often talked about this time of year. Sellers ask me, “should I list my home during the winter months”, “when is the best time to list my home” or “should I list my home during the Holidays”.
Whether it’s a prospective seller client that I’ll be helping sometime throughout the year or whether it’s an existing seller client that has a home on the market and is thinking about pulling it off the market. I have a few bullet points. There is a lot of positive that go along with keeping your house on the market during the winter months and the two primary ones at the top of the list for sure are;
1. There’s a lot less inventory for sellers and 2. This time of year there’s a lot of competition. All the buyers that are out there are much more serious. There are very serious buyers that are out there during the winter months and during the holiday season. Think of it this way, if you’re out looking at a home on December 20, at 5 o’clock at night, in the dark, and cold, you must be a pretty serious of a buyer! And your life must demand that you need to buy a house. Then as far as inventory or competition is concerned. 30% of the listings don’t come on the market or come off the market in the winter, so we deal with 30% less.
What that means is if a buyer is buying in a specific zip code, say East Lyme or Waterford, maybe in a Spring market they have eight homes to look at, but when we’re in the winter doldrums and the holiday season, they might only have five homes to look at. So couple that with very serious buyers and it really sets up a set of circumstances that work to the advantage of most sellers.
A couple of the other things is the economy. December leading into January 2020. It is a great economy right now and the national economy looks very good. We’re going into an election cycle, so that means the news feed is focusing on that. Generally we find the economy stays static during an election cycle. Meaning we’re not going to see a lot of shifts up or down, and we won’t see a lot of movement in the interest rates because the powers they want to try to get elected will influence any of the adjustments and will try to keep the economy steady for the election. So we’re at a very good situation right now.
Our local real estate market conditions are very confident. In the last year (2019) we shifted further and further into a sellers favorable market. We have inventory time frames of less than 45 days in most cases, so that’s a very confident and building real estate market. We also have very low interest rates, I was checking the interest rates today, a piece of paper came across my desk this morning for the CHFA loans (which is a first time home buyer loan program), the rate was 3%. That’s incredible! 3% and 3 1/4% are incredible rates for first time homebuyers. And conventional rates are below 4% with good credit! So it’s a great time as a buyer and a seller to get your house sold because the economy and the market conditions are really supporting that sale. And last but not least the holiday theme. A lot of homes can show well during the holiday season, you just have to embrace the holiday theme and stage your home so that it shows off for the holidays. Who doesn’t like going into the house and see it beautifully decorated or smell cookies in the oven or see tinsel in the mantel? That’s a great environment to get your home sold and to make it feel like they’re at home.
Keep that in mind. On the ‘con’ side, the number one I’d like to mention is PATIENCE. Sellers in the winter and holiday market need to be a lot more patient. What I mean by that is what I expressed earlier. Less buyers = less showings. But the confidence in the showings are a lot greater. You don’t have a lot of people ‘kicking tires’ around this time of year. They’re serious but there are less of them. So that means instead of showing your home two times a week in a typical market, you’d be showing it once a week. Instead of five people at your open house, you have two people at your open house. But those buyers are serious. So you have to stay focused and patience and maintain the course. The other cons of being on the market in the winter/holiday market is everyone is busy. It’s cold, and messy, and it gets dark early. These are the dynamics of the winter market but overall it’s a great time to get your home on and get it sold. It comes down to the approach. You have to take the proper approach in the winter market. We are very experienced and if you have any questions we would love to have a conversation and help you out. We are always here to help.
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You can always visit us on our website www.billheenan.net or you can call us directly at 860-442-4663. Have a great day and I look forward to hearing from you.