Selling in the winter offers at least two positives – less
competition and new customers. During the winter, most people have
taken their listings off the market, but agents can help buyers who have
been forced into sudden moves, like executives with job transfers who
are looking to purchase a property quickly.
To take advantage of the season, make sure your home is properly
staged for the winter. This can help your property receive a higher
offer and get off the market sooner.
There is no question that curb appeal is one of the first things that
attract a potential buyer, but more often than not, they are forgiving
of a snow-covered property during the winter months. Most buyers
understand that snow piles up in the yard and trees stay barren during
What they will not tolerate however is the inability to get to your
open house because of bad weather. If heavy snow threatens before the
open house, you may need to provide alternative directions to visitors
or move the showing to when the weather is more favorable.
If snow covers the ground, clear a safe path from the street to the
front door. Spreading sand or salt on the walkway can improve footing.
Do not forget to also clear a pathway to any outdoor areas that you want
buyers to visit, such as a storage shed or guest house.
Be sure to ask your client to turn on the heat in all the rooms for a
warm walk-through. Before the open house begins, walk through the
property and check the warmth level in each room. If any room or area
feels chilly, buyers may assume that the home lacks adequate insulation
or has heating issues.
If the source of the cold air is a draft from a hole or a poorly
sealed window, seal any gaps to eliminate the problem. Poor air
circulation may also be an issue. You can remedy this by moving
furniture away from vents wherever the room allows.
What buyers see can affect their perception of warmth. Barren areas,
solid colors, shine and reflective surfaces reinforce a “cool” aesthetic
and are best reserved for summer staging. In the winter, ensure that
warm fabrics, rugs, pillows, curtains, bed linens and tablecloths adorn
the home for visual warmth. Layer throws and pillows on sofas and beds
so visitors can envision cozy days spent on the couch. Use richly
textured materials such as furry blankets and wooden accessories.
Bring in the promise of warmer times by putting containers filled
with winter-blooming plants in strategic locations. Place a hanging
plant near the entry, a winter bouquet on the dining room table or a
bunch of small flowers on the side tables flanking the couch.
Staging your winter listings should not take any more time, effort or
money than in the summer. Adequate preparation and a bit of attention
to detail can make the difference between marketing a cozy home that
buyers will bid on and a property that languishes on the market for
months because it seems as cold as the weather outside.
Posted by RE-Insider on 2/09/15 • Categorized as Industry News
While many aspects of the real estate market have seen encouraging changes in recent weeks, one new development could spell disaster in the near future. Recently, the total number of homes available nationwide fell for the first time in 16 months, while many Californian markets saw significant drops from previous months. Now, there is a growing concern that the tightening inventory could accelerate price gains – a change which could ultimately force many would-be buyers out of the market.
A new report from the National Association of Realtors recently stated that the number of homes available on the market dropped in the month of December, waning by a modest 1% from the year before but marking the first year over year decline in 16 months.
Although several metro areas throughout California saw improvements year-over-year, many still saw significant drops in inventory from previous months.
Orange County for example – which is already facing a housing shortage and believed to have a deficit of 30,000 to 60,000 homes – had a significant improvement of 43.9% year-over-year but still dropped 8.5% from the month before. San Francisco’s inventory, on the other hand, declined by 15% year-over-year and 40% from the month before. San Diego saw a more modest drop, with inventory sinking by 1.7% from the year before and 16.9% from the previous month.
Bakersfield was the only metro area which saw positive gains on both a yearly and monthly basis, increasing by a whopping 52.1% and 4.1% respectively, according to data collected by Redfin.
While sellers may at potentially increasing prices, it’s likely that buyers and their agents will start to feel the pressure of a tightening inventory.
“Months’ supply is already low at 4.4 months,” said National Association of Realtors Chief Economist Lawrence Yun in an analysis of the trend. “More inventories are needed, not less. Or else, home prices could reaccelerate.”
It’s believed that a part of the drop was a result of declining foreclosure inventories, so agents and brokers who deal heavily in distressed properties should be aware that business opportunities could be shrinking as well.
Do you think the recent drop in available listings will price out new buyers? What are your thoughts?
By Michael Neal
A precious blog post illustrated that U.S house prices are recording a range of annual gains with some areas of the country rising faster than others. Similarly, in the context of the global economy, annual house price growth in the U.S. has been faster than some countries while lagging in other countries.
The International Monetary Fund’s Global Housing Watch calculates a real seasonally adjusted house price index for 52 countries including the United States. House prices in these countries are used to calculate two separate global house price indexes. One global house price index assigns an equal weight to each country and the second global house price index is adjusted to account for the size of each country’s economic output (GDP).
Figure 1 below shows that the rate of growth recorded in the US places it in the 2nd quintile amongst countries for which house price data are available. According to the International Monetary Fund, real and seasonally adjusted annual house price growth in the U.S. was estimated to be 3.6% between the second quarter of 2013 and the second quarter of 2014, thereby contributing to the 1.3% increase in real seasonally adjusted global house prices. The IMF comparison utilizes the Federal Housing Agency (FHFA) house price index.
Earlier blog posts have illustrated how typically, house prices in areas that fell the most remain farther from their peak level.
Similarly, in an international comparison, real seasonally adjusted house prices in the U.S. fell more than collective would house prices, but they are farther from returning to their peak level. As Figure 2 illustrates, house prices in the U.S reached their peak in the fourth quarter of 2006 and fell to 73% of that peak by the second quarter of 2011. As of the second quarter of 2014, U.S. house prices peaked in the first quarter of 2008 and fell to 91% of that level in the second quarter of 2009. However, as of the second quarter of 2014, global house prices are at 94% of their peak level.