People often say that our real estate market (Corvallis, Albany, Lebanon and the rest of the Mid-Willamette Valley) is “bad” in fall and winter and “good” in spring and summer. The reality is, the market is the market and although there is some seasonality to it, there are benefits to being in the market this time of year.
- People that are looking for homes during the holidays are buyers, not lookers. If someone is out scouring the homes for sale, they need a place to live.
- Right now (not every year, but this year especially), interest rates are still at record lows, making this a good time to buy.
- There is hope (actually, strong expectations) for the first time home-buyer credit to be extended and even expanded (there is serious talk/proposals to help the “move-up” buyer—expect to hear more any day)
- Many people want to take advantage of the tax benefits of buying before the end of the year.
- There is less competition for your home due to less market inventory. Those that are waiting until after the end of the year to put their home on the market are not “out there”
- Homes (can) show better during the holidays because of the decorations (all things in moderation–watch out for too much of a good thing.)
- Buyers tend to have more time available to look at homes during the holidays.
- January is a month that many people will start new jobs so that will bring in buyers that are more serious.
- You may be able to sell and set up a delayed closing so you will not have to move until later.
- In a college town (like Corvallis), there is activity in anticipation of the new term (both winter and spring)
You may be concerned about the challenges of being on the market during the busy holiday season? Once solution would be to limit the days/showing times to those that work for you.
My personal experience is that I have had a good history of closings in late winter/early spring. Those transactions were generated during the fall/winter. There are always transactions written Thanksgiving Weekend.
(Note: this chart shows the year-to-date number of sales by month for residential propeties in Corvallis, Oregon, excluding condos and manufactured homes–click on the chart for a full size view)