Photo: Karin Cunningham
Photo: Karin Cunningham
A: The real estate market, during winter months, is generally pretty quiet, even in the Bay Area. People are traveling or entertaining, taking time off work, thinking of almost anything but real estate. Sometimes, though, things just happen such as job transfers, a growing family, or a dire need for a change.
Sometimes there are home sales made on Christmas or New Year’s Day and what a great way to bring in the new year it would be.
Most often, the housing inventory goes down during the holidays because of the above distractions but that doesn’t mean that the market is completely scarce. If you check online, you will see that there continues to be houses and condos for sale. Some have even dropped a little in price since the home buyer pool has dwindled a bit. Wouldn’t it be nice to make an offer on a home, in the Bay Area, and not have to compete or overbid?
Come the first of the year and into Spring, more home owners will have for sale signs posted in their front yards and windows and you can be sure that more people will be ready to buy. Take a peek at your favorite real estate website to see what’s going on in a location that you would like to buy, this winter. You might be surprised at what you see.
Karin Cunningham, Berkshire Hathaway California Realty, 650-438-3504, firstname.lastname@example.org.
A: Selling in the “dead” of winter can be a great option especially in a low-inventory market like the one we are in.
Traditionally, I would advise sellers to wait until February or March, when the weather improves, but this week there were only two houses available in all of Noe Valley.
As a result, the weekend’s open houses were teeming with eager buyers excited to take advantage of low interest rates.
Additional bonuses of selling sooner include better deals on staging in the shoulder season, savings in carrying costs, and security in knowing you’ve successfully sold ahead of the rest of the market.
Being successful in San Francisco’s real estate requires keeping an open mind and approaching selling dynamically.
In the absence of competition during the winter months, a seller would be positioned well to stand and sell quickly — for a high price.
Alex Hachiya, Sotheby’s International Realty, 415-314-6690, email@example.com.
A: Since San Francisco isn’t subject to severe winter weather (think snow, below-freezing temperatures or actual rainstorms) there is little in the way from keeping buyers buying.
Our slowest time of the year, the seasonal slowdown, occurs during early November through mid-January, with December having the highest number of expired listings.
This is simply because buyers are distracted or are traveling for the holidays. However, good real estate deals do happen throughout this time and it is imperative to hire the right listing agent and team to get your home prepared and marketed to absolute perfection.
As a listing agent, the conversation I am having with sellers now is that it will be important to be proactive to our shifting market, rather than reactive. Conventional wisdom says wait until the spring market, while I’m saying get your home on the market while there’s still limited inventory – i.e January and February.
Ashley Henderson, Compass, 415-841-2118, firstname.lastname@example.org