Home been on the market too long? This could be a great time to lower the price or change your strategy
If your property has been sitting on the market for months, most buyers and their agents will see it as stale or overpriced and disregard it — no matter how great it is or how light the competition currently is.
In that scenario, it’s time to take action, and the year-end holidays can be a golden opportunity to shift course. Making a dramatic price reduction or overcoming some major obstacle that has been preventing the sale might be just the right thing to do this time of year. If you had lower offers early on but you weren’t ready to accept them, or you keep hearing that there are issues with the way your property shows, this could be your chance to show the market you’re listening and serious about selling. The motivated buyers will notice you and take a look.
You even stand a chance of getting a sale closed before the end of the year; I’ve seen it happen. As always, before you make any big changes, talk it over with your real estate agent.
Don’t want to be bothered during the holidays? List your property in January
Admittedly, the thought of keeping the house clean, holding open houses, and vacating to accommodate last-minute showings during the holidays is a deal killer for some. If so, consider listing your property after New Year’s Day.
Traditionally, we don’t see much inventory coming on the market in January. It’s cold in most places, and many sellers prefer to wait until the spring, a more conventional time to sell. As a result, we don’t see much inventory in January. And yet, each January my phone rings with new buyers wanting to get into the market. Or I’ll hear from on-the-fence buyers who may have lost interest earlier in the year and are now suddenly motivated again.
There’s something about the beginning of a new year that galvanizes people. The motivation to buy could be due to year-end tax planning, with buyers seeing how much they owe and how owning a home could help. It could be because of New Year’s resolutions to finally stop spending money on rentals and invest in property. Maybe a rich relative gave them money for a down payment (wouldn’t that be nice?).
Whatever the motivation, for sellers it means one thing: There can be an increase in demand at a time when inventory is traditionally low — resulting in less competition from other sellers. If you’re motivated to sell your home, you’ll have an even more “captive” audience in January.
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