I can feel it in the air… The National Association of REALTORS conference is next week, followed shortly thereafter by Thanksgiving. It’s the feeling of brokers looking forward to turning their attention away from their business and towards family and friends. While others may be smelling gingerbread and stuffing made from scratch, I smell opportunity.
No matter if you live in an area that already has snow or you live in an area flooded with snowbirds and the winter months are your busiest time of the year, there is a market pause that seems to happen between Thanksgiving week and Christmas. What you do with this time is up to you, but if you are looking at your books, thinking you would like to either have another transaction or two to round out your numbers or begin the year strong, I encourage you to take action, look for opportunities, and encourage your clients to do the same.
For example, if you are in an area that has been riddled with multiple offers and high competition among buyers, a market pause could mean that your buyers can finally be the top offer on the home they really want. How can you judge to see if that opportunity is in your market? Take a look at the inventory, the number of new pendings per week the last few weeks, and your days on market. If your inventory and days on market is on the rise and pendings have seen a dip, this could mean there has been a slowdown of buyers and therefore, less competition. It could also mean there is a slowdown of active agents. In either case, for those agents and buyers who still want to buy a home, this could be a great time to do so.
Also, I know we have been saying this for months, but an interest rate rise could definitely happen in December. According to the New York Times, Janet Yellen, the Federal Reserve Chairwoman indicated just yesterday that ‘“it could be appropriate” to raise rates at the Fed’s final policy meeting of the year in mid-December.’ While no decision has been made as of now, an interest rate hike would have an effect on mortgage interest rates. Therefore, between current interest rates, potentially less competition, and the potential for sellers to price properties in a way to get them sold by year-end means this could be one of the best windows of opportunity in months for buyers.
For would-be sellers who haven’t put their home on the market for fear of not being able to buy another home, these market conditions can help.
Just because others are taking a break this upcoming holiday season doesn’t mean you have to do the same thing. Remember that old story about the ant methodically storing food for the winter while the grasshopper played? The ant had a great and cozy winter and you can too!
Now, if you have been going non-stop and have been looking forward to the holidays to wind down and circumvent burnout, then certainly give yourself a break.
However, if your business isn’t where it should be for the year OR you panic the first two weeks of January due to lack of business and holiday bills, then don’t let your business lapse in the upcoming weeks.
You have a few weeks before Thanksgiving, which gives you time to read your local market and prepare.
If you prefer visions of real estate contracts to sugar plums, stay active this holiday season and reap the rewards!