Cold Winter, Warm Market Ahead

by Adrian Amos

The weather is turning colder and holiday decorations are already starting to appear in most retail stores.  Naturally at this time of year our focus tends to shift toward family and friends and preparing for the holiday season. However, this Winter the market may not be as chilly as expected.

Realtors assume that transactions slow down dramatically in the Winter months. This isn’t always the case. According to NAR, there was an average of 300,000 homes sold nationally each month from November 2008 through February 2009. That’s three hundred thousand transactions that occurred in the slowest period of a terrible market.

This winter may prove to be even stronger. Home shoppers have an added incentive to buy with the extension and expansion of the tax credit through May 2010. Since contracts must be signed by April 30 in order to qualify for the $8,000 or $6,500 tax credit, buyers are likely to be much more active this Winter.

First-time homebuyers have boosted market activity through the Summer and Fall of 2009. In fact, NAR’s 2009 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers will show that “first-time homebuyers accounted for more than 45 percent of home sales during the past year.” Since the tax credit has now been expanded to include home owners who have lived in their homes for at least five years, there are even more potential buyers that will be checking out the market along with the hot gift items this holiday season.

How can you get a piece of the holiday pie?

  • Make sure your current listings are well marketed across a variety of media
  • Promote properties you’ve recently sold to show that not only is inventory moving, but that you’re an integral part of the sales process
  • Ask for business through your current advertising and through prospecting

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