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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

It's the most wonderful time of the year...to sell your house

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        It is tempting to assume that winter is a terrible time to sell a house, especially in the northern U.S. when things stop growing and blooming, even if they aren't covered in snow. But according to a 2013 study by real estate organization Redfin, updated last month, winter is actually the best time of year to sell your home.
        February, according to the Redfin survey, is the best month to list a home for sale, with 66% of those homes selling within 90 days. And during the December to March timeframe, more homes sell for above their asking prices than they do during the spring and summer months. Perhaps some of us, sick of winters up North and dreaming of a golf community in the South, are pumping up the numbers in winter.
        Other reasons for what appears to be an anomaly are simple; since most sellers believe, erroneously as it turns out, that they will command higher prices by listing their homes in the warm weather months, when the plants and flowers are in bloom and the lawns are green and mown,

Most people believe, erroneously, that spring and summer are the best times to list a home for sale.

fewer homes are on the market during the winter. But either from choice –- that move South -- or necessity, such as employee transfers, a steady stream of people look for homes during the cold weather months. Less supply and strong demand lead to generally higher prices.
        In a 2011 study, 80% of real estate agents responding to a survey by the website Realtor.com indicated that buyers during the holiday are "serious." All this might indicate that buyers in winter will pay appreciably higher prices for homes. But those who list their homes during the holidays and are willing to skedaddle for an hour at a time during showings are also serious. My wife and I found that out between Thanksgiving and Christmas in 1986 when, on a lark, we wandered into a 200-year old home in Connecticut with a local real estate agent. We already lived in the area and were under no pressure to buy a home, but we fell in love with this one. The owners had already committed to building a new home in the same town and were more than willing to deal. Before the end of winter, we had moved in.

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Larry Gavrich

This blog was conceived and is published by me, Larry Gavrich, a former corporate communications executive who founded HomeOnTheCourse, LLC, in 2005.  Our firm advises baby boomers and others seeking a lifestyle in which golf is a major component.  My wife Connie and I own a home in Connecticut (not on a golf course) and a condo at Pawleys Plantation in Pawleys Island, SC, on a Jack Nicklaus layout.  We began our search for our home on the course more than 15 years ago, and the challenges of the search inspired me to research golf communities and write objective reviews of them.


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