Everyone is trying to predict what the real estate market will do. Optimism never hurts, but neither does knowing the much more predictable real estate calendar and planning your investments accordingly. If you sold a house this past summer, rather than this past spring, you may already have a certain skepticism about the market, therefore you’re already resigned to going more with the realtor flow next time. For example, in Chattanooga, TN, almost everyone who put their house up for sale in the early spring had sold it by early summer. They were the lucky ones. For us it seemed like we got ours on the market just as the bubble started its long and painful burst. The summer became never-ending as we mowed what was left of our browning grass in the hot sun and waited for the buyers that wouldn’t come. Although the timing of our move was out of our hands because of corporate relocation, we still fantasized about how much easier it would have been if we could have put our house on the market just a few weeks earlier.
The good news is that although some deflation is expected to continue over the next couple of years, it doesn’t seem to be as dramatic as some thought. Also, the uneasy feeling of market unknowns doesn’t change the real estate calendar itself. There is plenty to count on in real estate.
January is a wonderful time to get your projects onto paper for selling a home, and likewise, for starting your brainstorming for picking a realtor and scaling down your list of areas to look at if you’re going to be buying. Most realtors agree that if you can get your house on the market by early spring, then you will have a much better chance of selling it in a decent timeframe. By late spring, many people want to have their closing dates on the books for sometime in the summer, especially if school age children are in a family. The early fall can stay somewhat busy with activity, but when November hits, as some of you may have experienced already, the end of the year is a hectic time to squeeze in a move for any family.
Even though the market appears gently fickle at best for the next few years, you can increase your odds for a successful purchase or sell by following the real estate flow.