Well, it’s official. The cold weather has set in after a beautiful Fall. Does the cold weather mean that buyers and sellers will be hibernating for the Winter? The answer is: “not completely.”
The data does show us that, historically, there are fewer home sales in November, December, and January. That shouldn’t surprise us. Inventory remains low this winter, as it has been for the last 18 to 20 months.
But home prices remain strong. What has changed in the market is that mortgage interest rates are twice that of a year ago. That is impacting how much buyers can spend, yet buyers are still spending.
Buyers have faced stiff competition over the past year, and most were overbidding on homes and sometimes waiving contingencies such as home inspections. That has largely leveled off. At this time of year, and with higher interest rates, fewer buyers are competing for homes. But sellers are still getting offers, and homes are still selling – provided they are priced right for current market conditions.
If you are a buyer, consider this: were you better off overbidding on a home when interest rates were lower – or are you better off paying closer to asking price today with the current interest rates? And might interest rates go down over the course of a 30-year mortgage, giving you the opportunity to refinance?
Whether you are in the market to buy or sell your home, the winter season may work well for you.
I want to share this story about who is selling. One demographic that’s on the move is the Silent Generation – those folks just older than the Baby Boomers. While they may have stayed in their homes longer in the past, like 30+ years, they are increasingly making the transition and moving to area retirement communities that feature many amazing amenities.
My colleague and sister, Anne Stefaniak Spaltholz, and I have worked with an increasing number of local homeowners like this. We have to admit, the camaraderie and services in the retirement communities today look very appealing.
If the exercise studios, walking paths, pools, golf simulators, pickleball courts and upscale dining aren’t enough to keep you feeling young, active and connected with friends, there’s also the peace of mind knowing that a continuum of care is available should residents need additional resources as they age.
We enjoy working with this generation helping them prepare their long-time homes for sale and connecting them with local resources to make their transition seamless from a home into today’s modern retirement lifestyle. Maybe you are one of these folks – or maybe you’ll be buying their home. Either way, we’d love to work with you.
Preparing for a home sale
Regardless of your reason for selling, here are some tips for preparing your home for sale:
- Boost your curb appeal – A good first impression gets potential buyers in the door. In fact, give your door a fresh coat of paint or add shiny new hardware. Lay out an inviting new welcome mat, be sure your outdoor lights work, and place a colorful potted plant at your doorstep.
- Make your home a blank slate – Adopt a hotel mindset: well-appointed but generic. Do a home edit by clearing the clutter and personal items and organizing closets. Less is more! Help potential buyers imagine their belongings in your home.
- Take care of minor repairs – Patch holes, replace dated outlets and be sure all knobs are connected and operable. Show that your home has been well cared for.
- Make every surface shine – A can of paint goes a long way. Choose neutral colors for walls and trim. Then, clean until it sparkles from top to bottom. Dust, vacuum, mop, scrub and wash. Clean, clean, and clean. When done, clean some more. 😊