Real Estate is Seasonal? Yes and No.

by Nick Molnar on October 19, 2007

decorated real estate sign in South Bend, IndianaThe conventional wisdom is that “real estate is seasonal,” that “the time to sell is in the Spring,” and that “nobody moves during the holidays.”

Those statements reflect an attitude that it is best to be doing something at the same time many other people are doing that same thing. It’s an extension of the safety in numbers way of thinking. However if you follow the crowd, you never get ahead of it. Those who act when others don’t often benefit in ways not possible otherwise.

In real estate, there are fewer buyers and not as many homes for sale in the Fall and Winter. But the people in the market are there because they mean it. They want to move. Buyers, you might get that extra concession from a seller that gets you into a neighborhood you otherwise couldn’t afford. Sellers, you could move and take advantage of a job opportunity when other candidates won’t relocate because they worry they can’t sell their house. At a minimum buyer’s will have more room to negotiate and sellers will not have to sort through several shoppers for each serious buyer.

In the South Bend-Mishawaka-Granger real estate market, November through February is considered a slower time. But people do move for all sorts of reasons – look at the numbers, here are the sales counts for that period the last few years:

  • 11/1/05 – 2/1/06: 873 sales
  • 11/1/04 – 2/1/05: 886 sales
  • 11/1/03 – 2/1/04: 831 sales

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