Agent2Agent in Colorado>Question Details

Larry Brake, Real Estate Pro in Aurora, CO

Are your listing clients/prospects planning to list in January, or hold off until spring?

Asked by Larry Brake, Aurora, CO Tue Dec 3, 2013

Just trying to figure out what inventory is going to do after the holidays. Historically, I see more inventory in the spring and then it increases over the summer. But I've got Buyers looking to buy in Jan/Feb.

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I have counseled my sellers that the sooner the better is the route to take as far as listing date. I think we may see more sellers list at the beginning of the year.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 3, 2013
Hello Larry. I'm running in to the same issues with current buyers. There is not enough "quality" inventory on the market right now. Historically, I think sellers have been programed to believe the fall and winter months are not successful times to sell houses. For years I've been trying to redirect that mentality. December through March was my peak time and I earned well over half my yearly income in those months. The additional income earned early summer through early fall was considered gravy.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 3, 2013
Predictions are very difficult, especially about the future.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 3, 2013
Thank you for such a considered and thoughtful contribution. It's always nice when someone takes the time to make an effort to elevate the discussion. I do an annual business plan, by quarter. As part of that process, I do indeed incorporate elements of market forecasts and local trends, including current and projected near term inventory levels; what you might call 'predictions'. I update that plan quarterly with the intent of improving my business planning skills, and more importantly, attaining the goals I include in those plans. Kind of the 'failure to plan is a plan to fail' concept. So what's your approach, a 'Magic 8-Ball' or 'Ouija Board'?
Flag Tue Dec 3, 2013
I've got at least 3 clients planning to list just after the first of the year. There are still tons of active buyers in the area looking for inventory! I think the beginning of the year is going to start out fast and strong!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 9, 2013
We have listed quite a few over the last month or so, and we have about 4 or 5 that will be listing the first week in January. If the sellers are ready, it's a good time to list.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 8, 2013
We're in talks with sellers. Don't forget to talk with other Realtors. Pocket listings are still the preferred way to sell for some owners.

The weather is simply terrible right now. But, the market doesn't seem to have cooled off. January will be good for listing.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 7, 2013
Investors are buying and selling through the Christmas/New Year holidays, but most home owners we're in contact with are planning to stay put until school is out.
Inventory is a funny thing. You can have 200,000,000,000,000 homes listed for sale in a town, but if they aren't homes buyers want, inventory levels become mostly irrelevant (although there will always be a few buyers who will buy anything just to be in a neighborhood). My favorite listing near our wine country office is a beautiful estate home that comes with 80 acres of high quality vineyard. A little pricey at $18M, but it's been on the market for over 1,200 days. There are several listings like that one that make it look like we have lots of inventory, but they just aren't selling and average DOM is through the roof (that's a real estate pun).
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 4, 2013
We are looking at January as the time to load back up on listings as our clients are calling us already... If the weather holds up, January will be very strong
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 4, 2013
Why wait for inventory? Create your own! If your buyers have a specific targeted neighborhood of interest, drop letters asking if anyone wants to sell.

I recently dropped letters in a small tract of eighty eight homes and received three responses. Two agents called me on behalf of their clients and one homeowner called me direct. All of homeowners planned to list after the first of the year.

If you decide to drop letters, make sure your clients are pre-approved for a loan or have cash if they're cash buyers. Describe your client's wants/needs and state that there's flexibility on some items if there is any.

Be authentic. Many liar Realtors without a real buyer have dropped letters in hopes of obtaining a listing and that has made people skeptical. When people call you, they will question you to make sure you're for real and have an actual buyer. Answer their questions fully and openly.

Have the seller sign a compensation agreement prior to showing and then go sell a house.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 4, 2013
I have some people that would love to move in January. Unfortunately, they are having trouble finding a new home in the area that they want to move to in Texas.

The bottom line is that homes that show well and are priced at market sell. It doesn't matter the time of year. I'm sure that there are people who have over priced their home and placed it on the market in November and then blame the holiday season for the failure to sell.

Then they relist in the April or early May and the home sells. In their mind and in the stories they tell to others afterwards, the problem was listing at the end of the year. The truth is that their home has increased in value for a full 6 months by the time it got an offer and it was no longer over-priced.

This creates a dilemma. You can always get more for your house if you wait a few more months and the market is increasing in value. But you are not getting from where you are now to where you want to be. Is it more important to sell your house for X dollars and stick around for a few years or is it more important to sell it for what it's worth and move to where one really wants to be and spend the next few years there.

The problem is that sellers often want BOTH. They want their home to be worth more than what it is becuase they want the perceived benefits of walking away from the closing table with more money and so they start telling themselves little lies about how THEIR house really IS worth more. They start listing all the reasons and convince themselves that if they list it for less then they are leaving money on the table. In most cases when this happens, they're just wrong and it's not going to sell without a price reduction.

Agents propogate this process by not holding out where price is concerned. Instead of talking to 5 agents all of whom say that the home is worth about X-dollars and refuse to take the listing if it isn't listed within 5% of that figure, they take the listing knowing it won't sell and use it as a lead generating mechanism. After all...if you can't sell the listing then maybe you can sell a different home to someone that calls ABOUT the listing. And there's always the chance that the seller will see reason and lower the price. Heck there's even that rare happening where a buyer just falls in love with the home and pays more for it than what anyone else would pay except them had they just so happened to drop into the market right at that moment (every overpriced seller's pipe dream) and the agent will get a commission that way.

Really, the only downside to taking overpriced listings is the awkward phone calls that follow. That and a damaged success record. How many agents lead off a listing presentation with, "90% of the homes I listed last year sold vs. X% for the market as a whole. My listings sold for 96% of the original list price while the typical agent's listings only sell for Y% of original list...even though they'll tell you different." Also, most agents don't spend money advertising these homes as the reason for taking overpriced homes under one's wing is to get as many buyer leads as possible without investing any money.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 3, 2013
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