Ive sold real estate for 31 years. There has always been a slight uptick in activity just before x-mas, as people want a place of their own to put up the tree, and some folks have a tax or other legal need to own (or sell what they had) by years end.
I hate the word SALES, but the 'sales' part of me should be giving you a rosy picture and telling you that there is always a gem to be had if you look hard enough.
The reality is that the Pacific Norhwest is in the worst overall shape in the Union. We started out well and held our own while Calif , Florida, etc were imploding, but it hit hard here and wont go away. Sellers have no equity orknow they cant afford to move up. They cant find anything anyway, because of all the others like them who are not selling. Buyers are convinced that we have a further drop in values on the way. Some large companies tracking data are saying we have another 20% to drop on average. I have to duck now---other salespeople just threw rocks at my head!
So, I doubt you will see any BLOOM here in the spring. It will most likely be like this past spring/summer. More activity than winter but nothing to crow about. I value homes for banks. They are mini-appraisals called Broker Price Opinions, and the banks use these to decide on foreclosing, marketing, etc. Having done about 2,000 homes all over our main three counties during the past 18 months, I know values and trends throughout the neighborhoods. Contact me if you want pure buyer representation. I usually do not solicit business from these answers but since many others are, here is my hat in the ring, lol.