Just because the weather’s turning chilly doesn’t mean the final quarter of the year is a frozen market for sellers, even during a pandemic. In fact, here are four considerations that make a strong argument for why selling during Q4 could be an excellent decision—especially right now.
Seasonal sell: easier than you think
Although traditional wisdom suggests the spring is an ideal time to list your property, selling in the winter brings its own advantages. Sellers during the winter enjoy more serious house hunters, employees relocating in January/February, and the uniquely cozy staging of their homes during the winter holidays.
In fact, according to HomeLight’s 2019 insights survey of top-performing real estate agents, 89% of agents sold homes decorated for the holidays last year. These numbers also show that Q4 houses sold for the exact same amount (or more!) compared to earlier quarters and faced significantly less competition.
Benefit from low inventory
Houses sold in Q4 benefit from low inventory. If you’re the only house with a “For Sale” sign in your neighborhood, interested searchers are far more likely to choose your home, particularly if it’s affordable. We’ve seen this play out right here in Stanwood and Camano Island’s third quarter, a strong seller’s market with record low inventory.
A Q4 house can also go for a higher price. 2019 data from the National Association of Realtors supports this observation; last year, U.S. home prices jumped in 94% of markets measured in Q4, directly connected to the steep decline in housing inventory.
Winter buyers are extra eager
Is the COVID-19 pandemic going to set back Q4 home sales? Even in normal times, the vast majority of buyers typical home buyers turn to the Internet first when searching for a new home. Now, interested buyers have been longingly browsing online real estate and newly available virtual tours ever since March.
After waiting to buy houses for most of the year, thwarted by the early waves and lockdowns of the pandemic, buyers may actually be more keen to buy now—especially if your property comes with gorgeous listing pictures.
The pandemic has also caused an unprecedented increase in urban flight. Large amounts of families, professionals, and retirees are departing densely populated urban centers for more remote, rural, or island locales. In Washington state, this continues a trend already observed in homeowners’ movement out of the Seattle area and into regions like the Methow Valley, a promising sign for our beautiful properties here in Stanwood and Camano Island.