What the HECK is a Spring Market?
Posted Wednesday, February 28, 2018
The best way to think of the beginning of the spring real estate market is the opening bell in the stock market, as it sparks a frenzy of buying and selling across the nation. Many real estate agents like to refer to this time as the “most wonderful time of the year!” In all seriousness, this season creates a rush of activity that is not only beneficial to sellers but also for homebuyers, as it offers unique perks from all corners of the ring.
With spring 2018 well on it’s way, the first thing buyers need to grasp is that inventory levels are low, which is typical for every year, but especially now in 2018. Homes are flying off the shelves faster than the most popular toys from this Christmas. In fact, the biggest challenge for buyers during this time is actually finding a home to buy. Don’t let this intimidate you though, you’re a strong independent homebuyer and you will find your dream home! Although there may be a shortage of homes right now, it won’t last long. If you’re a potential homebuyer, here are some springtime benefits:
- More choices: Springtime opens the doors for a generous amount of new homes on the market than its counterpart, the fall/winter market. Even in the last week or so I’ve seen an influx of new homes coming onto the market or getting ready to come up very shortly. In addition, buyers who are looking for a very specific type of home or one with particular features generally have the best luck during the spring market.
- Easier to spot repairs: All that snow is melting, it’s raining cats and dogs, and that water has got to go somewhere! You’ve probably noticed the streets and rivers are flooding like crazy, so it’s a good guess basements with water problems will probably become submerged. Don’t assume though, always get a home inspection. However, if a river in your basement is something you want no part of, you’ll have a pretty good idea before paying for that inspection.
Since spring is such a popular time to buy a home, it doesn’t always equate to the best deal. Your competition is going to be significantly increased as there’s a lot of buyers out there. This competition is one of the main reasons for the seasonal shift that results in higher price tags on homes.
So if you’re planning to purchase during this exciting and chaotic time of year, remember; the early bird gets the worm and make sure to be prequalified before even considering starting your new home search.
Even though both sides of the real estate process has its perks during a spring market, the scale tends to tip in favor of sellers. In most cases, but not all, homes tend to sell much faster than they typically would during another time of year. They may also sell for more money. The spring market is typically the optimal time for home-sellers. Some springtime benefits include:
- You can be reserved: Springtime allows for sellers the opportunity to be more cautious and take their time with potential buyers and the offers they receive. This is a definitely a nice bonus.
- Multiple offers: Building off the above bullet point, with more homebuyers on the loose trying to find their perfect home, it tends to create multiple offer situations. For sellers, this is as good as it gets.
- Homes typically look nicer: We’ve all been staring at snow & dead trees for the last few dreary months. With clear skies, fresh cut grass and flowers in bloom, the springtime showcases homes that are up for sale in much brighter light.
Unfortunately, it’s not all rainbows & butterflies and as with everything, this market still has it’s disadvantages. This includes:
- Pickier buyers: The biggest determinant for sellers during springtime is that home buyers can tend to be more critical in their buying process. They have many more options, so if a home requires $15,000-$20,000 worth of work, they are most likely going to go with another home that doesn’t require as much TLC. This happens more in the prime of the spring market, once we start seeing the market slow down even slightly, buyers will get start to feel a sense of urgency to get into a new home.
- More sellers: It’s a catch-22 of a springtime market, for sellers, is it unleashes other sellers. This creates a lot of competition for home-sellers. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the early bird gets the worm, so listing your home right in the beginning of the spring market (*cough*cough, right now), will create the greatest benefits for a home seller.
If you are planning to sell during this wonderful time, remember that no matter the season you always need to price to sell. If it’s not priced right, it’s not going to sell and you could force your property to sit on the market way longer than necessary. Talk with your Realtor about where you should price your home, they will give you the most accurate market analysis of your home and where you should be priced to sell quickly and get the most bang for your buck.
The spring season continues to be one of the major “hallmark holidays” of the real estate industry, providing rich benefits for homebuyers and sellers alike. Although, when all is said and done, the best time to buy or sell is when it’s the right time for you.