With the holiday season in full swing, it’s easy to get swept up into the spirit and put your to-do list on the backburner for January 1. Many of our business minds are already in 2014, but I think it’s important to keep a close watch on the Chicago real estate market for the rest of the year.
Conventional wisdom would say that selling your home (or buying a new one) is best left for post-holiday, the idea being that buyers are too distracted by out-of-town guests, shopping, entertaining, etc. But times have changed, and the end-of-the-year/holiday season is as good of time as any for real estate activity. In fact, I might even argue it’s an even better time because there’s less competition on both the buying and selling end. With endless ways to access online listings and get in touch with an agent, it’s easy for buyers to be in home-shopping mode no matter where they are amid the hustle and bustle of the holidays.
So if you’ve been on the fence, here are a few things to note about listing your home during the holiday season: Less competition: If you were thinking you’d better wait to sell until after the holidays had passed, chances are many other potential sellers are too. So right now, it’s likely that there will be less on the market for buyers to choose from and gives your property a chance to stand out. Supply and demand: The winter months are the perfect time for sellers to take action when supply is low but buyer demand continues to increase. Despite the snow, it’s still a great time to buy and buyers are certainly out there looking for the just-right property. Plus, many buyers are looking to make a purchase before new 2014 regulations are put into place. Change your strategy: If your home has already been on the market and isn’t moving, this is a great time to shake up your selling strategy—lower your price, take care of any issues plaguing potential buyers or rethink how to tackle any dealbreakers buyers might bring to the table. Showing the market you’re serious about selling will be noticed by motivated buyers, even if your property has been a stale listing. Look at January: If there’s simply no chance of having your Chicago home for sale during the holidays, consider the window right after. This is still a slow time for real estate inventory, but a sense of renewal with the new year often has buyers ready to hit the market running.
If you’re still unsure, give me a call. I’m happy to walk you through the ups and downs of the winter Chicago real estate market and see what might be your best bet for buying or selling in the coming weeks or month. Contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at [email protected]
Lake Point Tower, at right, is one of many buildings along Lake Shore Drive that offer incredible views of Lake Michigan. Image via Chris Walker/Chicago Tribune