Why does real estate almost always perk up in the springtime? I believe it can be traced to the three B's of real estate. Yes it is in the title; Balmy Brings Buyers. Once the weather turns from cold, wet, snowy, etc. to warm and pleasant everyone tends to perk up. People are more optimistic. They seem happy. The pleasant change to a cozy tone in the climate works wonders for the soul.
I do not think it is mere coincidence that this time of year produces a rush of new buyers to the market. For prospective sellers; this is absolutely the very best time to hit the market with a new listing. A fair portion of the real estate market is driven by families moving up from that starter home to a larger home that can accommodate a growing family. These families often prefer to make their move during the summer when school is out. Offering in May or June leads to a closing in the summer.
As a buyer it is critical to take preparation for a blast of new competitors. Our local market is on fire right now and well priced homes are selling quickly, often with multiple offers above asking. Buyers do have a silver lining in the dark cloud of competition. Homes that are a little tired tend to sit a bit longer. A light fixer can still be had at decent price.
Buyers also should remember that rising prices is lousy when you are make that offer, but it is great when you close because now that rising price is feeding the buyer with golden equity. Equity appreciation is one of the cornerstones of the real estate value proposition. I find many buyers are still stuck in that 2009-2011 low price mentality and they are shooting themselves in the foot. Every time they miss out on an opportunity by being rejected or outbid they will find the prices edging up. In the end they will pay more for less.
The moral of this tale is to get out and soak up this great spring weather while driving around with your favorite Realtor, looking at wonderful houses.
Balmy Brings Buyers :)