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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The Trend Continues: Winter May Be the Easiest Time to Sell a Home



It was true for the last two winters and it remains true for this coming winter, too — winter is a great time to put your home on the market. Buyer activity is high, and you’ll be competing with fewer other listings.  The two charts at right tell the story.

Yes, real estate is a seasonal business, with more homes selling in the spring and summer, but in today’s market it is actually easier to sell a home in the winter.

What continues to impress me is how, as shown in the first chart, the number of sold listings keeps creeping higher even as the number of active listings keeps falling.  As I write this, REcolorado is showing 1,356 active listings in the City & County of Denver, but 1,529 listings are under contract, so it’s clear that December and January figures will continue the trend shown in the chart.

The second chart shows two other metrics which support my contention that this is a good time to list a home in Denver (and elsewhere in the metro area).  When you see listings selling close to or above their listing price, you know that there is a lot of competition for the active listings, and therefore a lot of disappointed buyers who will still be looking at each new listing that comes along. The other indicator is Median Days on Market. In the City & County of Denver, the median time it took to go under contract did not rise above 20 days during the last two winters and probably won’t do so this coming winter either.

One statistic you won’t find on the MLS is how many sales were contingent on the sale of the buyer’s current home. I can tell you from my own experience that this is more common now than you might think. As a listing agent myself, I do not automatically rule out contingent contracts if they are otherwise competitive. By being smart about the contingency, I have found it easier to justify a contingency in a seller’s market than in a “normal” market, even in competition with non-contingent offers that didn’t have as high a purchase price.  In fact, a contingent buyer might offer you a better price for your home to make up for the perceived negative of being a contingent offer.  
 
If you’re a buyer worried about having to submit a contingent offer, call me.  Not only have I sold my listings to buyers with contingencies, I have successfully represented buyers in getting contingent offers accepted. 

Jefferson County's statistics demonstrate the same dynamic at work, with only slightly different numbers.  At right are the same two charts. 


As I write this, REcolorado is showing 899 active listings in Jeffco, but 1,193 listings are under contract, so it’s clear that December and January figures for Jeffco, like Denver, will continue the trend shown in the chart.

As in Denver, in Jefferson County the median time it took to go under contract did not rise above 20 days during the last two winters and, like Denver, probably won’t do so this coming winter either.


Published Dec. 8, 2016, in the YourHub section of the Denver Post and in four Jefferson County weekly newspapers.

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