There was a big improvement in the real estate market in 2013 across the nation. And, while all real estate is local, the Minneapolis/St Paul market was no exception. We also saw prices rebound quite a bit in communities on both sides of the Mississippi. But when where sellers able to score the best deals? Let me give you a hint. It wasn't in the spring.
Many people do think that spring is the best time to sell a home. And yes, it is a good time to buy and sell a home. More home buyers are out looking to make a move when the weather warms up. But surprisingly buyers also move in the winter. And because most sellers are waiting for spring, there are less options for them.
Early in 2013 is when most home sellers were seeing multiple offers in the Twin Cities. There were few good homes on the market in January and tons of home buyers, pre-approved and hoping to take advantage of the low interest rates. This created a seller's market, where the seller had the upper hand in the negotiations. Home sellers scrambled to get their homes listed and by April, inventory was abundant in most price points. Great news for home buyers, but not for home sellers hoping for a quick sale at asking price.
Not Just a 2013 Phenomena
Low housing inventory after the holidays has been a trend I have noticed over the last several years. Homes that were overlooked by buyers in the fall market, suddenly had offers in January/February. And sellers didn't have to "give away" their homes either. It was just simple supply and demand. The lower housing supply combined with a strong buyer demand as soon as the holidays are over, makes it an ideal situation for a home seller listed at the beginning of the year. But the scales almost always are balanced again by late March. So a savvy home seller might think twice about waiting until spring. If you are ready to sell, now might be the best time to put your home on the market to make the best deal.
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