Stock home real estate

Selling and buying homes is a year-round market. As winter comes to an end, real estate agents, buyers and sellers are gearing up for one of the busier seasons of the year – spring.

According to Melissa Harris, real estate agent at Coldwell Banker Schmidt Realty in Beachwood, and Adam Kaufman, Realtor at Howard Hanna in Pepper Pike, the spring market is busy for a few reasons, some of which are specific to Northeast Ohio and similar areas.

“With spring, what makes it so busy is the change of the weather,” Harris said. “Here in Ohio, we have all four seasons, but if you’re moving, spring is always a good time to start looking. That way, you can move by the summer, allowing the kids to start at their new school in the fall. Also, spring weather gives buyers a better sense of curb appeal. It’s attractive.”

Kaufman explained the spring market has always been a phenomenon in the residential real estate world, where there has always been a boost in activity when the weather warms.

“The main thing here is it’s all weather-driven,” he said. “People tend to hibernate during the winter and then they come back out in the warmer weather. Truthfully, most Realtors are sort of no different. They don’t love the winter and they tend to work harder when the weather gets nicer. You don’t have to deal with snow, driveways that aren’t plowed, sidewalks that aren’t shoveled, etc.”

Both agents said the seasons generally impact the buying and selling market with business slowing in the winter, picking up in the spring, steadying in the summer and dipping in the fall.

Harris said each season has benefits. Though spring may have more options, he said the winter and fall have less competition.

“In the summer, you’re likely to see a lot of houses going fast, so in colder seasons, you have less competition,” she explained. “In October to December, there are a lot of holidays so people aren’t looking, making competition and choice a huge key when it comes to each season.”

Kaufman said most of the new inventory comes onto the market during the spring when many buyers look to capitalize on good weather and exposure that comes with it.

“It’s the law of economics, supply and demand,” he noted. “As supply goes up, demand does too because there is more supply. People come out and are more willing to explore opportunities. That being said, you can track home sales and find there is a correlation on how aggressive the winter is. If you have a milder winter, you will have an earlier spring market.”

Considering the spring market, both buyers and sellers have a lot to consider, Harris explained.

“Sellers should list their home at a great price,” she said. “I go to a lot of events and listen to people talk about the spring market. And they complain about the houses being overpriced and still needing a lot of work. So, you want to make sure you’re listing your home appropriately. Buyers, depending on their loan, should make sure they have enough to put down. They should also take their time to make sure this is the home they want as it’s a long-term commitment.”

Both agents said they expect spring 2020 to be no exception – business, and busy, as usual.

“My prediction is the market has already kicked in as the winter this year has been historically mild,” Kaufman stated. “If you add the fact that interest rates are at a historic low and the stock market is high, it’s a perfect storm for a strong real estate market.”

Harris said, “I expect it to be pretty busy because of low-interest rates. There are also so many programs available for people looking to purchase homes, especially young people. I expect the spring market to be pretty busy this year.”

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