With the upcoming Labor Day holiday marking the unofficial end of summer, the residential real estate industry is gradually nearing its annual slow period.
Of course, we’re not in the dead of winter just yet — and we certainly don’t want to skip over the changing of leaves and football — but as the first day of school arrives for many children throughout the country, parents are less likely to put their homes on the market and relocate their families.
The most recent ShowingTime Showing Index® revealed that showing traffic throughout the U.S. has remained relatively steady during the past three months, averaging a 0.3 percent year-over-year increase compared to last year’s summer months. Compare that to the 12-month average year-over-year increase of 4.6, and we are starting to see high home prices and low inventory impact homebuyer interest.
If you still have listings on the market, that doesn’t spell doom and gloom for your sellers. The South Region, for instance, has outpaced the national Showing Index numbers for the past 10 months while showing activity in the West and Northeast regions has been dragged down by soaring home prices in many large markets.
But, if you have sellers who are getting anxious, now is the perfect time to explain the seasonality of the residential real estate industry and prepare them for what’s to come.
Showing activity, as the Showing Index shows us, is already decelerating, while the average days on market (DOM) will likely increase.
What does that mean for your sellers?
You can explain what they can expect through your market knowledge, experience and tools provided by ShowingTime.
As DOM increases, a typical response from sellers — depending on their situation — could be to lower the price, especially if they have an immediate need to move because of a job relocation or similar situation.
Adjusting the price is the quickest way to reach a new audience. If you’re a ShowingTime client, , rerun the “Activity on Comparables” report to see if the current price still aligns with what similar properties in the area have sold for.
Conversely, if there’s no hurry for your sellers to move on from their current home and they were simply looking to upgrade, downsize or take advantage of the market, encourage them to stick with the decided price.
Now is also a good time to review the feedback you’ve received from buyer’s agents who have shown the property. If there have been consistent negative reviews regarding a particular feature, it might be time to discuss that more directly with your seller and coach them on the best way to remedy the issue.
If your sellers aren’t in a hurry to move, but still want to keep their home on the market, discuss a new market strategy, as well as an updated plan about how and when potential buyers can view their home.
After all, while some potential buyers might opt to wait until the spring to continue their home search, others might ramp up their hunt. And, with summer vacations complete, many prospective buyers now have more free weekends available to view homes.
Sit down with your sellers and go over their new schedule so you can reassess your plan and make any pertinent changes to the listing’s showing instructions, rules and restrictions.
Make sure they know, as you do, that just because showing traffic might be flat, slightly up or slightly down compared to last year, every local market is different. Agents know the key to selling a home is setting a reasonable price, marketing it well and making it easy for people to view it.
After all, it only takes one person to fall in love with a home for it to sell, and that can happen at any time, regardless of the season.
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