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Must Winter Put a Chill on Real Estate Sales?

For everything there is a season, for every action there is a reaction, for every pro there is the inevitable con, and for every winner there must be a loser. Even Charles Dickens hit upon the idea that not all things remain the same over time in his iconic work The Tale of Two Cities. “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times…” was not the first iteration of the realization that given enough time, nothing ever remains the same.

For those whose very economic survival depends on the actions of commerce, feast or famine is a dichotomy that is frequently experienced and routinely understood as inevitable. For some industries, holidays, celebrations, or weather-related events swing the pendulum between good times and not-so-good times. For those in the real estate marketplace, the highs and lows of the sales calendar have been fairly consistent for decades.

The summer season is typically the best time to close the deal for home sellers. According to ATTOM Data Solutions, demand for new homes is highest in the months of May, June, and July while the weakest sales period is in the months of October, November, and January. But it is important to remember that one’s fate is most often determined by which side of the transaction one is located. “In general, the best time to sell a house is the summer. Conversely, that is usually the worst time to buy, due to soaring prices and more demand,” says Donovan Reynolds, a real estate agent with EXP Realty in Atlanta.

The real estate sector remains a stable environment despite the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, rising inflation, and higher interest rates. An agile, relevant, and comprehensive marketing strategy is imperative to achieve success and sustainability in a competitive real estate market. Realtors who successfully leverage digital technology to execute smart, purpose-driven marketing campaigns will effectively drive qualified traffic that leads to increased home sales, even during those periods of depressed demand.

The winter months promise some of the best investment opportunities for buyers due to increased inventories of unsold property and longer time periods between the listing of a property and the placement of a sold sign. Buyers need to take advantage of the seasonally adjusted supply and demand model. The best campaigns are those that include a mix of social media content, branded experiences, online paid digital marketing, and interactive content that leads to a positive home-buying experience.

During the coldest season of the year, real estate professionals should place an emphasis on identifying highly targeted prospects and create winter-themed content marketing collateral and paid social media advertising, which will find a more relevant audience and drive qualified candidates to the conversation. As winter brings snow in many markets, shovel it, blow it, or broom it out of the way so prospective buyers can easily and safely access the property. It gets dark earlier this time of year so turn on the lights, inside and out, to create a welcoming feeling. Old man winter is working overtime to put a chill on everything and everyone. Turn up interior temperatures to a comfortable level and address any seasonal atmospheric unpleasantries. Declutter and make necessary repairs where needed. In general, work harder to take away a negative influence before a prospect has the opportunity to raise one.

While most realtors believe winter is a naturally occurring slow season, others believe that winter home sales are easier to make because buyers who are willing to come out to shop in the cold are actually more motivated to buy. Typically, each winter in the United States over a million homes sell, a number no competitive realtor can afford to sneeze at. Gesundheit!