The Clan of the Cave Bear

All is quiet on the Western Front. Or in the eye of the storm. Or in the clan of all those cave bears, lulling themselves into self-imposed states of hibernation for the winter.

Like lemmings of lore, Sellers often feel a biological imperative to hang it up when the holidays hit the fan. The approach of Thanksgiving triggers an implacable urge to jump off the market. Migrate away from any serious effort that might result in the sale of a home.

All the cultural bunting we deck our brains with, this time of year, offers plenty of excuse to sound the retreat. Too many parties. Too few shopping days. Too much family. And the all-too-easy assumption that buyers are too engaged with everything else to think about buying a home for the holidays.

Meanwhile, stage right, lots of wanna-be Sellers are also lying in wait. They are making mental lists of all the reasons why they shouldn’t list their homes for Christmas. And why they should hold off until that mythical “better” time in the future called Spring – for lack of a “better” idea of exactly when “better” is really going to be.

The supply of homes on the market grows smaller. Locally, it is approaching 800 – down 30% from last year. The inventory of desirable places to buy is waning like the rays of the sun in the days leading up to the Winter Solstice – the point in time when planet earth reaches its greatest degree of tilt.

Here’s my thought: If we are truly about to hit full-tilt boogie in this crazy pinball game we’ve been bouncing, spinning and wobbling around in for the last year, then, as soon as we get done with the longest night of our lives, let’s just push the reset button!

Go ahead. Take a moment. Do some soul searching into the darker realms of your unconscious and the hidden nooks and crannies of your conscious mind as well. Now quick. What do you really want ?

If the answer is: I really want to change my life and move on, then the rest is simple. Forget Christmas. Forget New Years. Beginning Tuesday, the hourglass of the days of our lives starts getting fuller. Not emptier. Adjust your attitude along with your latitude. Throw away everything you think you know about real estate. Do a complete core dump-ectomy on all that baggage you’ve been lugging around on automatic pilot. Time to clean house and sell house.

Let’s rethink this whole winter/spring gestalt thing-y we’ve grown so chummy with. It is an indulgence, we can’t afford anymore. Just another mind-game that obscures realty.

Yeah, I know the traditional party line: Tons of buyers sprouting up like flowers in the spring. And houses don’t show well during the cold, rainy months, when days are gray and dreary.

But let’s shine some of that soon-to-be-waxing light on a different perspective. There are already tons of buyers ready and waiting to buy. What are they waiting for? For you to put your house on the market! If you wait for them, they are going to continue waiting for you. Someone has to get the ball rolling. It’s literally and figuratively your move.

Assuming supply and demand still has something to do with real estate ….what kind of market would you rather have your home listed in? A market where there is good demand versus really low supply? Or a market where there is better demand but also a huge new influx of supply?

My contention is this: What is most important at any time of the year, in any kind of market, is the actual, real relationship between the total number of homes for sale and the total number of buyers out there.

Do more homes sell in the summer according to statistics? You bet. But, here’s a little secret… Summer is also the same time of the year when there are more homes that don’t sell. Why? Because there are way more homes on the market and never enough demand to buy them all.

Do less homes sell in the first quarter of the year, when it is cold and rainy and homes don’t necessarily show in perfect, pristine fashion? Yep. But guess what. There are also fewer homes that don’t sell too. Why? Because there are less homes on the market!

A greater percentage of the total number of homes listed in January, February and March will sell than the percentage of homes that will sell in the summer time, whether the catfish are jumpin’ and the livin’ seems easy or not. Shouldn’t yours be one of them? Spring is often the time for April Fool’s. The smarter money is going to get carpe diem-ing sooner rather than later this year.


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