Real Estate Wisdom Changing?

(MS) Conventional wisdom with respect to selling a home might be falling by the wayside.

Over the years, research on home sales has suggested the best season to sell a home is spring. Buyer demand has traditionally built through spring and into the summer months, when families often prefer to move because doing so does not force parents to uproot their children from school in the middle of the school year. However, as the economy has struggled over the last couple of years, so, too, has the real estate market.

According to the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index, home prices decreased by 28 percent from their national peak in the second quarter of 2006 to the end of 2009. Such figures have turned conventional real estate wisdom on its head, as have tax credits to encourage first time buyers to buy homes. In 2010, first time home buyers who closed on a home by April 30, 2010 received an $8,000 credit. As a result, home sales figures in February and March were expected to be higher than in years past, and therefore lower in the ensuing months.

For those homeowners forced to sell a home in less desirable seasons like winter, real estate professionals typically advise selling up certain points of the home. Suggestions include decorating a home for the holidays and shoveling any walkways or driveways should snow arrive while a house is on the market. What's more, sellers selling in off-seasons should be realistic about their selling price at the outset, as buyers might be reticent to buy in a season where so few homes are on the market. Selling a home at a desirable asking price, however, might increase buyer interest. FH109840

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