Traditionally, real estate sales slow during the holidays. However, I have discovered that it is often times my busiest time. Would you like to know my secret?
Most people do not want to move during the holidays. Sellers are entertaining, have their home decorated for the holidays, and it’s an even bigger chore to keep a home clean for showings. It seems everyone is really busy during the holidays, but they are busy shopping, going to holiday parties, and keeping up the holiday cheer.
However, if you are in the market to buy, and you can tolerate home shopping during the holiday period, you can find some great deals. That’s my secret. I have shown many clients over the years how to take advantage of the slow period, when others are focused on the holidays, to get out there and look around. When you consider that there is an excellent inventory, historically low interest rates and fewer buyers with whom you are competing, you have lots of incentive to buy now.
Inventory of existing properties is strong. In fact, in the five county Denver metro region, we currently have approximately 20,500 properties for sale. To be specific, the five counties I include in this statistic are: Denver, Arapahoe, Adams, Jefferson and Douglas. To put this in perspective, according to Metrolist, there were about 14,000 properties for sale in March and about 18,000 in September.
The mortgage brokers with whom we work are telling us that interest rates are going up. As a result, I am encouraging our clients to take advantage of the low interest rates. As of the writing of this article, the average 30-year fixed rate is in the mid 4s. If you are buying in a rural area, you may just qualify for a USDA loan, and those loans have some amazing characteristics – such as 100% financing. Plus, USDA is currently quoting in the high 3s.
Lastly, as mentioned, a lot of folks do not want to shop or move during the holidays. As a result, there is relaxed competition. That is not to say that other smart buyers are not out there as well; however, we all know you can likely obtain a better deal when there are fewer people making offers.