Daily Archives: July 19, 2008

Seller’s season?
A reader asks about the upcoming fall season but I confess that I don’t know what’s going to happen. Historically, the spring season began in late January, continued through March and early April, then cooled off when all the buyers who wanted to get in their house by the end of June had found a house. Summers tended to be slow, but there were buyers who wanted to be in their new house before school started so they remained active and we usually saw a fair amount of activity. I always liked looking for houses with buyers in July and August because so much of our competition – other agents and buyers – tended to be away and the search could proceed at a more leisurely pace. The Fall market began after Labor Day, roared through the next ten weeks and then shut down for the Thanksgiving-New Year holiday season.

This year looks pretty dismal, to be honest. There is a scattering of buyers around – one of my listings is being shown today, in fact – but certainly their numbers are way down and there’s absolutely no sense of urgency. And why should there be? Mortgages are hard to find, house prices are dropping, we’re threatened with a possible string of bank runs, Wall Streeters are jumping out windows, Iran threatens war (unless, as it insists, the threat to wipe Israel off the map “was just a joke” – ha ha ha), the Demmerkrats loom on the horizon, etc. etc. If I were a buyer but didn’t need a house right away, I think I’d wait. Of course, sellers are getting nervous, too, so what might have been an unacceptable offer six months ago may very well be received with gratitude today. If the market does rebound by spring (big if), that opportunity may be gone.

All of which is to say that I may go on vacation in August and, if I find myself in a nice place, I just might stay there through the fall.

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