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How to Sell in Winter Months

As REALTORS® in most parts of the country would know, the completion of home sales are strongest in the late spring and summer months as compared to the winter months. January and February are two months with the lowest number of home sale closings because few buyers shop for homes between Thanksgiving and the New Year.

The below graph clearly illustrates the seasonal trend of total completed sales. The peak months can see as much as twice the sales activity seen during the weak months.

The data frequently reported in the media and as reported by NAR for monthly sales is not the raw count of sales but seasonally adjusted figures. That is how all economic data are reported. It would be foolish and not meaningful to say sales are tumbling or jobs in beach towns collapsed in December, if in fact it is a very normal seasonal pattern. And the seasonally adjusted data has been showing a slight improving trend in home sales this past November and December.

Still, from the homeowners’ and practitioners’ points of view, the seasonally adjusted data do not necessarily mean an easy home sale or a higher commission income in winters’ months.

Here’s a USA Today article on how to sell a home in winter. You may not agree with all of these suggestions and/or you may have your own special method.

Lawrence Yun, PhD., Chief Economist and Senior Vice President

Lawrence Yun is Chief Economist and Senior Vice President of Research at NAR. He directs research activity for the association and regularly provides commentary on real estate market trends for its 1 million REALTOR® members.

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