Every year in January, we review real estate seasonality and see how the previous year performed compared to our long-term expectations. For example, we know that we usually sell more homes in July then we do in January, so if we measure sales every year, we can usually forecast monthly expectations.
Additionally, we know that there is an early rush each year by homeowners who need to sell a home so they place their home on the market. This first real estate seasonality trend can be observed by studying the 30-day trend graph over a long period of time. The graph below shows that every year, usually in January or February, home sellers decide to put their homes on market at a rate that is much faster than any increase in sales.
In the real estate graph above, the red area represents the number of homes coming onto the market, the green is the measurement of homes leaving the market, and the yellow is merely the difference between the two. When the yellow portion is "above the zero line" (see arrows), then the number of homes for sale is growing, and the opposite is true when the yellow falls below the zero line.
The question that we always have early in each new year is "when is the supply of homes going to start to rise?" For home sellers who absolutely need to sell their homes this year, I would not rush to just throw a sign up again this year. I would recommend that you study our progressive marketing plan for selling a home using a sound internet marketing campaign, and ensure that you hit the market at the correct initial market position this year.
Unfortunately, 2011 is shaping up to be as difficult to sell a home (or even tougher) than 2010, so you have to use every possible tool and every traffic generating technique to achieve a successful home sale. It can be done, so make sure that you make every opportunity count.
Joe Manausa, MBA is a 26 year veteran of real estate brokerage in Tallahassee, Florida and has owned and managed his own company since 1992. He is a daily blogger with content that focuses on real estate analytics and providing his clients with a tactical advantage in today's challenging market.