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December 3, 2017

Plan Now if Selling a Home in 2018

By Mark Hite
President, Greater Chattanooga REALTORS®

So, you are thinking about selling your home next summer, because that’s the busiest time of the year for real estate sales.  While this is a true statement, take a moment to consider why you should go ahead and call a Realtor now.

The traditional mindset has been that you put your house up for sale in Spring and then it will sell in the following summer months.  For this reason, looking back over the last year we saw 1,252 houses come to market in March and 1,283 new listings in May.  In contrast only 750 new listings entered the market in December and 971 in February.  There was simply less fresh competition for those sellers who entered the market in the cold winter months and the first reason why you should consider calling a Realtor today.

While it may have been cold outside, home sales were hot all winter.  If you examined the same period December 2016 through March 2017 you will find that 2,897 houses closed during these traditional cold months.  The simple fact is that the immediacy of Federal tax refunds today, acts to jump start the housing market much earlier than it did 15 years ago.  Many Americans have more money in their bank account in mid-February than any other time of year-thus strong winter home sales and the second reason why you should call a Realtor today.

Acknowledging that  the month of December may be hectic for many, it is the perfect time to go ahead and schedule a consultation with an experienced member of the Greater Chattanooga Realtors.  Immediately after the holidays, most people experience a slow down in their work and social commitments.  With less to do, there is more time to focus on prepping your home to enter the market.  Rather than simply putting away holiday decorations, determine what you did not use this year or has become shop worn and get rid of those items.  If you meet with a Realtor and prepare a punch list, then January is the perfect time to declutter and dispose of items you have not used recently or will not be using in your next home.   Construction is traditionally slower in the winter, so if there are updates or repairs need, go ahead and schedule them now for January completion.

Common logic has been that a yard or moving sale is the best way to dispose of unwanted items, thus wait till spring.  However, you may find that calling a local thrift store, such as Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore to come pick up all of your items at one time and provide you a donation receipt is the best use of your time and you can use the donation as you file your taxes in April.

This is not to suggest that you stop decorating for holiday gatherings and going on family outings, but rather go ahead and contact a knowledgeable Realtor now so that you get a jump on the market in 2018!

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