It must be August.

The obligatory Pink Floyd moment
Creative Commons License photo credit: akaalias

Hellooooo! Is anybody there?

It has been so quiet over the past week, you can hear a call drop. And it is just so hard to be a blur of activity, a working machine, when the real estate world feels like it is operating under a cone of silence. It must be August.

This happens every year, and I am having to remind myself that a lot of the lethargy we are seeing now may in fact be seasonal and not market-driven. Our market is less than ideal; we have consensus on this point. Buyers are buried under a barrage of reports of the end of the world as we know it, fearful that a purchase today would cause their friends to lob taunts and jeers in their general direction. There are always those motivated few, the few with a sense of urgency, but absent a true “need” to move in August, most people tend to put any buying (and selling) “wants” temporarily on the back burner.

So what does this mean if your home is currently offered for sale? Patience. Every summer-end, I find myself repeating this little speech: From now through January, stuff is going on, stuff outside of real estate. If seasonal trends hold true, showings will be fewer, and open houses will not likely be festive beehives of activity. We all enjoy competing demands this time of year, from the back-to-school daze and the vacations, to the “What am I going to be?” costume decisions and and the social and gift-buying obligations. The people who do look at your home during the next several months, however, probably mean business. And, don’t forget that there are a whole bunch of busy would-be sellers out there who are putting off listing until the relatives leave, so your competition is arguably less.

My father-in-law used to say, “Don’t fight the feeling,” and this is particularly good advice right now. When someone decides to view your home during the next several months, they have probably done so because it is a priority, a higher priority than basting the turkey. Expect fewer showings, but know that the quality of your showings will be greater for awhile. It always is. Veteran agents know the season all too well and use this time to improve systems, attend to those “projects” which have been languishing since last August, and generally mobilize for the next seasonal wave. Sellers would be wise to use this time to enjoy the things their potential buyers are enjoying while they aren’t looking at homes.

Lately it has been all about the market, but sometimes it’s just August.

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