Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, December 8, 2017

Plan now if selling a home in 2018

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

The traditional mindset has been that you put your house up for sale in the 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 might have been cold outside, home sales were hot all winter. If you examine the same period (Dec. 2016 through March 2017), you’ll find that 2,897 houses closed during these traditionally 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 might be hectic for many, it’s still the perfect time to schedule a consultation with an experienced member of the Greater Chattanooga Realtors. Immediately after the holidays, most people experience a slowdown in their work and social commitments. With less to do, there’s 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 haven’t 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; therefore, wait until spring. However, you might find that calling a local thrift store, such as Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore, to pick up all your items at once and give 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!

The Greater Chattanooga Realtors are “The Voice of Real Estate in Greater Chattanooga.” This is a regional organization with more than 1,800 members and is one of more than 1,400 local boards and associations of Realtors nationwide that comprise the National Association of Realtors. Greater Chattanooga Realtors service Hamilton and Sequatchie counties in southeast Tennessee and Catoosa, Dade and Walker counties in northwest Georgia. Go to www.GCAR.net for more information.