The Seasons and the Ottawa Real Estate Market
Like the changing seasons, the real estate landscape experiences shifts and transitions, each holding a unique influence on buying and selling patterns. Seasonality is more than just a climatic phenomenon — it’s a critical factor that both buyers and sellers will need to consider in order to navigate the real estate journey with strategy and purpose. In this blog, we’ll unravel the mysteries of seasonality and delve deep into its impact on the real estate market. From understanding the peaks and troughs to offering strategic tips for both buyers and sellers, we aim to equip you with the knowledge needed to make informed decisions at any time of the year.
Sellers / Supply
The number of available homes varies with the seasons, affecting the choices that buyers have and the competition that sellers are facing.
- Spring – As the snow begins to melt, a plethora of homes hit the market, providing buyers with an extensive range of options to explore. Promotion and marketing are especially important in this season, as sellers must make an effort to stand out amongst the competition.
- Summer – Summer is still an incredibly active time in the real estate market, although it’s past the time period which typically sees the most activity. The number of homes left on the market is reduced, sometimes increasing the number of offers you receive as a seller.
- Fall – Typically by fall, most homes on the market have sold, resulting in very little competition and oftentimes reduced selling prices. However, the fall creates a unique backdrop that can be used to effectively promote your listing.
- Winter – With inclement weather conditions and the vast majority of homes sold, the wintertime is often most active for sellers in a hurry to move. (If you have unique circumstances such as these, don’t hesitate to reach out and ask how we can be of assistance.)
Buyers / Demand
- Spring – An uptick in listings, but that does not offset the uptick in buyers meaning there is even more competition for the active listings resulting in more intense bidding and an upswing in prices.
- Summer – Although it’s past the peak season, this can sometimes be helpful to buyers. The market will have cooled down slightly, giving you more breathing room when it comes to making an effective offer. This can give you time to negotiate, as well.
- Fall – There will be a limited number of homes still on the market. However, there is often an eagerness to sell before winter, sometimes allowing you to negotiate a lower price.
- Winter – During winter, there will be less homes to choose from, and sellers will likely not be getting many offers. This gives you some extra time to negotiate a fair price.
Curb Appeal, Staging & Decor
Your decor and curb appeal does more than just style your spaces. As a seller, your goal is to allow potential buyers to envision a life beyond your front door. Seasonally-conscious decorations are paramount for this — especially for any staging work, or photography being taken. If buyers are looking for homes in the springtime and they stumble across your fall photoshoot, they will likely become suspicious as to why your home hasn’t sold — regardless of whether or not there’s a particular reason.
If you’re looking for a professional stager or designer, we have several Ottawa-based connections to help you achieve a desired look.
Future developments are an important factor to consider as a buyer, and as a seller. Neighbourhoods grow and change, greatly affecting the convenience of location and overall accessibility of the properties within them.
If you live in a neighbourhood with upcoming development plans, it’s essential to consider how this will influence the value of your home and weigh the options of waiting or acting quickly. If a developer is planning major additions to a relatively undeveloped area, it’s quite possible that waiting a year or two and selling in the prime seasons (spring, summer) could provide you with a healthy profit. The construction of business parks, new schools, public transportation and highway access are paramount to a listing’s success, and must be considered if you want to get the most out of your sale.
Contact the Experts
Contacting the experts is an incredibly important step to achieve your goals in an industry so complex. When buying or selling a home, the guidance of professionals can make a world of difference. Mortgage brokers can assist in finding suitable financial options, while home inspectors can unveil potential issues that might be concealed to the untrained eye. An attorney specializing in real estate can ensure that legal processes and documentation are thorough and accurate.
If you have any questions about the process, or need help finding any industry connections, please don’t hesitate to reach out and ask. We have a qualified team of experienced REALTORS® in and around the Ottawa area, and we’re ready to help you every step of the way.