At the time of this writing we do most of our work with buyers and sellers on the Southern Gulf Islands which have quite definitive 'on' and 'off' seasons. Most markets in most areas do, but our islands are popular as tourism destinations which means there are significantly fewer people who happen to be here during the cooler late fall, winter, and early spring months. Despite the slow down in sales, the drop in inventory, and the decreased human traffic checking out the listings, a well-priced home will still sell quite quickly. There are actually some benefits to buying and selling during lulls in the market, here are a few of them:
1) With less buyers vying for the same properties, there is less competition in any sense of 'bidding wars'. A good offer is more likely to be considered where there are fewer of them to compare against. This is especially the case if you're willing to brave the snow and rain on the coldest winter days, when the 'light weights' are less inclined :)
2) Sometimes a listing is up because it didn't sell over the summer for a variety of reasons. Perhaps it was priced too high in the summer, perhaps it still is. Sellers may be more motivated if their listing was available throughout the peak season and is still so during the off-season.
3) For people considering a move to the Southern Gulf Islands, it can be a good idea to spend time in these communities during the off season. It's a chance to feel what the community is like when it's comprised of mostly locals, it may be cooler in temperature but there is a warmth among the people when they have the islands mostly to themselves again.
4) The nice thing about the off season on the Gulf Islands is that everything is more relaxed. Your realtor will have an abundance of time to talk and work with you that can be harder to make when they're extra busy in peak season. Because competition is slower, your property search and purchase can be a little more relaxed than usual. A more relaxing lifestyle is what attracts people to our islands in the first place!
1) As is the case for buyers, the primary benefit of the off season for sellers is that there is much less competition. There are still people watching to purchase property on our islands, but there are few new listings for them to consider. If your listing is priced and presented well, it can still sell during the off season.
2) During the peak season there are far more tourists that want to view listed properties who are doing so impulsively and are not ready to make a purchase at the time. This means much more work cleaning, staging, and vacating your premises for showings. During the off season the people who are coming to view your home are more likely to be serious buyers rather than curious tourists.
3) While properties with splendourous gardens and views may not present as coulourfully in the off season, the cooler climater and holiday decor offer a chance for the interiors to exude warmth and comfort that can really make a home feel like a home.
As you can see, there are many good reasons to buy and sell real estate during the off season on the Southern Gulf Islands .