It is cold, damp, and dark outside. The luster of a cozy winter wardrobe has worn off, the holiday lights have all-but dimmed, and the magic of the season has seemed to expire as swiftly as it began.
If you are like most Chicagoans, you’re looking down a long and snowy tunnel to Groundhog Day in February. And while the days are actually much shorter in January than in June, they seem to drag on (and on, and on).
All of this seems to beg the question: How can we make the best of this often-dullish time of year? If you’re considering listing your home, the answer may be more optimistic than you’d think.
Housing Heat Wave
Mention the Midwest housing market in the winter, and you might be met with furrowed brows and doubtful stares. Don’t let them fool you! In conjunction with two years of pandemic pandemonium, real estate has landed among the very tip-top priorities for people searching for a change – and the comfort of a perfect place to call home.
So, what does that mean for prospective sellers this season?
Of course, housing market trends change all the time; however, experts are expecting winter 2022 to mirror the tendencies of recent years: quick turnaround, low inventory, and elevated home costs. In fact, real estate experts predict that home values will increase, making this season a seller’s market yet again.
According to Zillow, “2021 marked the hottest housing market in U.S. history by some measures, including Zillow’s Home Value Index. While we may not see those records broken in 2022, Zillow economists expect incredibly strong price growth and sales volume to continue.”
In other words, things are heating up – and fast. Home prices are increasing, but at a more modest rate. That fact alone benefits both a buyer and a seller greatly.
It’s Not Just the Birds Who Migrate
A new year signifies a new beginning…and with that comes a natural itch for change.
It’s not just the suburbs seeing their fair share of matriculation. People everywhere are looking for a variation of pace, and that absolutely doesn’t preclude the city. In a sea of unpredictability over the last 24 months, one common and universal theme has remained: revaluation. People are appraising their lives differently than before, searching for areas that suit their happiest selves, and making changes that support their families’ most immediate future.
Sometimes, going home means trading one place for another – more fitting – one. Considering this newly adopted perspective, a potential seller should feel hopeful about the migration-minded buyer.
The Right Realtor Will Get It Right
Deciding on a reputable, balanced, and steadfast broker can be a challenge, especially if you’re starting (and selling) from scratch. However, recent times have been an unanticipated crash course in real estate done right, even when everything else feels upside down. Strong and experienced brokers have learned how to manage an influx of clients, more specific searches, a broader portfolio of inventory, and an acute understanding of seller needs and buyer wants. More than that, they are likely starting this year with a sense of ready eagerness and a desire to get a deal done both well and efficiently.
Here are some key points to consider when hiring a broker in the winter:
-A broker should have a clear vision and relevant ideas on how to deal with Covid-19 safety that best suits a seller’s comfort level (i.e. would virtual tours work to show your home?)
-He or she should care about the marketing of their real estate business. If they are willing to spend money on advertising their business, they will probably be willing to concentrate on other small, important details – including the ones that concern the sale of your home.
-They should have great advice about showing your home in its best light. Wintertime might serve as a more challenging backdrop without flowers and endless daylight, but a competitive broker will offer suggestions on the perfect timing to reflect your home’s greatest attributes. (A sunset photoshoot might do the trick!)
-Do you…click? Your potential broker doesn’t need to be your lifelong BFF, but he or she should be someone you don’t mind spending time with. If conversations are easy, questions are answered, and fresh ideas are offered, you’ll feel great about communication. Then, you can be sure your agent appeals to all those hopeful buyers of the home you’re looking to sell.
-2022 might not be the year to hire any broker, but it can be a great year to hire the right one. Call the KlopasStratton Team for your best head start.
I Don’t Know About You, But I’m Feeling ‘22
Alongside a winter funk that seems hard to avoid, January is truly about renewal. It is about newness, and growth, and beginnings. If you’re looking to list this year, consider this question: What is the decision that needs to be made? What deadline makes sense for you and your family? Is it a big decision? A tough one? It might be a bit of both.
Action is the greatest antidote to indecision. Make a plan, create your timeline, and assess your first steps.
Chilly as it is outside, there are silver linings to be found. On your search for those, perhaps you'll find yourself enjoying a January full of all the feelings you've been saving for summer.
Catch us back here bi-weekly as we bring you curated and Chicago-based real estate content (with a life coach’s twist).