Groundhog Day is this week… are spring sales around the corner?

Whether or not the Punxsutawney groundhog sees his shadow on February 2nd, more buyers may be coming out of hibernation. Nationwide, homes sold 4 percent faster in January than they did last January (2016), according to’s Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke. Pent-up demand based on limited inventory has persisted in Virginia even through the winter off-season, keeping prices above where they were a year ago and moving properties from ‘listed’ to ‘sold’ at a quicker pace. Rates are motivating buyers, too. With the prospect that mortgage rates are going up in 2017, more home shoppers are feeling the sense of urgency to complete a purchase.

Are you ready for spring sales? Even if we have six more weeks (or more!) of winter, there’s a lot to talk to buyers and sellers about now. Listing in the cold months can have its advantages. Buyers shopping in the off-season are generally more serious and may be ready to close quickly at the ask price. According to Remodeling Magazine’s analysis of over 7 million sales, the winter season ranks second only to spring in how likely a home is to go for above listing price (17.5 percent). Since buyers are already showing interest in Virginia’s 2017 market, it’s not too early to start talking about what to expect from spring inventory and how to get prepared for a home search and purchase.


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