Timing is important, but so is adapting.
There is an overabundance of helpful and not-so-helpful articles out there from a wide variety of experts and non-experts concerning the art of “timing” the real estate market. If you were to subscribe to all of them with abandon, however, you’d reach the conclusion that every season is optimal for real estate for one reason or another.
Well, what is to say this is not actually the case? Perhaps “optimal” may not be the right word, because it suggests that only certain times of the year are profitable while others are relative dead zones. The reality is that all quarters or seasons will be ideal for select groups or for certain reasons.
Each of the pieces that pit one season against all the others is likely trying to be optimistic, a word that shares its root with the word “optimal.” These articles aim to show agents, brokers, and clients that any season can be taken advantage of with the right skill set and frame of mind.
In the end, it is not a question of which is the best option, but of making the best of the options given. And as a real estate agent, your job is not just to help your clients determine the correct timing for their real estate decisions, but to assure them, no matter what timing they choose, that they will be in good hands by doing business with you.
How can you accomplish this?
Keep an open mind
It is healthy to have opinions and to express them when you see fit, especially if doing so would benefit a client or make sense in a negotiation. You can use your opinions, and the research to support them (as it is abundant), to steer your client in the right direction or to apply pressure in the heat of a deal.
However, it is also important that you keep an open mind when it comes to your own preconceived notions and those that your clients or colleagues might carry. You may have always believed that the end of the year is a dangerous or ill-advised time to make a real estate investment or attempt to sell a home. However, there is plenty of evidence to the contrary, and it depends a lot on the particular situation as well as on what you believe you can make happen.
Think about what your own beliefs are about the cycles of the housing market and, instead of falling victim to confirmation bias, actively seek to unseat your own expectations. If you turn out to be right, you have a fortified position in the future. But being wrong and learning something new is equally valuable.
Keep a catalogue of examples – and counterexamples
Know that each individual you meet will come into an interaction with their own biases. You should be aware of times when certain common biases were founded, and times when they were disproved. The bottom line is, following from the necessity of keeping an open mind, that nothing is set in stone.
You can use history to your advantage no matter what the scenario. Point to times when instead of the season being to blame, untrustworthy professionals were more likely the cause of misfortune. And keep your own success stories in your back pocket season after season, so that no matter when a client chooses to come to you, it’s always good timing.