I was recently talking to some friends who run a business in the ski industry about how the below average snowfall this Winter has impacted their business and I suddenly had an epiphany; All businesses have seasonal challenges to overcome.

When studying historic real estate market trends here in Western Colorado, the common pattern we see in the real estate market is that activity tends to heat up in the Spring and Summer and cool down as we head into Winter. So, what does this mean for a potential buyer or seller?

For buyers, there are several factors to consider when shopping for a home and seasonality plays a role in this believe it or not! As a buyer it’s easy to get tunnel vision on the house you want, the neighborhood you want or just finding the best deal out there. I challenge my clients to take off the blinders and ask yourself questions like this; I wonder if anyone else is considering this home? Will more homes like this one become available in the next 3-6 months? Will the price change once we get to warmer weather?

When you’re in the process of looking for and buying a home it’s important to be aware of external factors that play a part in pricing and our current market absorption rate, this includes our season. I recognize that sometimes issues such as timing are outside of your control and you must make a speedy decision on which home to purchase.  However, in many cases this is a decision that you have been working towards and when time is on your side, I would strongly encourage you to work with an experienced professional that can help you leverage this seasonality effect of pricing.

Historically our region has seen more properties available for sale in the Spring and Summer months than any other time of year.  Although it seems like an oxymoron, prices tend to go up in these months too. While it is true that you will have more options available to choose from, you are also most likely to pay top dollar for your property. When shopping in the Winter months, you may have less inventory but you also have less competition with other buyers and generally, deal with more motivated sellers.

As a seller, seasonality also plays a key component to successfully selling your home and it all begins with marketing your property. Most properties are more aesthetically appealing in the Spring/Summer months and therefore get more views online when advertised. The prospect of moving in the Winter also tends to keep many sellers to wait until Spring to list their property. Just know that if you begin marketing your property for sale during Winter, that there tend to be less competition and the buyers that are shopping, tend to be more serious. Above all else, it is important to price your home competitively in our market in order to get the highest offer in the shortest amount of time and successfully close the transaction. For that there is no comparison to having an experienced professional advocating for you.

While there may not be a perfect time to buy or sell, if you’re observant to our season you may just find yourself with a competitive advantage in the Roaring Fork real estate marketplace.

Shawn Manwaring is a Broker Associate with Roaring Fork Sotheby’s International Realty in Glenwood Springs.  Shawn services Western Garfield County and the lower Roaring Fork Valley. He can be reached at 970-389-6069, Shawn.Manwaring@SIR.com or www.ManwaringProperties.com