A lot of black ink flows for Black Friday banners and ads. The black background is covered only by big bold numbers and percentage points, and the offers sound too good to be true. But who keeps the printers busy? Retailers, of course. Real estate brokers and agents are still experimenting with this shopping holiday, but as you will see, real estate has its “black time frames”. However, according to realtor[dot]com, the week of September 22 could be considered the Black Friday of the real estate market – the ideal time to become a homeowner.
Traditionally, Black Friday weekend and Cyber Monday marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. If you are a real estate agent, you may think that means the weekend is a write off as people line up for deals and shop their way through as many stores as possible before returning home to eat turkey sandwiches and doze in front of the television.
While there can be a benefit to working the Friday after Thanksgiving and through the weekend – if someone is asking to see a home that weekend, chances are they are drop dead serious – the real Black Friday for real estate agents may not be on a Friday at all.
When are home buyers more likely to make an offer?
With so much hype and publicity around Black Friday, you may think it’s impossible not to make a sale (or more) on that day. Most real estate agents in their first years may have very high expectations for that day. But the last thing consumers have in mind on that day is real estate. Probably there are thousands of great real estate deals out there, but very few may take advantage of them. There might be a discount in the interest rate or the builders might be willing to finish the bathroom at no extra cost – although both are great deals, the message hardly reaches the right audience or the right generation.
According to Realtor® website, the highest number of listings is usually in April and May. Considering this, it is obvious that sellers who haven’t managed to sell during the summer are itching to sell in autumn, which makes October the ideal month to buy a house at a lower price point. So, what happens in real estate is that when demand is low, prices go down also. Obviously, most home buyers would like to settle down before school starts, so summers are quite busy periods for real estate agents. Another good period to buy is during the month of January. Right after Black Friday and Christmas, people are left with little to no cash, and home sellers need cash like air. Also, the demand for residential real estate is lower in the first month of the year and prices can be easily negotiated in the buyer’s favor.
Now, if Real Estate Black Friday is not on the same Friday we expect it to be, what else should we know? That other macroeconomic factors play a role in home buyers’ behavior.
First of all, is the key interest rate. When interest rates are high, loans are expensive and homebuyers are scarce. This will drive prices down for a while, so if you don’t mind paying more interest over the years, feel free to look for a property that is below the market price.
Secondly, there is inflation. High inflation means that your money can buy less real estate. And because the market is like a mountain rousse, with ups and downs, you can see it fall back again. The interest is usually controlled by the interest rate, by our consumption. For example, right now, the Federal Reserve is tempering our consumption with high interests, and as a result, we may see a slight decrease in real estate prices in the near future.
And in the third place, we have to analyze the migration policy. As fewer immigrants are allowed to enter the country, the demand for housing will stagnate or even decrease. Tourist visas and green cards are harder to obtain, which may lead to a lower number of tourists as well. So real estate investors who were considering a rental property could be on hold for the moment. But as we said, these are macroeconomic factors. Each local market has its particularities.
From Real Estate Black Friday to a Whole Weekend
In case you are wondering what day do real estate agents prefer for listing their new properties, find that Thursdays are the best. Why? Because most people start planning their weekends on that day. If they are looking for a house, then they would have all the weekend to visit open houses or the listings picked by their real estate agent according to their specifications. So, agents do count on Fridays, but their job demands availability during the entire weekend. This doesn’t mean that Real Estate Black Friday is a non-sense. Large developers and real estate investors who are looking for new tenants may advertise a lot during this time.
Make your own Real Estate Black Friday!
Returning to your particular situation, you have to make your final decision based on a thorough market research. Take your time and learn how to do a SWOT analysis. A home purchase is not a process that should be rushed. On the contrary! You want to allow yourself at least six months to find the right house, even if that means to rent in the meantime. After all, you will be spending quite a lot of your life in the new building that will serve as your dwelling place. Your kids will make long-lasting memories in that house, too.
When should you schedule your Real Estate Black Friday? When you feel ready! When you know exactly for how much you have been pre-approved and what is your upper limit. And when your SWOT analysis has more pros than cons. No house is perfect. Be prepared to make some compromises. For example, you can upgrade the kitchen and remodel the bathroom any time after the purchase. Or, if the house is spacious, but the yard is small, you can still make it work because we spend a lot of time indoors.
Nevertheless, your Real Estate Black Friday could fall on a special date. You can forget everything we wrote above and celebrate like a champion. You are the hero of your life! You’ve managed to save enough money for a downpayment and secure a loan! You are grown up and responsible now! Your house will literally be a milestone for you. It’s going to change your life completely. So you may schedule your closing date on your birthday, on your marriage anniversary or on another date which has a special meaning for you. You deserve to be happy to turn your Real Estate Black Friday into Real Estate Bright “your chosen day”.
More Black Friday tips for real estate agents
Don’t waste precious advertising dollars on open house promotions and ads. Instead, focus on your already developed home buyers and provide them with your undivided attention. How can you pique their interest? Go through your list of in the market buyers, and compile a targeted email blast audience and Facebook ad client list. Use services like The Official Real Estate Agent Directory® to quickly expand your reach, and focus on closing deals that are almost in the bag already.
Target new clients as well by spending some time creating home walk through videos, new image collages, and rewriting some home descriptions to focus on the property’s advantages for the coming year, run through the staging on a few newer listings and add some inexpensive but gorgeous New Years’ decorations to enhance the look of the home and give it a lived-in feel.
If you have a text list, think about sending a special text out with new photos. People will be standing in line and become bored as they wait for their turn at the cash register, so they can enjoy browsing the new homes for sale and perhaps you’ll pique their interest. Add that you are taking appointments for home showings all weekend and encourage bookings – warmer climates like south Texas can mean people are eager to get out and house hunt.
Real estate agents should upgrade their own marketing efforts while also taking advantage of the excitement and savings everyone is expecting on Real Estate Black Friday. Make this year the year you start your end of the year drive for final home closings the day after Christmas. It’s only going to be 7 days left until 2020, so encourage home buyers to secure that dream home now! You’ve got nothing to lose and a lot to gain if you keep your phone on after Christmas for those serious home buyers who don’t want to wait another minute.