22 Oct Ep. 57 Winter Market

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In this episode, Realtor Adam Kruse and Realtor Shannon St. Pierre talk about the traits and myths of the winter market. Is it possible to get a better deal in the winter? Is there less competition in the winter?

Email questions to PODCAST@HermannLondon.com 

WHAT’S INSIDE?

0:40 Adam introduces Realtor Shannon St. Pierre

0:52 Does the housing market slow down during the winter?

1:51 Should a homeowner be afraid to sell during the winter? Are there more competitors during the winter?

2:20 What are the winter market home selling and buying myths?

2:40 Are winter homebuyers more motivated to buy a house?

3:46 Do homebuyers get a better deal in the winter?

4:27 Are home prices higher during the spring?

4:45 Adam has been working with some first-time homebuyers in the $150,000 price range and they’ve made 13 offers

5:48 How are buyers offering up cash on their first homes? What is proof of funds?

10:34 Should a real estate investor show the seller their cash-flow numbers in order to get a better deal?

11:55 Are the lenders anticipating that the interest rates will stay low?

12:43 How is  curb appeal different in the winter?

14:15 Adam bought his current house on December 23rd and got a great deal

15:01 Should you still decorate for the holidays when selling your house?

16:20 What should homeowners do to prepare for the winter?

18:14 Do contractors charge less during the winter?

19:44 Contact your realtor and go over what home projects you have planned to figure out which ones will actually aid in a quick sale

TRANSCRIPTION

Welcome welcome everybody to the St. Louis realtor podcast live from the rooftop of the Hermannn London Real Estate Group I’m your host Adam Kruse broker owner for Hermann London and my fabulous co-host is here Shannon St. Pierre realtor extraordinaire hello hello Shannon thank you for being here today yeah always well we’ve got a lot going on and you know everyone thinks that the market kind of slows down this time of year and it doesn’t seem to for us right so we’re talking about the winter market yes today we want to talk about what we’re calling the winter market which I just like to say you know a lot of people say oh I want to wait to list my home until the spring and I think a lot of buyers are kind of waiting until the spring – but what we’ve always found is that we have what we call good months you know I’ve always said December’s been some of our best months in the past mm-hmm and by that we mean like amount and number of closings right so in December does I think shockingly tends to be a really great month a lot of closings in December and so why is that you know why doesn’t everyone just buy houses in the spring when it’s beautiful out and yeah it has the best curb appeal it has the best yeah everything’s green leaves on the tree flowers blooming what I found and when I’m talking to sellers and if the timeline works for you to sell in the winter then I think you should not be afraid to sell in the winter you know my perspective is this that there’s less buyers probably but there’s also less competitors meaning you know your neighbors that are for sale mm-hmm and there will be probably that means there’ll be less buyers coming through your house but they’re also more serious buyers yes so I do think that the winner market has a lot of myths and that you know people tend to go into hibernation think oh I guess I’ll start looking again next year after the holidays or they’ll put the house on the market next year but those are not they’re not they don’t have a serious need to move you know if I’m trudging through the snow with somebody to go and show homes there they want to move they want to buy a house they’re not messing around right right they probably have to move in some cases and I think that the city is different than say some of the county you know like West County or Webster or Kirkwood you know where it does tend to have a buying season because of the schools however that’s not always the case obviously number one number two the city doesn’t tend to have a timeline at all so it’s always pretty active within the city yeah and we have I had a big listing in St. Charles County that we just got under contract you know we’ve kind of been on the market for a while through through the summer you know through the summer we’re going well it’s probably not people come because it’s fourth of July and like oh the people are probably still on vacation or whatever you know but now the people who are still out there man they they’re ready to go yes and the sellers that are out there are really ready to sell still if we have the house on the market in the winter and especially if it’s been on a little while these people want to sell so do you think you get a better deal in the winter this is this is what we’re gonna debate yes I’ve heard people say things like oh I want to get my winter deal and so like some investors will buy something for you know buy something around now that will give them sort of a project to work on over the winter oh right come spring they can be ready to sell it yes I do think that if the sellers still on the market now it well let me just say it all depends right if they’ve been on the market through the summer they are probably like I just want to sell this damn thing well they think that that’s anything it doesn’t that’s not a seasonal thing that’s a my house has been on the market for a while for a while yes yes yeah I I think that when I’ve looked at the statistics six in general the prices are a little bit higher in the spring because I believe that’s where like the buyers come in and when there’s more buyers there’s more competition that’s when we get the whole multiple offers thing and people are competing I’ve been working with some first-time homebuyers lately and the sort of 150 price range that’s an impossible it’s impossible and I guess we’re not calling it the winter yet we finally got the main one under contract where are they looking can I ask she was looking sort of all over South City Affton you know anywhere she could find in Webster Kirkwood whatever okay you know thirteen offers we made so she was impressed with the buyer yes she hung in there for 30 actually would fall in love with the house we make an offer and someone would offer in a lot of cases you know they were asking let’s just let some numbers let’s say they’re asking 150 we’d offer 160 right and like this is it maybe this is the best offer they’re gonna get when they call back we got a higher offer and it was all cash which is insane and so in that kind of price range I think there’s still a lot of buyers out there I don’t know where they’re getting all this cash from because we weren’t looking at investment properties we were looking at you know we’ve talked about this before because we’ve come against this alive so in our sales meetings we’ve had agents say I don’t understand why people can be offering up cash for these houses these are first-time homebuyer homes so what they’re doing is they’re getting pre-approved for these loans I mean and I mean going through the whole underwriting process so pre-qualified and they’re marking cash but if they are getting a loan well you’re it’s possible you’re saying they’re marking it not contingent on financing yes instead of contingent on financing it’s possible because every listing agent seems to handle things differently right so if I’m the listing agent you submit an offer to me not contingent on financing I’m probably going to want to see a copy of what I call proof of funds aka show me that you have the cash right and it does say not contingent on financing and then it says like this does not take away the buyers opportunity to get for whatever correct but and I think I’m guessing maybe I’m wrong that when the listing agent calls me and says sorry you didn’t get it you know we got a higher offer for cash I’m hoping that they did their due diligence and they’re actually getting a surprise option they don’t though yeah I’m sure that you’re right I’m surprised how often they don’t ask for that information for me when I’ve put in offers and forget to send the proof of funds or the pre-approval letter and they never asked for it yeah that’s right I always do in competitive situations and then sometimes I’ll even call the lender yeah I got one the other day where I actually called the lender because the and I the the pre-approval letter or whatever you it wasn’t even a pre-approval letter but it said on there basically like yeah we talked to this guy but we didn’t really you know he gave us some numbers we haven’t verified anything we haven’t seen these statements we haven’t seen anything at all I’m like this is just a junk pre-approval it’s not even a pre-approval and I’ve never heard of this company first of all which the lender the lender which shouldn’t matter that much but I called and I just wanted to find out exactly what they had verified and turns out his letter was just boilerplate but they had verified you know they had gotten copies of check stubs and stuff like that book we’re debating whether you get better deals in the winter or not mm-hmm and what’s your argument that you don’t I don’t think that you do necessarily and even let last winter had several buyers in December into January and they were still multiple offers for the properties so and I’m not in stating any difference this year so I don’t know that you get better deals I just think that there’s less competition better like you said to your point also less inventory on the market well it’s it’s hard to say right because we could probably do this podcast five years ago or five years from now and probably have different perspectives we’ve just been in this weird market for what’s been a few years now where the whole damn thing is just hot all the time yeah it seems like right and so I don’t know I think that it just it depends on the market and the current market that we’re in I guess I could agree with you that you’re not gonna get a better deal necessarily because it’s the winter to but do you see do you think that people get better deals I think that you can get a better deal but you have to really look you know I’m always looking to buy more investment properties and it’s been hard to find what I would consider to be a good deal you know it’s I mean and bye to me when I’m saying a good deal it’s been hard to find properties that I think will actually cash flow when I’m buying a rental property okay but so I’m I am digging around and I’m finding some things that are either sitting for a while or just don’t seem that interesting to people but if a house is sitting for a while there’s there’s one building we’ve been looking at it’s in St. Charles they’re asking 160 we did our math and we’re like yes I think we would pay ninety and so that’s a big difference it’s a really big difference and I’m like we got to make our own good deal and I’m gonna try to get this building for 90 well is there another way another creative financing type well when it’s that seller financing maybe even it’s I don’t know when it’s that far off in that case it’s not really a financing thing it’s like it needs a lot of work what so what it would rent for we think it would rent for like 950 in that case it’s kind of a weird deal it has like a separate building on it that my brother’s gonna use for a staging business whatever but in that case it’s gonna rent for 950 we need to put like $40,000 in rehab into it and so to make the numbers work we’re gonna put it down a bigger down payment than we normally would on a deal like this but still we can’t pay 160 for it it’s got a cash flow at some point have you talked to the listing agent a little bit and have you shown the numbers so I’ve no we haven’t we don’t I haven’t shown the numbers and I don’t normally like to show the numbers well I mean that’s where the I think it’s a good approach to show what costs what I mean yeah I mean you as an investor have to be you know you have to make a profit that’s how it goes they’re a property especially a rental property that’s the cash flow sometimes I give them numbers you know if I’m gonna buy like a property for cash from a home owner or something like that I like to give the numbers but in some in some cases I don’t because I don’t want to give them something to argue with me about I guess if I’m standing in front of you we’re gonna make a deal right now I’d probably go through my numbers with you yeah what the rehab car the M the costs are to fix it up you were standing in this house you agree it needs a new carpet right yeah I do okay so you agree with this carpet line item I have right but when I’m gonna like make this sort of estimate which is all I’ve made now is its estimate mm-hmm send it over to the agent I figure I feel like I’m just giving them ammo to argue against you know plumbing 5,000 I’ve got a guy who will do it for 3,000 like okay awesome you know that’s where are we now do you want me to pay 2,000 more for the property is that what you’re saying right yeah and I think an interesting that but at the same time you know if they’re not responding to your 90 but it just gives just cause for why you’re offering 90 one good thing is that our lenders currently are telling us that rates are still low they’re really low and you know I guess they’re gonna stay low for a while and I think that’s the anticipation so that’s really good so which means you can buy more house yeah you could buy more house I mean everyone prefers a lower interest rate of course right and well you can afford more house and you have more qualified buyers if you’re selling your house yeah so I mean I think that going into the winter market people always kind of think how I missed I didn’t quite get my house on the market this summer or fall but I really think that it’s a really good opportunity if you’re still thinking about selling your house just still head down that road so what should we do differently because we don’t want to we me being the seller because it’s not so much I guess it’s still about curb appeal but we have stuff to have a different kind of curb appeal we’re not gonna have flowers right now no no no but those are the things that you can do you can certainly paint the front door make sure that the leaves are all breaks up you can clean the concrete powerwash so that it does have the best yeah so it does have the best most welcoming look they can possibly have in the dead of winter uh-huh yeah clean your windows yes yes the flowers are great but that’s not the thing that really makes it I think if the doors dirty the front door the front porch everything’s all dirty and just aged you can certainly create a new shiny appeal people talk about spring cleaning but what I found is that this is one of the most enjoyable times of the year to be working on house projects at least for me it’s kind of a little bit crisp in the air I’m outside I’m I was outside this weekend like digging up flowerbeds and you know just cleaning and kind of preparing the house for the winter I I really enjoy this time of year for that well I think it is a really good time to kind of prepare the house for the winter right so clean it up get it in shape so that it’s less vulnerable throughout the for the winter months and comes out a little better on the end in spring the house we live in now now that we’re thinking about it I bought December 23rd two years ago and I got a hell of a deal on it so maybe you can’t get a better deal and I don’t know there’s every situation is that we do a contract to us or when you closed that’s when we closed interesting yeah we closed under summer 23rd and then we hosted a Christmas party two days later it was that might have been a little crazy but it was good a little wine always helps every situation did you just have blowup furniture we came in tears you know you did yeah I just said bring your camping chairs we got a moving truck and moved stuff into the house yeah that’s way too much for ya too quick of a turnaround yeah so some of the questions that come up in the winter if you’re gonna be listening your home is can you still decorate for the holidays whatever religion you are or what it’s you know how I don’t know I guess Halloween’s not really religious but do you still decorate for the holidays what do you think about that I think so I think that most people find how they decorations vary so pretty and you know if they’re scraggly or you know like on the last leg maybe you shouldn’t put them up necessarily but or maybe you just don’t go all out so if you’re one of those people who loves to decorate every little inch of your house with the holiday decorations it even if I would say go for the decorations but the same still applies no matter when you put your house on the market you can’t have the clutter so it can’t be cluttered and the holiday decorations tend to be added to whatever you already have in place so it’s gonna be somewhat of a compromise on that one we think it’s okay to do some decoration but probably tailor it down from what you may be generally would do and yes some people really have a lot of you know Christmas stuff and whatever and they should probably cut that down a little bit yes but yes you can certainly decorate and it can be really pretty and kind of make the home go up a notch or two but you still have to address the clutter issue so what are some things that people should do to prepare their house for the winter I made my little post I make every year on Facebook the other day where I’m reminding people to disconnect their hoses you know there’s a lot now I have a frost-free and husband that’s good we still have to disconnect your hose yes you just don’t have to turn the water off inside necessarily right okay mm-hmm and so do you are you the kind of person who puts like a tarp over their a/c unit for the winter no I haven’t that sunny you asked because I was just looking at on Amazon of course so trying to purchase one because trying to keep it cleaner I think have you heard one way or the other I feel like I’ve heard you know let it air out no reason to trap the moisture but then I feel like it does kind of protect it from all the debris yeah I think you could put I don’t know why what you’re buying on Amazon but I would just buy like a tarp you know another in AC cover legitimate cover so if you buy a tarp how do you hold it that you just rope or some bungee cords yeah debris out of the top so all like the pine needles and stuff that fall yeah but they’re not you know the sides are the kind of the bottom of the sides can still get some air it’s ventilation yeah I thought I was like avoiding rust and stuff too you know so there’s just not like snow sitting on it forever yes I feel like my method is not perfect because it does blow off if I don’t tie it down enough or whatever we would encourage people to I guess put it you know it’s time to put away all your patio furniture should we clean out our gutters now they’d probably be a good time to clean out the gutters clamp the yard just kind of prepare the house for winter do you have your screens do you take the inner screen I don’t I’ve never taken out my screens I think that’s weird okay let me have to put it back up so one of the other things about you know the winter time and the winter market is that you can get cheaper contracting work yeah so I think this is the low for most contractors I I’m already starting to get texts like hey do you have any any projects coming up like anything going on and so where everybody especially if you’re thinking about selling your house in the spring now’s the time to address those things that you’re going to want to fix just because when it comes spring it’s excruciating to try and get somebody in there and so what we used to have a radio commercial for this but what we really are encouraging people to do is simply have us over literally yeah call me or call Shannon and say come on over and you know no charge whatever we’ll come over and we’ll talk through the projects that you’re planning on doing well yeah create an action plan so you can kind of work on it throughout the winter and address whatever it’s going to need addressed and instead of having pure chaos for like a month or several weeks of trying to get people in your house to fix things you can kind of do a project by project Jana just tell me your phone number real quick three one four five eight three zero zero seven zero okay because what like sometimes people have these ideas of what they need to do to prepare their house to sell and you would probably go oh don’t do that and we’ve talked about that right we’ve definitely talked about it a lot and so the idea just call us have us over easy so I can say it and talk to you the projects that you’re planning on doing and maybe you don’t need to do them or maybe there’s other things that you do need to do that you’re not thinking about that’s absolutely true i I can certainly say that every time I walked into a seller home who you know pre-planning they have one idea and it usually goes a whole other way yeah and they might be planning on spending a bunch of money on something they’re wrong I don’t do that absolutely yeah and so we can it does save a I think money to talk to a realtor before hand to just get the plan in place okay I’m have an idea of where you’re going well that’s all I have for you today we just kind of wanted to give this little winter market update and thank you for listening please reach out if you have any questions or topics you’d like us to cover email Podcast@HermannLondon.com we’d love to hear from you of course follow us and share it on social media thanks for listening and take care.