It’s common sense that sellers should be more anxious to sell their house in the fall than in the middle of the busy summer season. Negotiating on a vacation home during the spring or summer eliminates a seller’s summer rental income. They also will miss out on using the property during those great summer beach days. With winter around the corner it makes sense that sellers would not be interested in paying the bills for a house they are not using very much. Trying to quantify what would seem to be a truism is not as easy as it might seem. Probably the most telling indicator that is easily available to Realtors is the list price to sales price ratio.
List Price to Sales Price Ratio
If vacation home sellers are much more negotiable in the fall then you should be able to purchase that home for a lower percentage of the asking price. It also makes sense that a vacation home should sell for closer to the asking price in the spring. Prospects for rental income and good weather are much better then. Fortunately the Outer Banks Association of Realtor’s MLS system holds years of data on sales here. That information is easily sorted to obtain the list price to sales price ratio from the vacation rental areas. To simplify the study, sales information was gathered from just the most common vacation home areas. Those areas were between Oregon Inlet and the four wheel drive area north of Corolla between 2006 and 2012.
It comes as no surprise that over those years the quarter with the highest average list to sales price ratio was the second quarter of April, May and June. During that quarter the average list price to sales price was 92.6%. It also makes sense that the lowest average list to sales price ratio was the last quarter. However, it is interesting that it came in at 92.17%. That’s only a drop of .43%! Negotiating on a vacation home valued at $300,000 in the fall only saved buyers an average of $1,300 compared to a spring purchase.
There are other good reasons to purchase in the fall. Homes that need work should be purchased this time of year. Also, the fall and winter months can still be great times to use the property. Often you can have the beach to yourself and restaurants are not crowded. There are still many great values for sale on the beach today. Your Realtor can help you find the best property for you situation at a reasonable price.