Myrtle Beach Real Estate in the Fall and Winter

Greg Harrelson - Myrtle Beach Realtor

Here we are in October and I am already getting a ton of questions asking me what I expect from the real estate market in Myrtle Beach for the next 3-6 months. It is common for me to field a lot of calls and emails about the fall and winter months from property owners who are wanting to get their property sold. It is amazing how so many people still believe that Myrtle Beach is that small resort town where nothing sells over the winter. The truth is that our market is active all year round. The type of buyer may be different yet buyers still exist. The best thing of all is that while buyers still exist, the number of listings on the market tend to decrease, giving the sellers a better opportunity to sell.

The question everyone is asking - "Is the fall and winter still a good time sell?"

Instead of saying yes and moving on, I intend to inform you of what really takes place and let you formulate your own opinion.

The Truths about our fall and winter real estate market...


1. Many sellers will remove their listings from the MLS because they feel that the buyers are gone and nothing sells during this time of year. Because of this mindset, the listings supply tends to decrease.

I just looked at an MLS statistic to support my thoughts.

June 2010 Closed Sales: 300
October 2010 Closed Sales: 245
Closed Sales decreased by 18%

June 2010 New Listings: 673
October 2010 New Listings: 519
New Listings decreased by 22.8%

As you can see, the supply decreased more than sales decreased. This is a positive for those looking to sell.

2. The number of buyers in the market will decrease slightly, yet the financial qualifications of the buyer tends to get much better. Let me explain; there are a lot of first time buyers and investors that come to the market in the summer because their kids are out of school. These buyers typically require financing, which we know has been difficult in the last few years. In addition, the "debt to income ratios" tend to be more out of balance during the summer months. In the fall and winter, the qualifications of these buyers are much better. A lot of these buyers have cash and very little debt. They tend to be more experienced in real estate and don't waste their time looking if they are not planning to buy. I've always said, "People look in the summer and they buy in the winter." One conclusion that I have made is that there is a quantity of buyers in the summer yet you really need to be on the market while the quality buyers are here.

Quantity versus Quality


3. People looking to purchase real estate in Myrtle Beach during the fall and winter are looking for what they want, not what they can steal. Of course, people will not overpay for real estate in the fall and winter, but the financial returns are not on the top of their selection criteria. These buyers are looking for a true second home, vacation condo or relocation opportunity for a primary residence. These buyers are purchasing with more emotion and not as much logic. When people buy with their emotions, they tend to be more reasonable in their negotiations. The sharks are everywhere in the summer yet not as much in the winter because they are relying on rental income which isn't that great during the off season.

4. The holidays produce the highest quality buyers. Think about it, who really looks at property during the holidays? The answer, ONLY serious buyers. The weeks wrapping around a holiday will produce very few showings, yet when someone calls to see your property then you will want to accommodate them. "Lookers" do not look during the holidays. It is common to track an increase in the number of offers per showings during the fall and winter months.

There are a few more interesting facts about the fall and winter months in real estate, yet I don't want this newsletter to take you all day to read. For those that are curious about what to expect in the next 3-6 months, I hope you find this helpful. I will continue to work the entire year to take advantage of the next few months. I anticipate a very active real estate market for the rest of the year and I will be here to make sure my clients take advantage of it. As you may have guessed, I feel that anyone looking to sell should take advantage of the next 6 months. I see the market being very competitive next spring when everyone rushes to get their properties on the market, creating a huge supply issue once again.

Remember to email or call us anytime time you need something. We get questions asking me for names of mortgage professionals, attorneys, appraisers, insurance agents and more. We are committed to being your resource for real estate information, and look forward to conversing with you.