The Longest Season Ever – Spring Forward


How much is the market influenced by the fact that it stays light longer on weekdays? 

We all know it’s true that people tend to look at property more on weekends, unless it gets dark later on weekdays.  We all know the second and third quarters of each year are stronger than the first and last quarters.  But how much does that have to do with it getting dark earlier and staying light later?

Well, this is a good year to test that, as tonight is the beginning of daylight savings time.  For the first time in, I guess my life, we will turn our clocks forward, one hour, tonight, March 11, 2007.

Compare that to April 6 in 2003, April 4, in 2004, April 3 in 2005 and April 2 in 2006, and we are adding about 36 days to the real estate high season.  Will be interesting to see how the March 2007 stats compare to previous years.  I think they will be stronger due to DST being pushed earlier.

Maybe that will transcend into April.  Maybe sellers who would have listed May 1, will be able to spruce up the home’s exterior earlier this year, with a few hours of daylight after work each night, and get their homes listed a couple of weeks earlier than expected.

I’m just happy that the daffodils are in bloom, I see pink trees everywhere, and starting tomorrow…it will get dark later.  One of Seattle’s main claims to fame, is our long, long spring and summer days.  And this year, we will have even more of it!  Enjoy!

24 thoughts on “The Longest Season Ever – Spring Forward

  1. Question for realtors:builder website lists a lot at 675K while MLS shows it at 650K for the same lot. Does this kind of error happen a lot? If so is the lower price final 😉

  2. It’s amazing how an extra hour of sunlight helps. I am looking forward to shooting some video of the Madison WI area with my videographer on weekdays now as well as weekends. Now if we can just get the snow to go away a month early too.

  3. Changing the clocks?? What’s that?? We don’t do such things in Arizona!!

    Do look forward to the longer days though after this cold winter we had (for us in the desert anyway).

  4. I agree, here in the Mid-Willamette Valley of Oregon, there has been a jump in the activity. Not only from my listings, but I talk to a lot of other agents and am hearing the same thing. More calls on my listings and more buyers looking for property. Not all from this area either.

    The time change did slow me down though – I needed to get two more Americanos [Starbucks preferred] with extra extra creme during the day 🙂

  5. Sandy,

    From an agent’s perspective, mls# 27039331 is a generic advertisement for The Chelan model, which will be sold over and over again on various lots at different prices.

    Often only one will show in the mls under “letter of authorization” for the entire development vs. indivdual offerings under separate “listing agreements”. Generally from the inside, we don’t want to wade through 50 listings of the same “to be built” models. It is a courtesy to membership for builders to condense the number of offerings into a general “letter of authorization” advertisement. Agents then know there is a development of new homes, and agents do not want to see a separate listing for each and every home available in there.

    Here is the exact wording in the “public remarks” section: “Tyler’s Creek a new neighborhood by CamWest! Excellent Education Hill location! The Chelan features 4 bedrooms plus a loft…” To me that suggests an advertisement for “a whole neighborhood” of homes, and the “Chelan” model specifically, and not a specific house on a specific lot, even though a lot size is shown.

    Because the consumer public now sees the “for sale” portion of the mls, and perceives the mls information differently than agents, the industry struggles with these issues. Agents “get it”, but from a public perception it is “false advertising”, and so you hear the mls screaming that they are not an advertising venue, but a system for members that you happen to be able to view. Historically when we entered property in the mls we were “talking to only licensed agents” and not to the public. Odd, but true for many years. Archaic to still operate that way yes, but an industry struggling with that issue nonetheless.

    There will be more and more “fallout” and changes, as the industry struggles to accommodate (while at the same time not wanting to accommodate) the fact that the public wants the agents to recreate the mls as a public venue.

    That being said, you were absolutely correct, and it would appear someone read your comment here on RCG, as that listing # was changed to $674,950 at 2:08 p.m. on the day you wrote your comment. Would be interesting to research the exact time of your comment and see how closely they were watching 🙂

    There was one Chelan Model sold at the presale price of $649,950 in January, though the actual sold (now pending) price may be higher with upgrades added. The listing for each model should be, at best, the minimum price of that model available at any given time.

    There could be 5 Chelan models available at various prices. But clearly you are correct that the price in the mls should not ever be lower, than a buyer could obtain today, on any lot in “the “neighborhood”. There is no excuse for showing a price of $650,000, if in fact an agent cannot find that model at that price on the day the listing shows as $650,000 in the mls. No one, not even an agent, wants to hear “Oh we sold the one at $649,950 as that was a ‘presale price’ but today the cheapest one is $675,000.

    When you get to the community, there should be at least ONE at that price, even if there are 4 others at higher prices, in more valuable locations in the development. All do not need to appear as separate listings in the mls, when it is new construction, but the lowest price of a “now gone” property, should not be shown.

    Makes me think though. Often Townhomes in Ballard will say “1 of 4 towhnomes” even when there is only one left, and that one left is a different price than the listing. hmmm. That’s the beauty of a blog…seeing how the public perceives what we do, makes us stop and think and change.

    Transparency is a two way street these days in Seattle Real Estate, and we are all learning in the process as blogs and blog comments promote a better understanding, better communication with the public, and changes for the better.

    Perhaps it is time for each and every new construction property to appear, even though agents “don’t like that”. Though I cringe at the thought of seeing 119 pictures of units in the same condo conversion project 🙂 Trying to find the other listed property sandwiched in between them, to us, is a horror.

  6. Ardell you have made some good points here. Thank you for the clarifications. Now i have a 2nd question regarding new constructions: some lots are never “released” or listed on the MLS but marked sold. I am guessing in a multiple bid situation they offer these “unlisted” lots to other competing top offers. here is my question: 1) can we get data as to what price the lot/house was finally sold at in these cases? if so from where? 2) is this common practice?

  7. Sandy,

    Anything not sold is for sale, released or not. I don’t think it has anything to do with bidding wars. When I went to the Grand Opening of the Queen Anne High School Condos, many were pre-sold to High School Alumni and people who knew someone. Advance sales. I thought that sucked.

    Sale prices become public record when the sale closes after the home is built. Before that you can get a verbal sometimes, but I have not found that method to be reliable, so wouldn’t base any decisions on that kind of info.

    Common Practice? As I said in my previous article, if I were buying in there I would not consider anything “not sold” as not available. So someone like me would just pick my lot and bring my own sold sticker 🙂 If I wanted a lot that is not available, I’d either convince then to sell it to me “upon release” now, meaning when permit is issued, or I’d stop in so often they would release it just to get rid of me.

    If it is way back in Phase 3, and they are in Phase 1, that would be harder than if the one I wanted were just a couple of properties down. Be aggresive or wait. Get the right lot. Walk the development when picking a lot. Stand on it. Don’t rely on the artist drawing that shows 15 trees where only 2 will really be. Bring a step ladder and sit up there on your lot. Don’t get stuck looking at pictures inside the sales office.

    From personal experience, I was one of those SOLD and not released properties once. They screwed up my house on Lot 9 and they gave me the unreleased lot on the Lake to keep me from freaking out. Lots of reasons someone will be able to get an unreleased lot.

    They won’t likely tell you the price, because by the time those lots are released, the price will go up. But you can anticipate the extra value and offer it now. You just can’t get it for the same price as the lot that is released, if the one you want is a much better lot. That would be unrealistic. You have to bargain for it. What if they told you the one near it sold for twice as much, to get you to offer a huge price for an unreleased lot? Would you believe them? I wouldn’t. Make your own offer of what you think the price differential should be.

Leave a Reply