Current market conditions suggest that real estate’s traditional “off season” – the months of November, December and January – could actually represent the best opportunity during the next 12 to 18 months to make a deal. For buyers and sellers who are forging ahead in the next 60 to 90 days, here are some keys to success in today’s market.

Price Correctly – The discussion on selling your home starts and ends with price. Remember, the right asking price for your home is not determined by what you paid or the balance on your mortgage. Rather, it has everything to do with the market right here, right now. Price according to the market and you have a good shot at selling.

Be Flexible – Consummating a deal today requires flexibility beyond negotiating price. Sellers might be asked to close quickly, “hold paper” (provide seller financing) or satisfy some other unorthodox request. Don’t turn your back on an offer just because it requires extra effort. If that effort allows you to sell, it can be well worth it.

Market Like It’s Hot – In the winter months, a lot of brokerage firms cut back on advertising and marketing. Bad for them. Good for you. The less marketing they do, the more @properties’ print, online and grassroots marketing stands out…giving your home even more exposure relative to the competition.

Be Strong – Most sellers today are willing to give up a little on price in exchange for the assurance of dealing with a financially sound buyer. Take the necessary steps to demonstrate your viability as a purchaser. The more solid the ground beneath your feet, the more leverage you will have in the negotiation.

Know When To Stop Looking – It’s not uncommon for buyers today to view three times as many listings as buyers a few years ago. While this is certainly a function of available inventory, it’s also an indication of the paralysis by analysis that is dogging the market today. If you’re serious about buying in the next 60 to 90 days, focus your search on a specific price, location and features, and when you find the right home, put your energy into negotiating the best deal – not looking for alternatives.

Take a Long Term View – A great price doesn’t always equal a great deal. The next home you buy has to be one you can live in, enjoy and re-sell when you’re ready. So look ahead five or ten years down the road and ask yourself if you’ll be happy living there. If the answer is “Yes”, you’re home.

If you’re ready to buy or sell this winter, or if you’re simply looking for answers or advice, feel free to contact me anytime. And remember, I always appreciate your referrals.