One of the great real estate myths on Marco Island is that you can only sell property during our tourist season which is January through March. Sure, the population of our little island triples in those months and sales are strong but the data tells a different story. Selling off-season is a great strategy.
The numbers may surprise you. First, let's compare the number of homes sold in the first half of 2012 with the number in the second half. Bear in mind that the first half includes not only our busiest months of January, February and March but also April, May and June which are the months in which closings of sales made during those busy months often fall. On the contrary, the second half of the year includes the holiday months of November and December when the island is quite devoid of visitors. Let's also not forget that the island is a virtual ghost town in September.
Are you ready for the numbers? The first half of 2012 saw 203 homes sold. In the second half , we sold 187. That's 92% of the total sold in busy half of the year! Lot sales are even more consistent year-round. We sold 95 in the busy half and 91 in the second half. That's 96%. Sales of condos in 2012 were weighted slightly more towards the busy half than lots and houses. We sold 287 condos in the busy half and 238 in the off-season. That's 83% of the busy season sales. Not bad!
Most of you probably assumed that sales trailed off in direct correlation with the number of visitors. The reality is a lot of buyers wait for the tourist season to end before buying on Marco Island. When people are here in the winter, they want to enjoy the island. They want to relax, go to the beach or play golf. They don't want to shop for property. There are just too many distractions in the winter. When the population of Marco returns to normal in May, it's much easier to focus on buying that perfect home or condo. The crowds are gone. The properties they want to see are vacant. They can take their time.
So, as a seller, if you think you missed your chance now that summer is here, you're mistaken. We just had our best April in seven years and the rest of the off-season looks like it will be just as strong.