Last week my sister invited me to go shopping with her. As generous as it was for her to extend this invitation to me, I had to remind her that I would rather wait in line at the DMV while eating kale chips than go shopping.

It’s literally physically painful for me to shop. I’m not sure what it is about the activity that is so abhorrent and distasteful that it causes actual bodily discomfort, but it does.

Perhaps it is my severe lack of fashion consciousness. Don’t get me wrong, I can recognize a serious fashion faux pas when I see one (such as the guy at the courthouse sporting a burgundy dickie under a sweater vest), but shopping, for me, is nothing but stressful and time-consuming.

However, when she added that it was for my 5-year-old nephew’s new school clothes, I relented. Although I have a strong aversion to shopping, I have an even stronger penchant to hang out with my nephew. He is a pretty cool little dude.

Something about my sweet little sister that she has nurtured almost her entire adult life is that she’s a sucker for a bargain. If it’s a good deal, she needs it. For example: If the promotion is buy-two, get-one-free, even if she only needs one, she will get all three. She will find a way to use all three of those items as well. You get the idea. She even took a coupon class to maximize her savings on everyday items. She is a pro.

Needless to say, we were heading for a sale.

One Lego Batman shirt, two shark T-shirts, an iguana pocket-tee, a 12-pack of socks, two pairs of jeans, six pair of Minion underwear, and a Paw Patrol backpack with matching thermos and lunch box later, we called it a day.

She had spent less than $100. I would have spent at least $300 on the exact same thing just because I would have most likely waited until the day before school started and then frantically logged onto Amazon, where nothing this late in the game would be on sale. I would have not only paid full price, but also paid double for shipping to get it here by the next day … without the use of single coupon.

That is why I really don’t have any business shopping. I should leave it to the pro.

Regardless of the amount spent, the clothes would have been valued at the same price. In this case, the timing is everything.

Real estate works the same way. When looking to purchase a home, the best deals can be found by deliberate planning, consistent looking, but most importantly, precise timing.

The same can be said for selling a home. Unfortunately, the timing of both buying and selling does not consistently line up with one another.

For example, right now is a really good time to find a home to purchase without the competition experienced in the last several months. Many families that are oriented around school-age children have most likely settled into a new home by now. They were the ones looking for homes in spring and early summer, with the goal to be settled in before the school year starts.

On the other hand, as a seller, you may experience a little less traffic right now. Don’t panic. Your Realtor is still working hard for you. In fact, they are probably working twice as hard right now to find buyers. This is normal. It will pick up again once school gets underway.

What are the options, though, for people who need to both sell and buy during this temporary and short-windowed lull?

The best way to think about it — unless you can sell in the early summer and live in the in-laws’ basement for a few months (and is any amount of money really worth that?) — is that it is really sixes in the same market, six in one and half a dozen in the other, same difference, potato patahto, six and two threes. You get it.

You give a better deal on your sell, but you also get a better deal on your buy.

Of course, there are a lot of other factors that play into this, but I’m short on space and I needed to make my shopping analogy. A licensed Realtor, however, is the professional needed to work all this out to maximize your financial gain.

For now, however, suffice it to say, if you are only buying and not selling right now, get to it! You have approximately 3-5 weeks to take advantage of this respite.

Jen Kirchhoefer is an associate broker and Realtor with Ascent Real Estate. She can be contacted at 801-645-2134 or

See what people are talking about at The Community Table!