It’s (almost) time to put away the ice scrapers and banish that bulky, battered winter coat to the rear of your closet. Spring is here—and it’s not just the mercury that’s heating up. This is the unofficial kickoff to the home-buying season, when buyers come out of hibernation and start hitting the open houses in earnest. And this year’s spring market is extra significant, since it will tell us whether the recent slowdown in home sales and price appreciation is just a fluke—or the new normal.  Stay tuned....