Approximately 21% of housing sales occur from January through March, while 35% of sales (highest quarter) occur between May and July… But is there really a “best time” to sell?
Don’t let the numbers fool you. Spring is traditionally known as the “selling season”, but do the statistics uphold its renowned reputation as the best time to sell your home? Let’s consider the facts. Yes, sales tend to peak in April and May, staying strong throughout the summer months—spring is an ideal time for families to move. People are recovering from holiday season with a hefty tax refund that can be applied toward a down payment, and the weather is warm and the flowers are in bloom, making homes more aesthetically pleasing to potential buyers.
But according to analysts, homes listed in the springtime are known to sell the fastest, which should not to be confused with selling the most. During this time, properties listed are known to sit on the market for 15% less than the median. (Winter months fall shortly behind at 6% below the median, as homes listed during the summertime and fall months sell the slowest at 12 and 16 percent).
No one can fully determine the market’s path, so waiting for that “best time” can actually hinder your chances at selling and walking away from a listing profitable. You are taking a financial risk by waiting around for Mr. Right-Time-to-Sell, because in reality, he may never come. There are other factors to consider that contribute to when it’s a good time to put your home on the market—some of which may put the spring-selling-season myth to rest.
Climate: Location, location, location. When selling your home, climate comes into play. Properties in temperate locations, such as Florida and California, provide a yearlong house-hunting season, which actually prolongs the prime real estate window of opportunity. Warmer region real estate can thrive during the harsh weather months that normally would affect the Northeast region with conditions such as snow, sleet, and ice.
Holidays: According to trends, August creates a lull in sales, being at the height of family vacation time with the start of school quickly approaching. Even after that, sales continue to slip in the fall due to impending holiday fever—most of which do not resume until after the all the halls have been decked. No need to fret or crawl up into seller hibernation mode just yet. Winter buyers tend to be teeming of potential; they generally seek to close a deal before the new year rolls around, in order to maximize their tax benefits and claim the mortgage deduction on their tax return.
Competition: Apart from the seasonal factor, your surrounding competition can make an impact on selling your home. Various foreclosed properties for sale in your neighborhood can depreciate the value of your home, and your asking value will be compared to that of what the bank is asking, which at times could be considerably less than what you expect. Lower inventory, however, (or shortage of for-sale property in your area) coupled with strong buyer demand generally results in stronger prices for the seller. If prices in your area are on the rise, it can create an influx of buyers who want to close a deal quickly before the prices rise even higher. Anticipation of increased interest rates can increase buyer urgency, which in turn will help to sell your home quickly.
Luckily, many economists project that the new year will bring an end to the decline in housing prices. According to a consensus of analysts on Economy.com, prices should crawl up 2% in 2013, and 3% in 2014, considering that the rate of employment has shown a slight improvement. Based on your personal and professional experience, when do you feel is the right time to list a property?
Related Posts and Trainings
Best Practices in Real Estate: Contracts, Forms and Agreements
How to Stage a House
Selling Houses: What Property Features Should You Mention in Ads?
How to Set Up Showings for Rental Properties
How to Sell Investment Properties Faster by Offering Rent to Buy
Get your New York Real Estate Salesperson license