It’s a commonly held adage that the best time of the year to sell your home is in the spring, as parents with kids will be shopping then to move over the summer and not disrupt their children’s school year. It seems logical, and it’s a large part of why you see so many homes hit the market in March and April every year.
But here’s the problem: everyone else thinks it’s a good idea. That means your home potentially has a lot more competition to grab the attention of your future buyer than you would at any other time of the year. So what is a homeowner to do?
With more than 18 years in the industry, here are a few key points I’ve discovered to consider about finding the best time to put your home on the market:
Take advantage of selling your home during the winter holiday season. It seems counterintuitive, but think about it this way: If you put your house on the market during a time when there is not a lot of competition, you’ll automatically the attention of every buyer and therefore a better chance at a sale. Holiday buyers tend to be more serious—if they’re hunting for a home during the holidays, they likely have a good reason for it!
Six to nine months before you are ready to put your property on the market, contact a realtor. A good realtor will conduct a walk-through and give advice about what changes to make in terms of updates or small remodeling projects to help you get top value for your home. From little things like painting the walls to bigger projects like replacing the roof or repaving the driveway, making an investment in advance can help you prepare your property for sale, attract higher bids, and ensure it closes easily.
Make sure your real estate agent compares the ratio of closing prices to original list prices for your home’s comparables (and make sure they share it with you!). This provides a good indication of how close sellers got to their original asking price and during each month. This and other statistics your real estate agent can provide can help you determine why some homes are staying on the market longer and others are closing more quickly. In addition, it’s a good idea to ask your agent how many homes they have sold in your neighborhood (both recently and historically). It’s a strong indicator to whether they know how to find qualified buyers for your home.
Keep in mind that the type of property you own can help inform you about your best time to list it. For example, a single-family home in a neighborhood with a reputation for a good school system is more likely attract a buyer with school-aged children than one that is not. Therefore, the springtime sales strategy may be a good bet. A waterfront condo, however, may sell best in winter when Snow Birds are trying to escape the cold.
In the end, the best time to sell your home is when you’re ready to. There are buyers looking year-round; finding the right asking price and then marketing it to the right demographics is what matters most.
If you’re looking to put your home on the market in the near future, give me a call today and we can determine the best time to list based on your property, your neighborhood, and your needs.