Urban legend has it that the best time to sell a home is in the spring. But is it really true? The answer is that the real estate market is more complex than that. There are a number of factors that go into when a house can sell. Let’s look at a few of them.
It is true that more people move in the spring than at most other times of the year. Fall is also a peak season. For many people, buying or selling a home happens when they need it to, but the majority of people move either at the end of the school year or just before the new one is going to start.
That said, selling a home in the off-season, like January, stands a better chance of it closing quickly due to a reduced number of homes in inventory. These homes often realize a higher sales price, too with fewer negotiations taking place.
People need to move throughout the year for a variety of reasons. Sometimes their last child finally moves out of the basement. Sometimes the baby they thought was coming in a few months is actually triplets. Both will change the size of the home needed rather definitively, and the timeline when the owners need to move shifts.
You may have someone who needs to sell because he or she has been transferred across country to another office. Other times people may have lost their job or gone through a divorce and they need to sell their house to save money. To say that people only move at one time of year does not take real life into account.
You can build up interest in the home you are trying to sell by getting a jump on your competitors. The old timeline was to list a house on Thursday or Friday and show it on Sunday. With the internet helping you, you can list a house earlier in the week and get people interested in your listing all week long. You’ll therefore get more people at the open house and increase the potential for more people to put in an offer.
To help sell the home regardless of the time of year, highlight the key features of the home. Also, if you have a house in a good school district, that can draw people with school-aged children to your listing much more readily. Then again, if you want to attract retirees who are tired of winter, posting a beachfront property on a sunny shore will be a big draw.
Timing for a sale can also depend upon how quickly the market is changing in your area. Overall home prices are up, but in some areas, they are increasing by double digits. These can be the hardest places to sell homes in, because sellers are reluctant to let their home go at a lower price. It’s a gamble, and you have to communicate that to your client. The value might go up dramatically, or it might not.
If they can wait to sell, that might tip things towards waiting. If not, then encourage them to sell at a good price and enthusiastically move into their new home.
Regardless of time of year, you will still need to be sure your houses have proper curb appeal and are staged appropriately to showcase the possibilities. Don’t worry so much about the formula for time, and focus more on making the deal happen.
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