Answer: As soon as you are ready. Your successful offer will have a very short irrevocable time so that the sellers will have to deal with it quickly. Your real estate agent’s first conversation with the sellers’ agent should be something like “We are working on an offer, can you deal with it tonight?”
I think there is no reason to play games, to wait for a more optimal time. If you see it and want it, buy it before someone else does.
However, there are other things to consider as well.
Tuesday through Thursday
Conventional wisdom in the real estate industry tells us that the best time to put in an offer on a house is on Tuesday morning. The reason is twofold.
- By this time any offers generated from weekend showings or open houses will have been presented.
- If there are no offers in, you are catching the sellers at their lowest level of resistance.
That makes sense.
By contrast, the worst time to make an offer (the theory goes) is Friday or Saturday evening — precisely when most offers are written. If you offer less than full price, the sellers will counter-offer, hoping to keep you on the hook while they see what the weekend brings. Even if you make a full-price offer, they may delay all weekend, hoping that an even better offer will come in.
I suppose this makes sense too, but only in a hot market. My experience currently in Kitchener Waterloo is that the first offer usually comes after a period of time. It is the only offer. The sellers deal with it and the deal gets done (or sometimes not).
The first of the month.
Schemers and over-thinkers want to wait and put in their offer on the first of the month because the seller has just written another mortgage check.
Holiday weekends and Superbowl
There are fewer people out looking at houses during holiday weekends and when there are major (sporting) events going on in town or on TV.
Buying finished inventory home from a builder
Especially if it has been sitting idle for more than 60 days, new home builders have financial and psychological triggers. They want to move on to the next project.
The fall can be a good time to find a deal from a seller who did not sell in the peak season. The sellers will know that the winter slow down is coming.
More than 90 days on the market
Currently in Kitchener Waterloo houses sell (on average) in about 60 days. Serious sellers at 90 days will be considering a price reduction. However, iIf you wait until the house comes down in price to market value you should expect more competition.
The best month to make an offer on a house is January.
December and January are usually slow months for real estate. Fewer buyers are our house-hunting in the cold weather. There is less competition for houses on the market. Sellers who choose to sell at this time must have a good reason (maybe they are being transferred?) People are usually a little financially strapped after the holidays. The sellers may be feeling financially insecure. And their decision to try to sell their houses in the winter means they’re willing to risk listing during a time of the year when properties tend not show particularly well.
The best time of the year to sell a house is the spring.
Buyers come out in the spring. Tax refund checks are in the bank. Year end bonuses are usually issued in February or March. Sales peak in the spring. About 60% of those who move do so in the summer.
The best day of the week to list your house for sale is Thursday.
If you list your house for sale on a Thursday, it will be available right away for weekend showings and by Saturday — the most important day of the real-estate week — your house will have shown only two days. That’s important because the fewer days on market, the better chance the home will attract a full-price offer. Even if your house doesn’t sell by the next Saturday, it will still show only nine days on market, benefiting from the psychological advantage of a single-digit number.
It’s important to remember that most serious home buyers are working with an agent and have already seen and eliminated everything else on the market. It your house pops up in their email on Friday morning, they will certainly make an appointment to see it on Saturday. Multiply this by 10 or more active buyers and you’ll be receiving multiple offers on Saturday night.