Should you list your house for sale now or wait till spring?

listing in the wintertime

Last January, I noticed that there was virtually nothing on the market so I listed a little bungalow that we’ve owned for about a decade. My oldest daughter had just moved out.

Admittedly, I’m a bad client. “If I get my price, then I will sell”, I said.

I had two offers that were too low to take and then after about 60 days, I let the listing expire. We decided to keep the place. With two kids in their 20s, I’m sure one of them will want it soon.

After it expired, it was early March and the spring market was just warming up. We would soon learn that 2016 was going to be a very different kind of year. But we didn’t know yet. We didn’t know in January and February that the lack of inventory of homes for sale would persist and deepen as the year wore on. We didn’t know that the game had changed and that holding off on accepting offers would lead to bidding wars and quickly rising prices,

I had three different agents ask me about the listing later in the year, all saying that they had buyers interested in it.

Real estate is cyclical. One of my 365 Rules about Real Estate is that you cannot time the market. With the ongoing lack of inventory, clients are already asking me, “should I list now or should I wait until spring?”

Good question.


You should list now because:

Inventory levels at the beginning of 2017 are at historically low levels.

It is a seller’s market.

Buyer demand is abnormally strong for this so-called ‘off season’.

New mortgage rules (stress test) have already started limiting young home buyers purchasing power.

Higher prices and lack of inventory in other parts of Ontario (GTA) are pushing more buyers to purchase here.

Interest rates are expected to rise in the second quarter.

This year might be different than last year. Take the money and run.

You are ready to list, so list.

You don’t follow conventional wisdom. Rebel.


You should wait till spring because:

It’s going to get crazy again. The winter slow down was just a brief intermission to the craziness.

Prices rose steadily last year. The longer you wait, the higher the price might be.

Most buyers want to buy in the spring and move in the summer.

Houses show best in the springtime.

Optimism peaks in the springtime.


Final thought

You can’t time the market. You should list when you are ready to list. You will never have all the answers.

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