When is the best time to sell?

when is the best time to sell

I’m fond of saying that in this market even a monkey could sell a house. And I know monkeys, they are straight forward negotiators. But all kidding aside, there are a few things to think about before listing your home for sale. 

I’m sure, if you are like most people, you want to get the most money for your home in the shortest amount of time possible, right? 

So, with that in mind, when is the best time to sell your home?

When is the best time to sell your home?

You cannot time the market, but…

One of my 365 Rules about Real Estate is that you can’t time the market.  When the market was running hot a few years ago, there were a bunch of potential home sellers waiting in the wings, waiting to see just how high the market would go before listing. But then, the brakes suddenly got slammed on and that was the end of those impetuous dreams. 

Having said that (you can’t time the market), the first two are timing-related things to consider

1) Seasonality

It is a true fact that every year, the spring market accounts for the bulk of our home sales. By some estimates, 60% of homes that will sell in a given year will sell before June 1st. This means essentially March, April and May are when the majority of homes sell, as January and February are relatively light. Another statistic I recently read stated that 40% of homes sell in May and June alone. 

Can this be true?  

Probably not, but it is hard to disagree that the spring market is the busiest (and maybe therefore the best) time to sell.

2) Local market activity

Location, location, location is the mantra of real estate. Although what is happening in Wuhan or Warsaw or Windsor has some impact on our local market. The impact is minimal. Even neighbourhoods in the same city appreciate at varying, differing speeds. 

So start broadly but not too broadly, what is the local market activity like? Are we in a Buyer’s, Balanced or Seller’s market?

(Seller’s is the correct answer.)

Now, ask: 

How’s the market? How are prices moving? Are there Bully Offers? How many days are properties staying on the market? 

If you are getting ready to sell, get a Comparative Market Analysis done and then with your agent, come up with a marketing (pricing) plan.

3) Condition of home

Of course, although you always have the option of selling your home “as is”, most people will do at least minimal tidying up and minor repairs. If you are only going to do one thing beyond de-cluttering, either painting or staging are your best options. You don’t want to do pre-listing improvements that have a negative return on your investment.

4) The best time to sell is when you are ready

Houses sell all the time, even over the Christmas holidays. You should sell your home when it makes sense to you. What I mean is, in the autumn, you don’t have to wait till spring. If you get a job offer in the Silicon Valley and have to be there in three weeks and don’t have time to tidy up, then sell it as is. Houses sell all the time.

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