When is the sweet spot for home sellers to list their homes for sale in Kitchener-Waterloo?

when to sell?
The sweet spot is ahead of the curve, before the wave crests.

The sweet spot to list

The best time to list your home, Realtors will tell you, is when you are ready. But if you are always ready or if you have the luxury of being ready at an optimal time then Spring is the best time to list your home for sale.

But when in Spring? 

What month? What is the sweet spot?

Like a supermarket

Spring is best, not because home prices rise in the springtime. That is a false statistic. Sure, average home prices rise every springtime. That much is true, but also true is that the most expensive homes are listed in the spring and that skews the average up. During he rest of the year, there are always homes being bought and sold, there are always people moving into and sometimes out of Kitchener-Waterloo. But you have to think about the real estate market like a supermarket. We have condos and bungalows and four-bedroom, two-car garage houses. It is the listing and sale of those bigger “main market” homes that skew things in the spring. 

Why spring?

The reason to list in the springtime is because that is when the market is at its peak. A good rule of finding a great restaurant is to eat at a busy restaurant. Trust the crowd, just like you trust Amazon reviews. The same is true with buying and selling real estate. Trust the wisdom of crowds. Nothing attracts a crowd like a crowd. Springtime has become our default buying and selling season.

Here are two fundamental truths:

  1. With more activity, buyers have more choice. 
  2. With more activity, sellers have faster sales, often for more money. 

A rising tide lifts all boats. 

The sweet spot

If you think about the spring real estate market like a wave, sellers want to list before it crests. Sellers want to be early, before the peak. Here’s why… 

Statistically there is a sweet spot for sellers in the late winter or early in the spring when the number of potential home buyers is peaking ahead of the number of new listings. Friction is being created between the jostling buyers and the slow to market sellers. The laws of supply and demand will translate that into faster sales at higher prices for those sellers already in the market. Essentially, home sellers want to be ahead of the curve. That’s what I’m saying. Seller’s want to list before the peak.

What month is peak listing month in Waterloo Region?

Fortunately, we have an abundance of statistics in the world of real estate. With plenty of data, it is easy to determine the peak listing month in Kitchener-Waterloo. It’s May. May has been for the past few years the top month for new listings in Waterloo Region. March and April are notable. Those two months have consistently been close second and third peak months in terms of listings.   

If you wait until May or June to list, you’re going to be too late

In June, you are going to be on the back side of that curve and that’s far too late. May is too late. You should get ahead of other sellers by listing in March. Now, essentially. Especially this year. 

Especially this year

If the statistical argument above is not enough, consider this…

Why now?

Uncertainty. Worries over the Corona Virus — Covid 19 is impacting the stock market, supply chains, international travel, sporting events…essentially the whole world economy is worried about the impending chaos causes by the virus. If the economy slows down, everyone will be impacted. Some of your potential buyers may leave the market, due to job uncertainly, or simple apprehension. 

I don’t want to be all gloom and doom. I’m just asking, if you are ready to list, why wait?

The Banks just cut interest rates, so mortgage rates are following suit. A bunch of new buyers just qualified for bigger mortgages, just this week.

There has never been a better time to list.

Hindsight in 2020

Back in 2016-2017, my spreadsheet was showing a runaway train of a real estate market. Every month, prices were rising and every month the list price to sale price ratio was increasing. I colour code my spread sheet — it was turning deep blue. When I spoke with sellers, many were waiting “just a little longer”, or “next year for sure”, to list. Makes sense. If prices are rising 1% or 2% every month, why not wait for bigger profits? 

But then the brakes got slammed on hard and my spreadsheet suddenly turned orange. Days on market quickly went from single digits to double digits. Listings lingered. Sales were cancelled. 

If you list now, you are nearly guaranteed a fast sale at a great price. If you wait too long, maybe, maybe not.

Further reading

Kitchener Waterloo Real Estate News

Why February is the best month to list

Less than one month’s supply of homes for sale in Kitchener-Waterloo.

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