When is the best time to sell your home? Most homeowners stress over what season to list their home. There are all sorts of myths about when is the best time to sell, but every situation is truly unique. Luckily, here in the South Bay – each of the four seasons offers different perks of listing your home!
Historically, the winter months are considered to be the slowest season for the real estate market, but it is necessary to take the temperate weather of Southern California into consideration. Seasonal variations may play a more prominent role in other parts of the country, but we fortunately skirt a good portion of extreme winter weather. Warm, sunny winter days means that your home may have just as much curb appeal as it does during the spring months!
As Sam Heskel, president of Nadlan Valuation, an appraisal firm in Brooklyn, highlights, “Sellers typically find that off-season buyers may be more focused and ready to buy a home.” This means that while some home buyers take a break over the holidays, they return after New Year’s with renewed motivation and focus to purchase a home.
*Remember, the quality of the buyers is often times more important than the quantity! Buyers who are serious about finding a home (no matter the season) are more desirable than those who are casually looking.*
The spring season always comes out on top as the best time to sell. With the warm weather, more daylight and spring fever in full swing, buyers are more likely to shop during this time of year. With more competition comes bigger sale prices. Thus, home prices are highest during the prime season, when more homes are on the market.
A lot of sellers hold off putting their home on the market during the summer, preferring to wait until the first of the year or the spring season. This results in reduced inventory during the summer months, meaning more buyers checking out your home, whether online or in person. “For Sale” signs and postings are much more visible and easier to install in the summer than they are in the winter. Also, in some tourist areas, traffic is heavier, ensuring additional exposure.
Lastly, listing your home in the summer positions you well to sell in the fall. Even if you do not secure a buyer over the summer, you have the opportunity to assess the buyers’ reactions and make necessary adjustments to make your home more appealing.
According to a survey by ERA, 40% of respondents cite that with the end of the vacation season comes a renewed attention to real estate. The survey also highlighted emotional motivations that are strengthened during the fall – namely the desire to be “home for the holidays”. ERA President and CEO Charlie Young states, “As vacations wind down after Labor Day and people become more focused, the desire to be in a new home for the holidays is a historically strong driver of fall home sales”. As the season progresses, financial motivations also come into play. 10% of respondents cited the desire to purchase a home before the end of the year in order to gain tax benefits.
The point of this all being: There are clear perks to selling in each season! Make sure that you home is in the right condition to sell and go for it!
Now on the flip side of things, when is the best time to buy?
Do not obsess with trying to time the market and figure out when is the “best time to buy.” Real estate is cyclical and constantly changing. The ideal time to buy is when you find your dream home (or the house that has the potential to become it) and you can afford it. Trying to predict the housing market and wait for the so-called right time, may mean you miss out.
You have to remember that while buying a home is one of the most important decisions of your life, the rest of your life does not get put hold. We have had buyers who have been planning a wedding while house-hunting, as well as a couple who gave birth during escrow! It can be a stressful process, but one that is well worth the effort!
However, there are three things that we suggest having arranged before you purchase your home: be pre-approved, have enough for a down payment and make sure you are comfortable with the monthly mortgage payment.
Getting pre-approved means a lender has looked at all of your financial information and they’ve let you know how much you can afford and how much they will lend you. Being pre-approved will save you a lot of time and energy so you are not running around looking at houses you can’t afford.
As always, we are here to help so don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or to set up a consultation to discuss if right now is the right time for you to buy or sell your home. firstname.lastname@example.org