We’ve heard the question asked many times, “When is the best time to list my home for sale?” Many different circumstances can be the cause to sell a home and while there may not ever be a “perfect” time to sell due to personal issues or market economics, you can be better educated in the process and more prepared. While nobody has the crystal ball to determine when the perfect time is, historically spring offers the best time to sell when people start to spend more time outside. The warming weather of spring tends to bring people outside and get then in the buying mood.
What Causes One to Sell a Home?
As previously mentioned there are many reasons one might choose to list a home for sale, the top reasons are;
- Change in job status or relocation to another area
- Upgrading or downgrading based on income or familial status
- Take advantage of property appreciation and “cash-in”
Can I Prepare for & Determine the Best Time to List my Home for Sale
Proper planning will help ease you through the sale process while not making emotional decisions in potential difficult times. It helps to write things down while having a clear mind and keeping those notes in a safe place until needed later. When faced with difficult decisions during the sale, refer to your pre-planning notes so you can make sound decisions.
In addition to proper emotional planning one must also prepare the home for sale. Much too often a seller who has lived in a property for several years will have acquired many treasures. It’s important to declutter a home and neutralize it from personal items. Items such as family pictures, crafts, knick-knacks, etc might be important to you as the seller but the buyer doesn’t want to see that stuff. In fact, buyers are often turned off when they see these items because it clouds their vision in seeing themselves living there. Now let’s talk a bit about sprucing up the home, a splash of paint might just be what it takes to sell the home. Make sure to paint anything that isn’t already in a neutral color. While a red wall and other primary colors may seem like a tempting thought, avoid that and go with light beige walls with white baseboards.
Additionally, you’ll want to repair items such as leaky faucets and pipes, squeaky doors and furniture in disrepair just to name a few. Ultimately repairing items that the buyer will quickly notice as broken puts a bad taste in their mouth that the home hasn’t been taken care of properly.
Why Won’t My Home Sell
I’ve done everything possible to prepare for the sale but my home is not selling! You can have the best home in the neighborhood, open houses every weekend, priced properly and offer to pay buyers closing costs but if you’re working against a slow economy or downturn in the market you’ll just have to be patient.
Question: I’ve heard the best time to list my home is during the holiday, is that true?
It’s true during the holiday season a seller has less competition on the market but a buyer does to. Sellers can have a perfectly good economy and their home has all the right things, during the holidays many buyers just aren’t interested in further complicating their lives with a move. The last thing on a buyer’s mind during the holidays is planning to move into a new home and quite honestly typical sellers will share in the feeling to avoid displacement during the holiday season. Before listing your home for sale considering some key factors will help you determine the likeliness of your home selling in its current state.
Here are some factors to consider;
- Are properties in the area selling? Have your real estate agent run a radius report for you based on the comparable for the neighborhood.
- What price should I list my home for? Hands down this is the million dollar question, entrust your agents professional experience to help lead you to a fair market value price. Many times there is a HUGE difference between a list price and sale price.
- How long will it take for my home to sell? This is often called “DOM” or “Days on Market” and will also be answered by neighborhood comps. Higher DOM usually equate to higher prices while lower DOM bring lower prices. Depending on the situation of why you’re selling you’ll want to analyze these numbers and choose the marketing plan best suited for your specific situation.
In closing I’d like to reiterate the fact that while nobody can tell you when the Best Time To List My Home might be or offer you the perfect “selling” formula you can be knowledgeable through the process. Investing some time in research and education might save you some money and grief in the long run. Lastly its always a good idea to run things by someone you trust.