I get this question a lot. “When is the best time to list my house for sale?” Well, that depends, when do you want to move? If you have tons of time to wait, anytime. If you don’t have much time, you had better know your market, or find someone that does.
If you ask anyone when is the best time to sell a house, most likely you will hear, “springtime, of course.” But is springtime the best time? Many people have this perception, so many sellers put their homes on the market in March, April and May. There is always a flood of homes on the market during this period. If there are too many homes on the market, the buyer pool is diluted and the demand drops. This increases days on the market and absorption rates in local markets. The way I look at it, if I wanted to sell something, I would wait until demand was the highest, or be willing to adjust my price to fit the current conditions.
There is also the school of thought that curb appeal sells homes. True, the springtime brings out the blooms and green grass. But, generally, I want to see homes in the winter. This is when the home’s curb appeal is at its worse. It is like getting a look at the home the morning after, before the makeup is applied. If that house looks naturally good at that point, it will only look better when the “makeup” is on in the spring. There are many buyers with this in mind and therefore, spring would not be the best time to sell.
What really sells homes is not the time of the year, or just the curb appeal. Those aspects are helpful, but, more importantly, a good price is what sells a home. For example, if you have a home with incredible curb appeal but live in a part of town that is known for the incredible curb appeal, you don’t really stand out, do you? What is going to help you stand out in the crowd is the price. An aggressive pricing structure will capture buyers attention more so than the cute roses out front. Good pricing comes from knowing your local market. Days on market and absorption in your local marketplace are the keys to finding the optimum timing for your home sale. How long is it going to take to sell your home is important. Talk to your Realtor about how soon prior to the “hot time” of the market in your area you should list in order to have the home on the market at the right time. Absorption refers to how many months will it take to sell all of the homes that are currently on the market. For example, if there are 6 homes on the market and only 2 selling each month, the absorption rate is 3 months. This is key to knowing where you need to stand on price. If you are priced too high, you are helping the other homes in the area sell faster than the absorption rate and yours will sit beyond the average time on the market. A Realtor should be able to tell you, based on days on the market and absorption rate analysis, when the best timing will be for your home sale. Call a Realtor that knows your local market and use their expertise to price your home and then you will know when your optimum time to sell is.
So, to answer the question, “When is the best time to list my house for sale?” Anytime you are willing to price your home according to the data relating to days on the market, and absorption rates in your own marketplace.