People keep saying that timing’s everything. And they are correct. Real estate, especially, is a game about timing and seasons. Like every other business, there are patterns, statistics, and real estate data, which can help sellers and buyers. It is up to you to choose to research, study, and apply those for your benefit. It may seem like a lot of work but don’t worry! Here’s where we step in to provide you with the exact ways and methods to figure when the right time to market/sell your home is.
Statistics prove that houses listed at optimal times or seasons sell faster than anticipated and gain higher prices. Of course, this is only applicable for sellers flexible in their sale or earnings. Houses sold under duress or urgent reasons don’t have the luxury of picking their timing or season. But if you have the financial flexibility to wait, then this article is for you. Today we will discuss WHEN IS THE RIGHT TIME TO MARKET AND SELL YOUR HOME.
Below we look at the trends and patterns that affect the real estate market in the United States.
Seasons impact the residential real estate market. Sales tend to start at a uniform period through the United States. The winter months of January or February are challenging to sell as buyers have just started the New Year. They use this time to make decisions and look at possible options. Listing and viewings are also short and few due to the weather, poor conditions, and the state of trees and foliage. Nobody wants to look at barren yards or unkempt gardens in poor sunlight. Homes will start appearing on the market as the holidays have ended, and people have reached a decision. The speed picks up from March through April.
Buyers are venturing out more, having sifted through online or virtual options. Sellers and buyers both understand that purchasing a home is a long process. The end of the school year approaches and families keep that in mind. For couples with kids or families, school year-end is the preferred time to move or shift. Families also prefer moving during summer, so they have time to start over in a new place or area. The weather is better, days are longer, and the snow is starting to diminish. If you are considering selling, you should have listed your home on websites or with agents ideally during February. This way, when March and April approaches, you are aware of your sales price and possibilities.
May is the beginning of the ‘peak season’ for real estate sales in the country. Home sales usually reach their peak in May, June, July, and August. Schools are shut, people can take holidays, and the weather is ideal for exploring new regions or areas. Sales decrease from September till near zero, or minimal sales, in December. Winter holidays, cold weather, and the end of the year make December the WORST time to sell a house. If you are a seller, avoid selling in December at any cost.
This yearly pattern is relatively consistent, which benefits the seller. Predictable patterns allow you to achieve optimal sales in the right period. We are not suggesting that homes that go up for sale during December or winter don’t sell. They just don’t sell as fast or for a better price than expected.
Geography is another vital factor that affects sales. We discussed how winter is a bad time to sell your house. However, when you take into account vacation destinations such as Florida or beach towns that don’t see severe winters, the patterns change. They could see an increase in sales effectively during the winter season. And they see a drop in sales or rentals during the summer due to the heat and uncomfortable weather. University towns are another exception to the seasonal trends. They follow their unique cycle, which notices an increase during late spring or early fall when students, faculty, staff, and families start their term.
Understanding and recognizing these trends can lead to a profit of a significant amount for home sellers. Research has even been able to pinpoint and recommend the specific day and month you should be listing your home for sale. These factors are worth considering for buyers and sellers who want to make smart choices. It is also worth comparing how much you gain if you wait for the right time to list your house.
We have repeated the fact that selling a home is an art that few can master. You can choose to ignore the tips and ideas and sell your home for an average price. Or you can follow our recommendations and gain a valuable profit on your listed selling price.
You remember we discussed what the buyer wants or the buyer funnel. Interested viewers and buyers will want to visit homes immediately that match their criteria. Buyers will have work and personal commitments during the week. They try to schedule or arrange viewings and inspections on the weekend. By listing your home towards the second half of the week, Thursday onwards, you can tap into the interest of a potential buyer. Homes listed on these days also sell faster and at a higher cost than homes listed on weekdays.
Posting your listing on Thursday and holding an open house on Saturday will ensure that your home is fresh and new in the buyer’s mind. The buyer will also notice the quick response and encourage more people to visit the house on the weekend. This is a small yet crucial step that can differentiate an average seller from a premium one. These small steps add up in giving you optimal value for your home.
New, fresh listings keep coming on the market, which means that older listings move to the back of the website or app. The first 14 days or two weeks of a listing are it’s most important. It is during the first two weeks that buyers will notice it and gain interest. Once those 14 days pass, your listing will get relegated to the back of line since new homes come on the market. Your job as a home seller is to capture as much attention and interest as you can during these first two weeks.
Let’s get into the buyer’s mindset once again. Buyers browse through websites or apps to look for homes. They add filters or criteria to narrow it down, which provides them with several options. Homes put up more recently, often top the list and dominate the attention of the buyer. Buyers quickly compare these homes with their expected criteria and needs. Homes that match their expectations are often shortlisted. If a buyer finds no attractive option or home, they will wait and keep checking the website or app. Once two weeks pass, your property has fewer chances of showing up in buyer searches. Assuming they have now altered their needs or expectations, you still have to contend with 14 days worth of new listings.
Studies have proven that interest on the listing is the highest the day after the listing. It tapers down from there. What this rapid decrease in buyer interest suggests is a correlation to a lower selling price. The seller should take advantage of this two-week window and maximize buyer interest.
How to capitalize on the two-week window? Here are some suggestions-
This window is about using all the positives of your home to result in a quick and premium sale. Once the weeks pass, your listing becomes redundant, and agents get involved marketing more. Sellers then have to rely on the agent to promote your listing and negotiate for offers.
A disadvantage of missing the two-week window is that the longer your home remains on the market, the more its selling price drops. Old listings also raise doubts in the buyer’s mind. Let’s look at an example. You notice two listings of similar 3-bedroom homes in the same area. The first listing is from about two and a half months ago. The second listing is barely a week old. Comparing these homes, the only question you ask is all things considered equal, why hasn’t the first home sold yet?
Buyers begin to doubt the authenticity of old listings and suspect the seller of hiding something. Factors like this act as deterrents for sellers, and they are put at a disadvantage. Buyers then drive the negotiation and offer a selling price lesser than what the seller desires. Sellers with older listings end up accepting lower prices since they are eager to complete the sale. Homes that have been in the market for three months or longer end up receiving 5%-6% less than their original selling price.
Buyers don’t want a long, complicated process of purchase. They know what they want, and if you, as a seller, can offer it to them, they will appreciate it. It also benefits the seller if the sale is quick and seamless. In a short sale period, sellers can handle the sale themselves rather than paying professionals or agents.
The real estate market is a predictable market with patterns and fluctuations, as we have seen. Recognizing these patterns and using them for your benefit will be worth your time. Knowledge of these trends and patterns empowers the buyer, so they know when the right time to purchase is.
Market fluctuations aside, sellers who have a choice when to sell are worth considering these above factors. With just these simple tweaks and tips, you can be guaranteed of an active listing that gives you an optimal selling price.