Written By Courtney Newton
Timing the market. Being able to exactly determine when to put your house on the market to be able to generate the best offer for the most money and best terms is the ultimate goal as your Realtor.
First of all let me be clear that this is no kind of blog post about how to exactly time the market because we operate in a dynamic ever changing environment that to predict exactly when would be the top of the market and when would be the most optimum time to sell would be futile. I will offer suggestions for timeframes that have offered themselves to be “better” than others. If you are really looking to put your house on the market in a time that offers little to no competition, keeps the idea of lookie loos out of the showing equation and allows you to still capitalize on the market—your best option is to sell through the winter months i.e. October to December.
The next best opportunity to look at putting the house on the market after mid January to be the early spring rush. Historically we have seen sellers be able to put the house on the market right after the first of the year and dictate what timeframe they want to sell in. The advantage to being on the market before March 1 is that you have a high probability of being under contract by March 1 and then when all of the other sellers are getting their house on the market you have the advantage of seeing the spring inventory to choose from. Essentially you are selling in a sellers market and buying in a lesser sellers market because there is more competition.
This idea continues through out the first half of the year. Selling after spring break but before end of school is the next best opportunity to beat the summer rush and again have more inventory in the buying process. Keeping in mind that after school lets out is the highest inventory levels in the market throughout the year. Then it begins to decline as school starts in mid August. If you are that seller that is able to time the market. The very best price decreases are in late September to mid October for those sellers that are simply trying to unload a house before the winter. Which brings us back to my initial theory that the best time to sell is during the winter months because of the lack of competition because no one is really on the market unless they really want to sell and no buyer is really looking at houses unless they really want to buy.
I believe the other theory to keep in mind is how directly affected your market is to the school year because that first half of the year can dictate how the market cycle runs. If you are in a market that schools are a major reason people pick your neighborhood then you should consider that January to March 1 time frame to get on the market. If you have missed it be on before spring break and definitely don’t wait till mid May to list. The dreaded last two weeks of May can be some of the most quiet out there all year long. The reason? Mothers Day, school ending, graduation, memorial Day weekend, and start of summer with summer camps etc. Get it? It is a typically busy time full of life moments and buying a house during that time is just too much so the market goes quiet…and sellers can start to panic if expectations are not properly set. So price reductions should be done first of May or mid June not done mid May to no affect
Understanding the market and how it cycles can put money in your pocket. Hiring the right Realtor who studies market trends, neighborhood statistics could make the difference in selling with multiple offers and being able to control conditions of the offer.