One of the most popular questions I get is, “When is the best time to sell my home?” And it really increases as we get closer to Spring.
There’s a quick answer but where’s the fun in that? Instead, let’s look at the Top 10 tips that will help you answer this tricky question so you can better understand all the factors at play.
Finding the Best Time to Sell Your Home
The following advice is designed to help you assess your situation and make an educated decision based on both financial data and personal goals.
10. Sometimes There’s No Choice
To be completely honest, for many there’s no choice. Everything else in this article is meaningless. You have to sell. If an unbelievable job opportunity opens up in another city, then you have your answer! Now is the best time to sell.
It’s important to remember, when you must sell quickly, you shouldn’t play around with overpricing your house hoping to “catch someone off guard” because that’s a very, very rare event. Price it at or a below market value and move forward.
9. Crowding the Calendar
Part of what makes house hunting in the Winter less popular is the cold temperatures, and that does play a big role, but also people are busy with other things — namely the holidays.
For many, once Thanksgiving arrives, all “major projects” are put on hold until after the new year. And buying a new home definitely qualifies as a major project.
Life is hectic enough around the holidays to throw more items on your To Do list. Once the New Year is past, there are far fewer items crowding your calendar that could a great time to sell your home.
8. Take Advantage of Competition
Believe it or not, there are times where some competition is actually a good thing. For example, if you notice a couple of properties that are currently for sale in your neighborhood. Talk to your real estate expert and find out where your home’s price would be relative to theirs. If it’s lower, the other listings in your neighborhood will actually drive additional traffic to your listing!
The reverse can work against you. If your home is the highest priced property in the neighborhood, it might be better to list when there aren’t so many homes under your price point.
7. Seasonal Demand
It’s been a wide-held belief in the industry that you never list your home in the Winter. Waiting until Spring, was the thing to do. This new report says that might be a mistake.
There are more buyers in Spring but at the same time, the increased number of home listings might wipe out that benefit. Speak with your Realtor to learn about your specific market conditions.
Here in Louisville, inventory is currently at incredibly low levels.
6. Time of Ownership
Whenever you buy a house, the closing costs are part of the transaction. The longer you stay in a home, the longer those closing costs are spread out over the span of years.
So, if you just recently moved into your current home, selling it now and buying another will lump each of those extra costs into a shorter time frame. These are dollars that could be set towards building equity.
Bottom line, the longer you live at any address, the more those transaction costs are spread out over a number of years and improves your investment. Now, home repairs, that’s a different story.
5. Optimum Condition
If your house isn’t ready… it’s not ready! Just like people, your home only has one chance to make a great first impression.
Don’t put your home on the market if there are still a number of updating projects to tackle. This is a big deal!
Today’s buyers are looking for move-in ready homes, so let’s give it to them! Faster sale, that’s a good thing, right? Your updated home will look amazing in the high-quality photographs which will help your home sell faster and at a higher price.
4. Days on Market
Every home seller wants a quick sale. (Acutally, there are cases where this is not true but that’s a story for another time.) How much fun is it to continually have your home ready for some buyer to barge in at a moment’s notice? Don’t answer, I already know. It’s a giant bother!
Therefore, if your home has been listed for a very long time, it’s smart to take the listing down, perform some updates and (possibly) lower the price. Each house is different and other variables come into play but buyers always see it as a negative when a property has been listed for a long time.
3. Hot Property Types
Some times there’s a rush on a particular home type. Currently, first floor master bedrooms are more desirable than homes that have the master on the second floor. The whole baby boomer bubble and all.
If you’re lucky enough to have one of these hot property types, the higher demand will mean a higher sales price. List it sooner rather than later. But don’t neglect the other items on this list to do it. Consider all the factors, then go!
2. Low Interest Rates
The lower the interest rate, the more house buyers are able to buy with their money. Most of today’s buyers will finance the lion’s share of the home’s cost. This means interest rates play a huge role.
Because interest rates are still at historical lows, now is a great time to lock that rate in with a new mortgage. It wasn’t that long ago when interest rates were double-digits… whoa! Now, we’re spoiled by these crazy, low rates.
1. Your Situation Trumps All
This should be quite obvious but just so we’re all on the same page, there’s an uber important factor to answer the question, “When is the best time to sell a home?” and that factor is “When you want to!”
There’s a giant benefit to being properly motivated, right? Being excited about the process of housing hunting is huge! Some find it a taxing time so if everyone is “on-board” the whole process is more fun.
Your next home is the incredible “carrot before the horse” when it comes to getting your current home sold. Get psyched about your next, new home then hit the ground running.