What is the perfect time of year for selling a home - aka - Home Listing Season?
For many, the spring season seems to be the time of year people want to get on market. What that creates is a market full of inventory. Let's look at the pro's and con's of listing during each season:
Spring - the season of new, fresh start. Everything seems fresh in the spring, including home marketing. This time of year allows for homes to have the maximum time to get a home sold during the selling season. It is also a time that people are out and about looking for new homes. Winter has them shut-in and they are anxious to get out and do something. Home shopping is one of the things people like to do in the spring. While this can be an optimum time to list your home for sale, it is also a time that the market is full of inventory creating plenty of competition for your home. It is important to be smart about staging and pricing when marketing in the spring season. Often people want to inflate prices in the spring, which can be a strategy that works if you have a good quality product to sell. Be realistic about your home, it's condition, age, etc. and price it right.
Summer - this is the season that your home is in it's full beauty. With grass nice and green, flowers blooming and warm breezes, this is a time of year to really show off your home's full potential. It can also be a time of odors coming in from out of doors. Odors from pets is a big one as well as odors from damp basements due to high humidity. It's a good idea to keep your pets clean and the litter boxes empty. Run a de-humidifier in the basement to keep humidity low. With all the good weather, be sure to use this time to get packing. Pack and de-clutter things you will not be using before you move. Mid-summer you will see prices starting to fall. If your home has been on market from the spring season, this is the time to get the price down a bit. By mid-July, prices tend to fall as the selling season progresses.
Fall - the season of fall is a beautiful one. People are doing color tours and cider mills. Along the way, they like to take time to look for a new home. This is the season that second home buyers are out looking for deals. They may want to buy a summer home and work on it through the winter so it is ready to go by summer. They know prices have fallen and they want to make a good buy. Trouble is, this is also a time of low inventory. That problem also tends to make people anxious about finding something and they may just settle for something a little less. This can be a good time for sellers if the inventory is low - that stabilizes the prices a bit. Seller's worry about selling during the fall and having to move in the winter or as the weather is getting cold. Be ready to go with an exit plan if you are on market in the fall. Have movers interviewed and ready to go with your project if necessary. Get an idea of where you are going to move to if it sells, etc. Planning is a good thing to do when on market in the fall.
Winter - believe it or not - people are out shopping for homes in the winter. We throw on our boots, wade through the snow, and show homes to buyers all winter long. These buyers are the most serious of all buyers. They are in need of housing and want to make decisions as quickly as possible. If you are on market in winter and are a snowbird - be ready with an action plan of coming home to get the house packed up. Other things that may be necessary are inspections of wells and septic systems. It might be worth it to have these done before winter sets in. If you are thinking of getting a home on market during the winter months - consider taking photos during the summer when the grass is green.