Is Spring the Best Time to Sell Your Home?
Have you ever wondered why everyone says that spring is the best time of year for real estate? It's because there are more buyers in the market than at any other time of year. This makes sense because the in previous winter season there are the least amount of buyers. With holidays, snow-covered properties and cold weather there are fewer people thinking of buying let alone selling, so naturally there are fewer properties on the market.
Several factors come together in the spring to contribute to its being the real estate market's busiest time. Often in January and February people are organizing themselves and revisiting their finances after the holiday season. By March, people are getting into the marketplace with some certainty in making a move. The snow starts to clear and cold harsh temperatures begin to subside. More people are venturing outdoors, noticing For Sale signs and, after spending the winter in their existing property, some are realizing they need more or less space. Employers tend to schedule transfers at this time of year so families can complete their move during summer months when most schools are closed and families are on holidays. Days get longer which means buyers can view more properties during daylight hours and for some, tax rebates show up in April and are applied towards a down payment. Spring is also a time for change and people are often more optimistic as "spring fever" gets them motivated to pursue a fresh start. And what better time of year to show off a home when the grass is green, the birds are singing and the yards and gardens are showing at their best.
Realtors know this is the busiest time, so they encourage clients to list their homes during this active time - more homes on the market mean a greater selection and leads to more market activity. This balance of active buyers and sellers is twofold. Sellers get their homes sold for a fair price and buyers have the greatest selection. These benefits to both buyers and sellers help create a 'spring buzz.'
Spring markets can also run the risk of having an oversupply of properties and if supply is greater than demand, homes will take longer to sell, prices will change or even worse, your home may not sell. In Ottawa, we haven't seen this type of market in many, many years, but it has occurred in the past and could happen again. Will it happen this year? We have just come off a softer fall and winter selling market and many sellers took their properties off the market with hopes of increasing their selling price and selling chances in the spring. Whether it was their Realtor telling them to do this, or it was their own decision, chances are it might not work out the way they thought. As a seasoned Realtor, having experienced over 26 years of selling in all markets, I know why this happens. Sellers forget about such downturns and Realtors who have never experienced a changing market are only giving advice on the experiences they've had, which for the past 14 years has always been an increase in sales volume and dollars during the spring season. Of course, this is hypothetical because predicting the future is next to impossible. There is always the risk of change in the real estate market and that can happen quickly, so for many, Spring is an ideal time for buyers and sellers. It's makes sense try your luck when the odds are so good.
All that being said, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), “spring is still, by far, the best time for the real estate market. There are more home sales from April to July than any other time of year, with June being the peak month. Surveys show that about 40% of all homes sold nation-wide occur from May to August.”
There are many more reasons why the spring is the best time of year to buy a home and by knowing these reasons and buyer's behaviour, one can greatly increase their chances of selling a home. It’s not simply just having your home on the market and staging the property like they do on TV shows. Presentation is one important piece of the real estate puzzle. There are also pricing strategies, timing strategies, salesmanship strategies (to encourage an offer), negotiation strategies, keeping the deal together once it’s agreed upon while keeping everyone’s emotions in check, and in the end, creating a feeling of win-win for all parties.
What are your thoughts on the market?
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