Is there such a thing as a best time of year to sell a house? Certainly, seasonal factors come into play when trying to sell a home, but there are other things to consider as well, like the tug and pull of supply and demand, as well as unique local market conditions.
No matter when a home goes on the market, one should take a few things under consideration that will likely affect not just the ability to sell a property, but more importantly the ability to get your asking price. Timing, it seems, is everything.
While the economy does not follow the predictable ebb and flow of the seasonal changes in real estate and in buyer attention, the economy, it’s state and it’s prospects boil down to property values, and consumer confidence. When the economy is under fire, people are nervous about their jobs. There is generally a reluctance to spend, accumulate debt or make major purchases.
The market will tell you what a home is worth. The problem is, during an economic downturn, the market may value your home lower than you had hoped, or than from when you started.
That may succeed in removing a number of buyers from your pool. For those that must buy a property though, the economy will play less of a factor in the decision to purchase, but it may give them power at the bargaining table, and it may be more difficult to get the desired price. Interest rates figure into this as well. The lower they are, the more your pool of buyers may increase as well, as the cost to borrow comes down and people, in theory can borrow more.
In a country like Canada, where there are four distinct seasons, seasonal influences play a large part in creating good selling conditions.
Wintertime brings with it a series of challenges, among them the weather, holiday distractions and lack of interest from buyers.
When the snow thaws though, and greenery re-emerges from the ground, buyers tend to re-emerge as well. The spring tends to be the peak of the market, simply because the timing suits people in general. The weather is more favourable, properties generally can be better displayed, and moves and property closings can more reasonably be managed through the summer months, so for those with families relocating is less disruptive.
According to data, home sales begin in February, with closings peaking through late May, June, July and August- and this has been a consistent trend since the early 2000’s. For sellers then, they will likely have the opportunity to engage more traffic and interest in their homes.
Patience is a Virtue
While the springtime may typically be a more optimal time to sell, there will typically be more competition on the market. Sometimes, if a seller is flexible on their dates, it may be advisable to wait until the spring market to list, simply because of the flood of buyers onto the market. Often, a property will sell for more, and sell much faster because of volume.
As there will be more properties on the market, the seller really needs to take time to make their property stand out, using the slow winter months to actively prepare their homes to list. For some, it can take weeks, or even months to de-clutter and re-organize their properties to best reflect the space, and the positive attributes.
Advise sellers that, even though you may list in the spring, the selling process begins now- behind the scenes. Think staging before selling.