The decision to sell your home is sometimes outside your control. A job transfer or changes in life circumstances can often be the determining factor.
But sometimes you have more control. And even in the above circumstances, you might find yourself with the opportunity to pick exactly when you will move.
The question then becomes: when should you sell?
When You Should Sell Your Home: Seasonal Sales
There are different schools of thought on how to best approach the timing of a house sale. However, there is general consensus from numerous sources on the following statistic: more homes tend to sell in the spring and early summer months than they do in the fall and winter.
Some of the reasons for this include:
- For those with kids, schools winding up or already out, and the best time to move is over the summer. That means closing a deal in spring or early summer.
- Spring weather shows a property in the best light
- Tax refunds are coming in, giving people more cash to buy
However, that doesn’t mean all buyers wait until that time of year to buy. More to the point: it doesn’t mean that the people who are interested in your house will only buy in the spring and summer months.
The simple answer is often the best answer, and in this case it’s just to sell when you are ready. Trying to time a home sell to hit the peak of the market is like trying to do the same with stocks – almost impossible to pull off. And you can drive yourself crazy trying to do it.
Better to simply put the house on the market and see what happens. Remember: It’s up to you to decide whether to accept an offer.
There are a number of reasons why it’s not always best to wait and time the market.
Impossible to Predict. It’s tempting to wait until a certain time of year or for the market to improve further. But honestly, if people actually knew what direction the housing market was going in, no one would have to work for a living. You could wait until April and find you lucked out and your home is worth more – or that’s it is worth $4,000 less. Truth is, you don’t know. No one does.
Interest rates are low. Despite the move by the Federal Reserve to move interest rates up slightly, they remain at historic lows. That’s intended to stimulate buying, particularly for big purchases such as homes. While the rates remain low, there’s no guessing when they will go up in the future.
Inventory. In some places, such as many regions of Florida, housing inventory is currently at a low. That combined with low interest rates tends to lead to strong prices.
Less competition. If you decide to sell your home during periods where sales are historically lower, you will face less competition as others follow the more seasonal patterns.
Whatever time you sell, keep in mind that a good real estate agent can help you negotiate the ins and outs of selling a home.