When Is The Best Time To Sell?

This question is probably second only to, “How’s the market?”

I find most people are looking for a month or season. The typical response is usually not an answer but information that may already be known; i.e., higher prices in the peak season (spring/summer) mean more homes on the market, while lower prices in the off season (late summer/winter) are associated with less inventory and seemingly fewer buyers.

My reply is a 2-part answer and perhaps unexpected.

First, when to sell should be when you are ready, regardless of the time of year. Is there a life event driving the move? Do you have time to prepare the house? Is the social calendar full?

Second, when to sell should be within the first 2 to 3 weeks of putting the house on the market. It is rare for a house to look as pristine months later. Buyers intuitively know there is more room to negotiate months later. Owners develop what I refer to as “Seller’s Fatigue” which can lead to poor decisions.

Take a look at this chart showing the resale average sales price of single family detached Walton High School homes in East Side, Mount Bethel, Sope Creek and Timber Ridge. It identifies the two months for the past 10 years with the highest average sales prices. Two observations:

  • The customary seasonal low-price months (cool blue) offered some of the highest prices in 2008 – 2015.
  • Recent years have been consistent with the pattern usually expected; i.e., highest prices in the spring and early summer (hot red).

Walton Highest Months Avg Sale Price 2008 - 2018

Maybe the housing recession and early recovery had a role to play in this unexpected results and things are now more “normal” in this post-recovery period.

I can provide plenty of evidence to demonstrate the importance / benefits of being under contract sooner than later. And the number of sellers that do, without resorting to price reductions, may be surprising. Avoiding what I term as a “False Start” has a lot to do with starting at the right price.

Contact me when you have thoughts of selling, regardless of the time of year.

 

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