By Brian Trebelhorn, Realtor, RE/MAX Advantage Plus
…A common question that is asked of Realtors, a good question, and one with a variety of answers. There are a few factors that determine a good time to sell your home but, ultimately, the best time is whenever it’s best for you, as circumstances outside the real estate world dictate – an addition to the family, more space needed, a job relocation, a change in marital status, etc.
For those that are always ready and get anxious after living in the same home for a period of time (yes, there are plenty of homeowners who move simply because they’re bored), there are better times to sell than others. I’m referring primarily to the time of year. There was once a time when the spring and into summer was considered the strongest. That is still a strong time of year to sell, but the kickoff to the hot real estate market time of year is gradually shifting to shortly after the New Year. Almost like a switch being turned on, Realtors can count on the second week or so of January for the phones to light up and the inbox and text messages to start to fill up as people are ready to start looking for homes after the dust of the holiday season has settled.
From mid-January until Memorial Day, you can plan on it being a good time of year to put your home on the market. There are still peaks and valleys during those months, most notably spring break and Easter, and then there’s the weather. In a state where the weather can change almost hourly, you’d be surprised at how much it still controls our lives. If it gets cold, the activity slows because nobody wants to go out in the cold. And then if it warms up, people want to play in the sun, so it slows down again. Weather is a surprisingly big factor when it comes to people searching for homes. For diehard home buyers, weather will not slow them down but, for most buyers, it is a big factor.
After Memorial Day, we enter the summer months. The summer months are always pretty active, but somewhat surprisingly (at first glance) July is actually the slowest month of the year, historically and statistically. If you think about it, it does make sense, though. July the only month of the year where there is no school or school activities for the entire month. In June we have the end of the school year and graduation and, in August, we have the back-to-school sports practices and other activities prepping for the new school year. That makes July the month that many people go on vacation.
When we enter the fall and winter months, you can plan with almost absolute certainty a big slowdown at the end of August and into mid-September, for all the back-to-school activities and, of course, the last hurrah of the summer, Labor Day weekend! Once the dust settles from all that, there is almost always a resurge of sorts that sparks people to become active again. The kids are back in school and the family routine gets restored. Here again, the weather can play a role, but it is common for some people to want to get into a home before the hustle and bustle of the holiday season starts, as well as trying to beat the snow. Because of that, like clockwork, you can plan on a pretty significant surge around mid-September until Thanksgiving.
Once Thanksgiving hits, it’s all over until the cycle starts again that second week of January. Although December is not the slowest time of year, it is certainly a close second to July. There are still buyers out there wanting to get into a home before the New Year, for tax purposes, but other than that, it’s a pretty inactive time for the real estate market.
Of course, market saturation also plays a huge role if you’re trying to time the selling of your home. Right now, inventories are very low, so well-priced homes that come on the market are not only selling fast, but getting full price and multiple offers. There’s probably never been a better time to sell than right now. It’s good old-fashioned economics – the law of supply and demand – the demand is there, the supply is not. If you’ve ever considered selling your home but were waiting for the “best” time to sell, now might be that time.
All that being said, and considering that a nice home, well-priced will almost certainly sell at any time, one may still conclude that the best time of year to sell, remains…when you’re ready.
Brian Trebelhorn is a Realtor with the Northfield office of Re/Max Advantage Plus. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, 507/254-7958 or briantrebelhorn.com.