This time of year, home sellers often ask me, “Is it too late to list our home for sale now?” They follow it up with, “Shouldn’t we wait until spring?” Contrary to popular belief, the fall, not the summer, is the second best time of year to sell your home.
It’s true that spring is still seen as the peak home shopping season. Like every year, moms and dads motivated by changing school systems were out in full force this past spring. They got settled in their new homes before school started, or even before summer vacation. Growing families looking to upsize to a larger home have also likely moved before the new school calendar began.
Many homeowners mistakenly believe, this time of year, that they have missed their window of opportunity to sell. That’s simply not the case. Studies have shown that second only to spring, fall has the second highest home sales occurring. In my own experience, the summer months typically get much slower, especially from end of July through the month of August. Two reasons may explain the summertime lull. First, vast numbers of people, during this time period, are either preparing to go on vacation, are on vacation, or are just recovering from a nice long summer break. Second, when it’s 90 degrees outside, buyers would rather be lounging in a swimming pool than out trudging from house to house.
In contrast, the fall weather can be quite beautiful. Even as the temperatures require a jacket, it’s good weather to be out and about comparing closet space and kitchen islands. It’s good for home buyers, and good for sellers, too. And, realtors find that this time of year, buyers are more motivated. In the spring, there tend to be plenty of ‘tire kickers’ that want to search for months on end before actually pulling the trigger on a purchase. Fall buyers, however, are much more likely to be ready to write an offer on the first home that meets their needs.
Another good reason to list your home in the fall is that there is less inventory. Therefore, there is less competition for those home buyers who are ready to act. It’s basic supply and demand. The fewer number of homes on the market, the greater the likelihood that buyers will look at your home, and pay a maximum price for it.
If you have a waterfront or water view home, the fall and winter months are a good time to have your home on the market. Many of these homes have limited or no view during the spring or summer months when the tree leaves block the gorgeous views of the bay, creeks, or river. This can definitely impact how much a buyer would like to pay for your home.
Keep in mind that there’s no wrong time to list your home, if your price it right. There are buyers out there 365 days a year. And, you might not want to wait until spring.