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It happens every year. People decide they want to sell their house, but they want to wait until the Spring when all of the flowers have bloomed and their lawn looks beautiful. Besides, everyone knows the Spring Market is the best time to sell your house in the shortest time for the highest dollar, right? Not necessarily!
If you want to sell your house this year, consider putting it in on the market sooner rather than later. Here's why:
Just like any other market, real estate is all about Supply and Demand. When demand is greater than supply, we have a seller’s market. This is the market where houses sell for the most amount of money in the least amount of time.
Current Supply: Housing inventory is at historically low levels right now. The number of active listings in Hartford County is 28% below last January’s levels, and 40% below the 5-year average of January listings.
Current Demand: We’ve seen a notable uptick in showings and general market activity since the start of 2018. If my open house from yesterday is any indication, buyers are out there. In just two hours yesterday, I had over 20 groups of SERIOUS buyers walk through a new listing. And, yes, that house is now under contract after only one day of showings and an open house. Needless to say, the sellers are thrilled.
We have plenty of buyers in our pipeline, but not much to show them. Our buyers are waiting very anxiously for new inventory to come on the market, and I know we are not alone. It may be cold outside, but it certainly feels like spring!
Your house will stand out from the competition now, simply because it is for sale. With fewer choices, buyers are more willing to see a home’s potential and are less likely to demand that the house be “perfect” right when they move in.
In late spring, buyers have more choices, and tend to demand more. If a house isn’t “perfect,” they simply move on to the next one. Pricing correctly is more critical in late spring too. If your house isn’t priced just right, it will sit on the market. The longer it sits, the lower your final sale price will be. Even worse, if it doesn’t sell by June you could be facing a long summer on the market while people are away on vacation.
Buying and selling a house depends on a wide network of people: attorneys, lenders, underwriters, appraisers, inspectors, contractors, movers, etc. A successful closing depends on meeting contract deadlines throughout the process. By late spring, there are so many houses under contract that backlogs in the network are common. This can lead to deadline extensions, unnecessary delays, missed closing dates, and a whole lot of stress. Working through the process before the peak in activity can result in a much smoother, more enjoyable experience.
Consider this, the Spring Market tends to be the busiest because many families don’t want to move until the end of the school year. There are more closings in June than any other month of the year. In order to close by mid-June, most buyers will need to be under contract by the end of April. Assuming your house is in great condition, priced perfectly, and ready to stand above the rest of the competition, you will want to have your house listed in early April to meet this timeline.
But guess what? The flowers aren’t out by early April either. Landscaping still looks pretty messy, and everything is soggy. If you wait until your yard looks beautiful, you could very easily miss the market.
A lot of people love to look at houses, even if they aren’t quite ready to buy. And when is the best time of year to look? Spring! The flowers are out, the days are longer (so they can look after work), the weather is beautiful, and there are lots of houses on the market! Every time someone schedules a viewing of your house, you have to get the house show ready, find somewhere else to go, and wait anxiously for the buyer’s feedback. But lookers aren’t always buyers, meaning there may be a lot of unnecessary stress.
On the flip side, buyers who are out now are actually looking to buy a house. Why go out in the cold weather, or sneak away from work early to see a house in daylight if you aren’t actually ready to buy a house? So while you may have fewer showings this time of year, they are more likely to be “real” showings and are more likely to result in an offer on your house.
Not ready to plant a sign in your yard tomorrow? That’s ok. It can be a lot of work preparing a home for the market. But, it’s never too early to start planning. Too often we see people overspend to get their house ready to sell, with little hope of recovering that money. At the same time they may neglect a few simple fixes that could really impact the value of their home or the speed of a sale. Now is the time to make your to-do list, create your time line and get those ducks in a row.
If that all sounds overwhelming to you, contact us. We can help create your plan. We’ll tour your home, give you an honest opinion of value, and outline the steps you should take to get your home ready to sell at the highest price in the shortest amount of time.
For more information on the process, check out our Home Selling Guide.