It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but probably not for putting your home on the market. Or could it be?
While data shows that the warmer spring months are the best time to sell your home, that isn’t necessarily true for every single property. If all you want for Christmas is the perfect buyer, you might get your wish this year. If you’re considering listing your home in the upcoming weeks or possibly in early 2020, there are several factors that must be kept in mind.
There Isn’t A Bad Month To List, But There Is a Bad Day
Catherine Silver Smith who is an agent with Warburg Realty in New York stresses the day of the week a listing goes live can potentially be more important than the month of the year. “You want to give people enough time to recover from the weekend search as well as enough time to prepare a list of what to see the following weekend,” she says.
According to Smith, the best days to list a home are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday because homes listed on a Monday generally don’t get many eyeballs online until later in the week and those listed on Friday can get lost in the weekend shuffle.
Consider Listing Just After A Major Holiday
Christopher Totaro of Warburg Realty says putting a home on the market shortly after a major holiday can be a wiser decision that it would appear. “It can actually be beneficial to list in a month like January or August because there will be less inventory to share the limelight and the listing may get much more market attention,” he says.
Keep The Buyer In Mind
If there isn’t a major rush to sell, it’s important to consider the timelines of potential buyers, explains Kathryn Landow of Warburg Realty. “For example, if you have a large apartment that is likely suited for a family, you might want to list it in such a way that the buyer can sync up to the school year schedule.”
Landow also notes that features like outdoor space can be a bigger draw during warmer months and may not be as valuable to buyers during other times of the year. “If you have an apartment that features great outdoor space, listing in the winter is not likely to showcase that, so a spring/summer listing might be more successful,” she explains.
While Landow’s expertise is the New York City market, the same rules can be applied to any property. No matter the location, buyers tend to be less excited about an outdoor kitchen, for example, in the middle of an impending snowstorm.
Colder Months Can Mean More Serious Buyers
Lucas Callejas of Triplemint notes that people who list in early January tend to get a higher price per square foot historically. “The buyer pool is smaller yes, but you tend to have more serious buyers looking at that time and less competition from other sellers.”
Karen Lopez, Esq, who is a Realtor in the Los Angeles area with Remy Owl, makes a good point about the benefits of listing early in the year. “I think it is a great opportunity to take advantage of the many New Years’ resolutions to buy a house for the family,” she says.
Lopez believes that all the holiday togetherness can be a motivating factor. “Gathering with loved ones tends to put in perspective the need to have shelter and a place to raise a family, therefore, creating an incentive for potential buyers.”
If you’re motivated enough to consider listing your home during the holidays, as opposed to in the New Year, Louis Adler, who is the co-founder and principal of REAL NY says this could end up being a smart move. “It isn’t a bad idea as the inventory and the competition are generally lower during the holidays. Besides, serious buyers don’t take a break and will continue looking during the holiday season.”
After all, if someone is willing to take a break from parties, presents and spending time with family to trek in the cold to look at homes, they just might be motivated enough to buy yours.
Pricing Is More Important Than Timing
Every single agent agrees if a seller isn’t willing to be realistic about pricing, timing becomes a moot point. “There’s no good market right now for aspirational pricing,” says Callejas. “Regardless of what month makes sense for you, if you’re planning on selling in the foreseeable future, you cannot overprice. Period. Whether it’s a spring or fall listing time, how you stack up against the competition is crucial.”
Furthermore, according to Claire Groome of Warburg Realty, if a seller needs to move quickly, a larger market won’t necessarily hurt the bottom line, if they’re willing to slightly undercut the competition, “If you were lucky enough to buy your apartment for a great price and are able to list yours for what seems like an amazing deal in the current market and you still walk away with a winning sale.”