A house on my block just went on the market for sale this week. This was an old house owned by a man who died a couple of yrs. ago. It was bought by a contractor and renovated. My thought is that this is the worst time of year to put up a house for sale. A school is right up the block and I think a family would most likely be interested in this house. Do you think it would be better to have been put on the market after the new year? Wouldn't 5 mos. on the market vs. 2 mos. affect the prices offered? (a made up time frame) I think this was the absolute worst time to put a house on the market, a week before Thanksgiving? (we have a lot of schools in this neighborhood) Does timing really matter? Thanks for your opinions, I'm just really curious what you think!
Posts: 2432 | Location: "The Garden State", NJ ~ Zone 7 | Registered: Nov 05, 2004
Timing sometimes matters but not always. When I was actively selling I found that the buyers out there during the holidays were more motivated, ready to buy at this time of year- fewer "tire kickers, lookey loos. There's also less market competition so your home stands out more, thus increasing the odds of a sale. As far as kids, schools, and moving, does it really matter when you move- seems like everything these days is done year around 24/7.
Posts: 3126 | Location: Michigan and sw Florida | Registered: May 16, 2007
We listed our home on December 24, 2006. Our agent aggressively listed it ABOVE the comps for our model because of the remodeling we did. The buyers saw it on the 24th, spent Xmas Day talking it over, and offered us 99 percent of the asking price on the 26th.
Fast forward to January 1, 2013. Our home went on the market that day, and we had a full price offer 36 hours later.
Both buyers were highly motivated to buy a home in our development asap. One was moving from Wyoming and wanted to be in place (in Texas) before January 1 for his new job. The others had been renting in our community and their lease was up.
IMO, the holidays can be an excellent time to sell. Lower inventory, less competition.
As others pointed out, people buy and sell houses year round. In some areas it is more difficult because of the weather, but people are still moving into and out of those places as well.
As for an investment property, it is not like the holidays are going to disrupt the seller's holiday plans, although I find that reasoning strange. I think people not in real estate over inflate the importance of freshness on the market.
When doing research for a buyer I do not enter listing date in my search parameters. However, if a house has been on the market well over a year, I will take a really close look at the description, location, price and photos. Usually it is a combination of the 4 that is the problem. The aging of the listing is not the problem, but an indication there is a problem with the property.
Depending on the price range it might take well over 6 months to find the right buyer.
Time matters but there are exceptions. A lot of sellers put their houses on the market after New Year's Eve. However, a lot of them face high competition. If the holidays are coming, it doesn't mean that people stopped looking for houses. A lot of buyers actually are very active during last months of the year. One thing I've noticed is that a lot of buyers who shop during holiday are truly motivated. You have a better chance selling your house during holiday season than let’s say in February when there a lot more inventory on the market. Plus you can nicely decorate it with Christmas lights; have a great holiday atmosphere inside of the house. It can actually attract a lot of buyers.