Recently I had a family approach me to discuss selling their home. They were considering waiting until the springtime to put their home on the market and came to me for advice. They believed selling their home during off-peak times, like November, might be a bad idea. Here is what I explained to them:
- True, spring is still the busiest time for buyers and sellers. However, people buy and sell homes regardless of the seasons, and selling during the fall and winter can have its advantages. Sure there are many who will wait until more homes come on the market, or the weather improves and still others will not want to change their children’s school mid-year. However, in November and December clients looking for new homes aren’t typically basing their decisions on their children’s schedules or the weather. People looking to buy in the fall and winter are typically more serious buyers. They are often working with time constraints due to work changes or a major family change and sometimes are more motivated to move quickly.
- There are fewer inventories so that means less competition. It is also true many spring sellers remove their homes from the market if they don’t sell by the end of summer. That means less competition for your home as choices for new buyers become more limited! Combine that with the serious buyers I mentioned above and you have yourself a good selling scenario.
- More time! During the peak-season almost every professional you deal with will be time-stretched throughout the selling process. With fewer client needs you will most likely benefit from preferred dates and times, faster response times and faster document processing times from your realtors, bank personnel, home inspectors, movers and real estate lawyers.
- The weather, holidays and hectic schedules no longer significantly impact a buyer’s ability to see your home considering most homebuyers are more tech-savvy and can use the Internet 24/7. Buyers often preview homes online and have a good sense of the community where a home is located prior booking a walk through. If your home becomes available, it fits their needs and is in the right community, they might be willing to make a move.
- There is no magic crystal ball for realtors. If you follow real-estate news you will find housing variables are difficult to predict and can be confusing. One source may report increases in the housing market while another source will quote “doom and gloom” statistics seemingly related to the drop in oil prices and subsequent layoffs in Calgary. As I write, Calgary’s Real Estate Market is definitely realizing downward pressure, and it is not unrealistic to predict lower house prices in the spring. If prices are good NOW and homes in your community have recently sold within the price range you were anticipating it might not be a good idea to wait.
- Buyers are still buying and sellers are still selling. If your home is marketable and you chose an established realtor with a strong marketing plan you have a good ability to reach a buyer for your home. Strong realtors, regardless of the season, will effectively market your home and will have the experience required to give solid advice and negotiate the best price when buyers come knocking. They will lay out exactly what you can expect, from sales price to timing, and will work closely with you to help you sell your home. Additionally, they will have the connections, tenacity and the integrity required during non-peak seasons to get the job done.