Choosing the right time to sell a home
Know the factors to consider when its time to move
Homeowners are fully aware of the fluctuating real estate market that’s existed since the turn of the century. What’s a good market one day might be bad the very next, making it even more difficult to choose a time to put a home up for sale.
Often adding to that difficulty is the handful of other variables, such as weather, geographical location, and just how many other people are selling at the same time as you. Those thinking of putting their home up should consider the following factors first.
• Local economy: If your local economy is struggling, then it’s generally a bad time to put your home up for sale. High unemployment rates are one thing, but if a large company with rumored layoffs is in your immediate area, chances are people will be shying away from looking for a home. Large purchases such as home buying are understandably put on the back burner when people fear they might be losing their jobs.
On the other hand, if a large company is moving into your area and bringing with it an entirely new workforce, this is great for your local economy and represents a good time to put your home up for sale, as those migrating to your area will need a place to live.
Interest rates: This is a no- brainer, but low interest rates make housing more affordable, creating a great opportunity for sellers. Chances are, if you’re selling a home, you’re also looking to buy one, so low interest rates will not only help you sell your home, but help you better afford to buy your new one as well.
Competition: Competition can work in two ways. If your home is one of very few in your area on the market, that’s a good thing, as potential buyers will be more likely to compromise if there are fewer choices available to them. However, buyers like to comparison shop as well, and might be quick to make a decision if they can compare your house to another in a similar price range.
Pending sales: The pending sales in your area can indicate whether a market is moving slowly or rapidly. Pending sale refers to homes that have been sold but not yet closed. To determine how quickly or slowly a market is moving, compare the number of pending sales to the number of new listings. If there are substantially more new listings than pending sales, the market’s not moving fast, and it might not be the best time to sell your home. If the ratio is closer to 1: 1, then the market’s doing well. In general, there will always be more new listings than pending sales, but the closer the two numbers are to one another will indicate the condition of the market you’re about to enter.
Season: Traditionally, spring has been the time most sellers put their homes on the market, which makes it one of the more competitive times to sell your home. If you’re experiencing a mild winter, you might want to consider putting your home on the market in mid- to late- winter. Interest rates will likely be lower around this time, and you’ll face less competition as well. If it’s a particularly harsh winter, however, this is not a good approach, as buyers won’t be out patrolling neighborhoods in two or three feet of snow.