Should I list my home in the Spring season or wait for Fall?
If you follow the home sale trends in Locust Grove, VA then you know that conventional wisdom is true and the statistics show that home sales are indeed cyclical. Year after year beginning in March and April more homes become active on the market, with June, July, and August typically seeing the highest number of sales per month. There are a lot of good reasons for this. The weather is nicer if you live in an area that receives a lot of snow in the winter time. In Orange County, Virginia we typically have moderate winters. Also, families with children prefer to move over the summer when they have more flexibility before the start of the new school year.
When is the best time to buy or sell a home? It depends.
SPRING MARKET. For Sellers, the statistics show that the median sold price tends to be slightly higher from March through September. As more homes hit the market and ultimately sell, these comparables push sales prices higher throughout the season. Higher comparables also help when the lender is trying to determine the value for the during the appraisal process. Lastly, since the weather is more conducive to shopping and the days are longer buyers are more likely to start early and shop later.
One challenge with listing in the busy spring market is with greater supply and more choices for buyers. More Supply means there is more competition for your home. This means two identical homes, one without granite countertops and one with granite countertops, maybe on the market at the same time. The deciding factor of why a buyer picked one home over another could be something a specific as granite countertops! Therefore, preparing your home for the spring market might mean additional work before you list the home to be more competitive. If your home needs significant repairs this often offsets the gain you might get in sales price.
OFF SEASON. Fall and winter are traditionally considered a slower season for home sales, with January and February typically having the least amount of sales each year. Even though activity begins to slow that doesn't mean that there aren't great opportunities to for both buyers and sellers! For sellers, there is still a significant carryover of higher comparable prices from the spring Market. Also, with fewer comparable homes buyers are forced to be less choosy. This can be an advantage if your home needs updates or minor repairs. You may be able to forgo those as long as they don't impact the safety or ability for your home to qualify for financing.
One thing to consider is that even though there might be less homes on the market there are typically less buyers as well. The real estate market likes to be in equilibrium. In essence, as Supply increases (homes for sale) and demand (buyers who want a home) increases at the same rate prices hold steady. But as supply decreases (Fall and Winter) and demand also decreases (less buyers) prices tend to stay stable as well. Remember prices only stay the same if supply and demand is equal. There are many other factors like interest rates, unemployment, stock market, and other Global events that can directly affect this. The laws of supply and demand still apply even though trees have lost their leaves and the ground might be covered with snow.
It's almost impossible to time the real estate market. It's best to partner with a Real Estate Agent you trust and who has a proven track record to get the professional advice you need to make the best decision for you and your family. If you would like to have a conversation about what your options are please give Sean Jones a call at 540-360-5166 for a free consultation.