Talk to any real estate agent, and they will tell you that there are certain seasons that are more favorable to sell your home than others. Often, the best time to list and sell a single family detached home is in the spring, followed by early to mid fall.
Most families want to make the purchase of their home and complete the transaction before the summer months, when the kids and family are on summer vacation. Parents are keenly aware that school registrations need to be dealt with -- and who wants to be loading a moving truck in the middle of August?
Sensibly, spring also offers the best time of year to showcase your home. After a long winter, the first hints of cherry blossoms and crocuses seem to trigger the “moving bug” in many people. Gardens tend to look their best in fresh bloom, when the leaves are on the trees. Homes appear more appealing when the weather is warming up and buyers tend to be in high spirits.
It’s also usually easier to get your home ready for sale at this time of year -- from painting inside or out, to the simple ability to keep the house cleaner without the winter muck being traipsed throughout every time someone walks through the front door. Just remember, when you sell at the busiest time of the year you will face more competition, so make sure your home shows at its best!
If you’re selling anything over a certain price (and that depends on where you live -- but we’ll say anything in the top 20% price range of your community), expect the summer months to be particularly slow. Expensive homes require buyers with big pockets -- and where are they in the summer? Most likely away on vacation, not looking for a home….so that’s where the early to mid fall selling season comes in.
Fall is considered the next best time to list your home on the market– especially if it's a nice long Indian summer. Linked to the “back to school” mentality, with the leaves turning fabulous colors and nice cool crisp temperatures, you’ll have another good shot at selling a family home -- often to someone who’s already in your neighbourhood. That being said, be prepared to keep up that curbside appeal as the weather changes.
Some properties will sell at any time of year -- such as those aimed at first time home owners, especially condominiums and town homes. Often these buyers are not faced with the constraints of school catchments, and are much more interested in amenities like underground parking, recreation facilities and the nearest coffee shop. These buyers are happy to shop at any time of year, so sales will often be a bit steadier throughout.
Vacation properties always do their best in the spring and summer months, because that is when buyers visit these destinations. They benefit from the fact that vacationers will actually be where these listings are, and not just looking at pictures online or in a brochure. It’s also hard to imagine water skiing when the temperature is hovering at zero and the cottage for sale has had the water and power shut off for the season.
Having said this, there really is no wrong time to list your home, because if you price your home right, and make every effort to present it in a superior way, chances are you will sell your property in a timely manner. However, if you find that you have to list in December because of a change in career or what have you, remember to be realistic. The holidays in particular can be the hardest time to sell, when everyone’s minds are on other things. Don’t be frustrated though -- you never know. After all, one of my listings sold last year on Christmas Eve.