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Sell Now, Then Enjoy Next Spring & Summer As a Successful Seller

by: Jeff Quintin, on December 7, 2011 - Uncategorized

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Why is there such a stigma against selling your home in the cooler months of the year?  Sure, it may not be as easy to jump in one’s car and drive over to the next open houses, but if you think about it – there is really no reason why a home couldn’t sell just as easily during the off-peak season as it does in the spring and summer.

One of the most common things we see as Realtors is that homeowners will list their home on the market – and given the state of our market lately – if it doesn’t sell within a certain time frame leading up to the fall season, they proceed to take the property off the market.  The general consensus is that there will not as many buyers out there and since the market will be slow, best to wait until things pick up again.

This school of thought is contrary to what most real estate agents already know.  When you get into the months that end in “er” (September, October, November, December) and onwards, the buyers that are looking are truly serious contenders for the properties that are currently on the market at the time.  As a seller, nothing could be better for you than knowing whatever offers are coming are solid, quality offers coming from people who have made the effort to seek out the perfect property despite the cooler weather, holidays or lesser inventory.

The single best advantage you will have over others if selling during the fall and winter seasons, is to be able to gain exposure to quality, serious buyers.

Serious Buyers Have Less Homes to Consider

Keep in mind that come early spring when everyone else jumps on the bandwagon and lists their property, there will suddenly be an influx of new listings and equally, if not more, new buyers to go along with it.  More competition? Sure.  But it also means that you will have a lot more browsers rather than actual prospective buyers.

Fewer Inventory Means Your Home Can Be One of the Better Properties

It goes without saying that the more competition you have, the harder it will be for you to sell your home.  When your home is listed during less busy time of the year in terms of real estate, your chances of being a stronger contender are significantly higher.  Yours will likely stand out from other properties and you will have the opportunity to have one of the better ones available to buyers looking to close on a deal now.

Market Conditions Are Ripe for Buyers and Buyers Know It

Many potential investors and existing homeowners are seizing the opportunities that present themselves these days given the record low interest rates as well as significantly lower property values.  Oftentimes the people seriously looking to buy are either upgrading into a new property or they want a second or subsequent one.  These buyers know that the current market conditions will not last forever and they are ready to purchase the right property when it comes along.

Rental Homes Are Done Earning Peak For the Year

Owners of rental properties often use the home during off-peak times of year.  Since the end of July and early August provide the biggest yield in terms of rental income, by the time the fall and winter months approach, the owners utilize that income to carry them through the rest of the year.  While they are enjoying one of the most beautiful times of year in the area, they begin to look for new opportunities; once again – a very high quality buyer profile.

A Look At How the Numbers Compare

Since it is a common misconception that more homes sell or at least a lot more homes sell in the warmer months of early spring, a look at the numbers provides a good benchmark for sellers to gauge the so-called “huge” difference.

As of the end of November, 2011 the total number of homes listed for sale and currently on the market in our area was 1,037.  If you go back to April of the previous year, what would demonstrate a fair assessment of how the market might perform in the coming year at the same time, the number of homes on the market was 1,187.  In other words, there were only 15% more homes on the market in the spring (2010) as compared to the fall/early winter 2011.

Focusing specifically on Ocean City, in October of this year the total number of homes sold was 56.  And very surprisingly to those who still feel off-peak season is off-limits, the number of homes sold in April of 2010 was also 56.  The one major difference between the two times of year is inventory levels.

Now, why wouldn’t you want to be among a smaller pool of available top-quality homes?  Put your home on the market – and leave it for sale during the whole time – and you will very likely sell your home faster than you imagined.