Invariably, homeowners ask me: Should I wait for the spring to offer my home for sale? My answer: “Perhaps not.” Why?
Although everyone’s reasons for and when to sell their home is different, if it is possible to do so, you may want to consider these three reasons why it might be more advantageous not to wait for the spring or summer months.
Conventional Wisdom v The Pool of International Buyers
Conventional wisdom says that the seller should offer his/her home for sale in the spring when the flowers are in bloom and buyers are out in full force. However, what the seller should remember is that the internet is open 24/7/365 and the buyers who look at his home online are not limited to the United States! The pool of foreign buyers who are not bound by American conventions for the timing of buying a home is increasing. Why lose the opportunity to sell to a buyer who has a real sense of urgency because you’ve tried to “time the market?”
Since the winter is a time when fewer homes are offered for sale, the seller might have less competition than if he/she waits for the spring market when many other sellers — especially those whose children have finished school and are “right-sizing” their living arrangements — will offer their homes for sale. With fewer homes offered for sale, the smaller pool of buyers might actually engage in a bidding war driving up the sale price of one’s home!
Positioning One’s Self as a “Ready, Willing and Able” Buyer
Finally, if the seller is planning to buy another home later, by selling now, he positions himself as a “ready, willing and able buyer” with nothing to sell and has a “leg up” over the other buyers who do. Speak to a buyer who’s lost a bid on the home of his dreams because the terms of his offer included a “contingent upon the sale” of his primary residence. S/he’ll tell you how frustrating it is.
This question doesn’t have a “one size fits all” answer so you would be doing yourself a disservice if you ignored these considerations as you weigh your options.