For years now, people have believed that waiting for prime season when it comes to listing a house is the best decision. So, what is prime season? Traditionally, agents and sellers alike agree that prime season begins in the spring and comes to an end at the same time summer does. That little tidbit of information may be true, at least as far as the number of houses on the market and the number of buyers looking. It is, without a doubt, the busiest home-hunting and home-purchasing season. However, is it best to wait until spring rolls around to sell your home? The answer to this question is, simply, “maybe not.” Many agents would advise you to list as soon as you know you are selling. Other agents would insist that you wait. In order to make the determination, you will need to do a little research. As always, with real estate, there are many variables to consider. Let’s take a look at some of the factors you will want to contemplate….
Now that we agree that the prime season for real estate is equal to the warm weather months, let’s discuss the reasons why you may not want to wait until prime season rolls around to sell. First of all, depending on where you live, warm weather may abound all year. This means the prime season is less pronounced than in areas where cold weather is abundant and snow may even accumulate. There is no need to wait until spring to list your home if you live in a pleasant climate year round. All the same, if your climate is cold and crummy, you may be leaving money on the table if you decide to sell during the off season.
As always, the market in your area and neighborhood will be the deciding factor. It will be important to meet with your agent for research on listing prices and selling prices in comparable homes year round. In some areas, selling during the off season can work in your favor. Less competition on the market may be beneficial. Needless to say, there are pros and cons for listing in prime season and the off season, alike. Let’s take a look at both:
Prime Season Pros
- Curb appeal – Your home, typically, looks better during warm weather and longer days.
- Higher appraisal amount – When comps are higher (in a hot market,) your home is appraised accordingly.
- Bidding wars – More buyers bring more offers, which usually mean bidding wars can occur. This is always a good thing for you, the seller!
Prime Season Cons
- Buyers can pick and choose – With more homes on the market; buyers can tend to be picky and demanding.
- Sellers may need to upgrade more – Again, when competition is steep buyers want more. It may be necessary to spend more time and money upgrading certain areas of your home.
Off Season Pros
- Buyers are motivated – If buyers are out looking in the off season, chances are they need to buy quickly.
- Fewer houses on the market – Sometimes, the off season can work in your favor with less competition.
Off Season Cons
- Buyers are looking for a deal – Some of the buyers looking during the off season are shopping for a discount. These buyers can be difficult during negotiations, and demand repairs even when they offer well below the asking price.
- Less Curb Appeal – In cooler climates, curb appeal is less than attractive. Sometimes, there just isn’t a lot you can do about this.
As you can see, the answer to the best time to sell isn’t cut and dry. Yes, the prime season pros seem to outweigh the cons. But, be sure to do the necessary research before shutting the door on the off season!
Contact Laurie Scherer at 888-300-4431 today for a complimentary consultation!