Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Is there really a “best” time to buy or sell a house?

This is a question that I have been asked many times over the years and to be honest I’m not sure there really is one true answer. There are so many factors to consider when dealing with real estate that I don’t even think it’s possible to list them all let alone explain them. I also want to point out that statistics are a great guideline but can never reflect the entire story.

Look at it this way; what are the odds of being hit by lightening? The answer is 1 in 3,000 or 1/30th of 1%. The reason that we don’t worry about being hit by lightening is because we know that the odds are so low. That is of course unless your name happens to be Roy Cleveland Sullivan. He was hit by lightening 7 times in his life and survived them all. Ask him what he thinks of statistics. The point I’m trying to make here is that it’s OK to use the following information as points of interest but don’t take it too much to heart. At the very least I found it interesting for buyers and sellers alike.

January is said to be the best month to make an offer on a house

There is some logic to this fact but a lot of debate. Some feel that there are less house hunters because it is cold or that sellers may be willing to accept a lower bid because there are fewer offers as compared to the spring time. Others blame fewer offers due to the arrival of Xmas time credit card bills and other holiday related expenses such as travel and entertaining. My thoughts on the subject? While statistically true I say that regardless of the month if you find the house of your dreams you had better make an offer quick or risk losing the chance.

Sring time is for sellers

As the cold weather months wane away it is true that there are more buyers looking at homes than in the winter. The reasons for this are attributed to many factors including tax refund checks and better weather to enjoy house hunting. The facts are that in most areas of the country home sales do peak in the spring but that doesn’t mean that a seller should wait to see birds before listing their home! Many, many homes are sold throughout the year and there is another thought to be considered here. Listing your home during the “off season” means less competition and that’s a good thing for a seller. I say it’s best to list your home when the time is right for you and not based on the temperature.

Make an offer on your dream home on the 1st Tuesday of the month?

I love this one and if you want me to explain it, well, I can’t! The best explanation I’ve heard for this statistic is that the homeowner that’s trying to sell their home just made another mortgage payment and is more motivated than ever to accept an offer. Hmmmmmm………. Or maybe he didn’t hear anything from the couple that attended his open house the weekend before? OK, you got me but the prevailing theory is that the 1st Tuesday of the month is a home buyer’s best friend.

Listing your home on a Thursday will get better results

The reasoning behind this plan is that your home will only be on the market 2 days before it is available for weekend showings. I can live with that because interested parties will have 2 weekend opportunities to see your home in the first 9 days and the truth is that newer listings tend to receive more offers at full price. Buyers know that they may be able to make a lower offer if your home’s been on the market for a long time but are hesitant to risk losing their opportunity to a higher offer when the listing is fresh.

If you have any interesting real estate stats that you’d like to share with me please let me know. I’d like to hear them as well and who knows, maybe I can share them with my clients.

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