The purchase or sale of real estate is a serious matter. It involves a large financial component and, for many people, a substantial emotional component as well. For that reason, one of the most common questions I receive from clients and general public is “When is the best time to buy/sell?”
There are many theories on this. It can be approached from the two different angles; buying and selling.
Although there are no hard and fast rules about timing, there certainly are better times to sell and more advantageous times to buy. You might be surprised by the answers.
Let’s begin with selling. Many people list their homes in the spring, with the view that their home and property shows better in the spring than it does when the grass is snow-covered. Others try to time the selling of their home and purchase of another marked by the end of the school year, to limit stress to their children and family as a whole. If you consider that most sellers agree that spring and fall are the best time to list their homes, it would be safe to assume that there would be more competition during those times, hence potentially limiting the upside of the sale price of homes. More inventory usually equates to longer sales times, and lower, albeit reasonable sales prices. With that in mind, one may consider looking to list their home at times when the market is less saturated, if pricing is more important that timing. January, for example,is often a great time to list if looking to stand out against the typically lower number of listings. The summer months are not always favorable, as many people in the buying audience are on vacation.
When it comes to buying, many look at the current interest rates, and amount of inventory to decide their timing. On the flip side of selling, it may be wise to look for a new home when listings are at their highest, giving a buyer more selection and more time to carefully consider their purchase. Interest rates do affect the buying market, and we often see a surge of buyers when interest rates are increased, but not always. The best way to get the most favorable price on a home is when the buyer is not in a panic situation. When there are fewer listings, or when there is a heated market, buyers tend to feel pressure to make hasty decisions and often pay higher prices to secure a home.
When it comes to timing, there are no steadfast rules. You can see that sellers and buyers are often on different schedules, making it a challenging market to maneuver. The bottom line when it comes to timing is that the best time to enter into the real estate market, as a seller or buyer, is when it’s right for you. Trying to time the market is a challenging pursuit. It’s best to look at your own needs and have the proper professionals; mortgage specialists and your Realtor to assist you in the decision to when you should pursue your next real estate transaction.