Is there a "best" time to sell?

In a quandary about when to put your home on the market? You've heard so many conflicting views as to the best time. Is there really one time of the calendar year that is better than others? There are many factors that will affect market activity at a given time, some of which are not predictable. Area differences and economic conditions can also impact the flow of real estate transfers as well. However, there are some consistent factors that occur on a regular basis that you can expect.

For instance, the fourth quarter of the year is impacted by several of the major holidays that will put a crimp in normal buyer flow. With two of these important holidays situated only weeks apart, a normal interruption of buyer interest can occur. In addition, since schools are in semester break, most people consider family priorities like vacations and celebrations more important and put housing sales at less of a priority. Those concerned with year-end financial responsibilities and deadlines will also make for waning interest. In addition, the corporate transfer market generally seems to become less active until after the holiday season subsides. Winter snow covers even the most elaborate landscaping, which may mean a potential buyer will have to appreciate that beauty from display photographs instead of the real thing.

The first quarter of the year enjoys the return of full market as all attention resumes to a more normal pace. The corporate transfer market can intensify as new goals are implemented for the new year. Locational factors can affect activity due to inclement weather conditions impairing the air and car travel. April brings tax deadlines which in some cases has affected the middle weeks of that month. As the Spring season develops, homes seem to have nicer curb appeal and encourages more "drive-by" traffic. Many leases come due as the rental market turns over, often encouraging first-time home buyers to re-evaluate their housing situations. Real life occurrences still can affect regular flow as three-day weekends take precedence and schools let out for the summer. Graduation time also can lend a blow to the normal activity enjoyed in the late May-June period. Homes generally show their best when the exterior landscaping is in full bloom and top condition, grabbing the attention of that "drive-by" buyer.

Third quarter real estate runs fairly uninterrupted but also has summer vacations, the Fourth of July and Labor Day to obstruct full market activity. School start ups show to make the last weeks in August and September slower than the earlier part of the month.

It seems between holidays, school, weather, taxes, and family, just when is the best time? No one can predict when the one qualified buyer you need to appreciate your home will be looking in your neighborhood. Of course, some times seem better than others. Economic factors, interest rates, and of course, supply and demand will all play a critically important part as to the strength of the market. Springtime generally shows an increase of properties offered for sale, which gives increased selection to the buyer market. Fall may have less competition, but complications can occur with making moves during the holiday season and the kids final semester in school.

The one important factor to remember is: A buyer buys when the right home is offered for the price they are willing to pay at a time they need to buy. Consider your own personal needs and motivations when thinking of selling.

Valerie Cloutier, Realtor®
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Innovative Realty
66 Gilcreast Road
Londonderry, NH 03053
800-746-8448 | 603-434-4101
Copyright © 2005, 2006 Valerie Cloutier ~ All rights reserved.