When is the best time to sell my home? Should I wait for the Spring market?

Published 05 January 14 08:41 AM | Merv Edinger 

So many believe that the only time to sell a home is in the Spring. While Spring is normally the busiest season for Real Estate sales, people do buy homes 363 days per year ( Realtors® in Nova Scotia are not allowed to write or present offers nor show homes or conduct real estate on Christmas nor Rememberance Day ).

There are many factors that determine when is the best time to sell a particular property. Here are a few of them to help you decide when is the best time to list your home:

        

When does your home show at its best?

Is the property you are selling a lakeside or beach property? Was it designed for outdoor enjoyment? Does it have spectacular landscaping or special outdoor features such as a custom built BBQ, pool, water feature? If so, then Early Spring-Early Summer would be the best time.  People looking to purchase a home with these types of features want to enjoy the Summer in their new home/cottage.

Are you an urban condo dweller? Then late Summer-Fall is the best time to sell.  This is when people, who have just finished a long season of yard work, are starting to think about the approaching Winter weather and all the extra upkeep of a freehold home: snow shoveling, lawn mowing, household maintenance.  Snow birds are looking to purchase & move into a condo before heading South for those cold Winter months.

If you live near a ski resort, then you may want to consider listing your home in late Fall-Winter.  This is when the skiers will be heading to the hills & be intrigued by homes/cabins in the area.

If you live in rural areas, mid-Spring through early Fall is the best time to sell. Once the snow melts, buyers tend to get excited about the new prospects & possibilities that Spring has to offer.  They are dreaming of more space & privacy that rural living provides. The other issue with listing a rural home in the Winter months is  the difficulty in getting the conditions of a sale met: septic testing & pumping, exterior inspections of a home, water testing.

 Does your home offer a spectacular view, during what season is it the most attractive? This is when you should consider selling.

Of course there are many other factors you need to consider. 

Your motivation for moving

Everyone has their reasons for moving.  Some of them you have control over, others you may not.  What ever your motivation, let your Realtor® know what your motivation is so that they can give you all the appropriate information and statistics so that you can make the right decision on when to list your home for sale.

Of course, if you are posted / transferred for work, or are at risk of foreclosure, you may not have the option of when to list your home.

The benefits of listing during the Winter months

So of course, this takes us back to the very first paragraph.  Yes, there are buyers looking for a place to call home in the Winter months.  Why should you list during this time? Well there are benefits.  First of all, because so many people believe that Spring " IS THE TIME TO LIST" there is less competition on the market for your home.  Buyers that are willing to go out in the Winter months searching for a home are not simply out for a Summer drive.  They are serious & obviously want to move. 

Tips on how to sell your home in the "Off  Winter Season"

Staging your home to appear at its best is even more important during the dreary Winter months.

 

  • Be sure to make your home inviting in Winter - warm it up! Winter days are short, tend to be grey & cold.  So turn up your heat, even if it is only for the short time that your home is being viewed. 
  • Turn on all the lights! Light, whether natural or artificial, makes a home appear warmer & more inviting.Make sure your Realtor® has photos of your home in the Summer months to use in their advertising.  Leave photos of your home during the fairer seasons out for the buyers to peruse while visiting your home.
  • Keep a couple of healthy lavish, not artificial, plants in your home.  People like life, even if it is just a plant.  They give off a good energy.
  • When it is possible & safe to do so, leave your propane fireplace, pellet / oil stove on for the buyers to enjoy.  Even if you have to get an artificial source of flame such as battery powered candles for your wood burning fireplace, do so.  Fireplaces are scene as romantic, a place to gather with family, an important secondary heat source ( particularly with rural homes ).
  •       Which room seems to be warmer & more inviting in these 2 photos?
  • Clear your driveway & pathways from all entrances of snow & ice.  Put down salt & sand for visitors' safety.
  • Clean windows, open your blinds, pull back those curtains so that as much natural light as possible is able to enter the home.
  • Scents can trigger positive thought to a buyer. Do not go out & stock up on artificial scents like Febreeze.  These trigger the thoughts that you the sellers are trying to hide a bad smell. Instead, use a slow cooker to make a simple vegetable stew ( a carrot, celery stick, a piece of turnip, herbs such as rosemary, sage, thyme, & basil ).  This actually led to an offer on a home that we were hosting an open house on, that had been on the market for months with one of our competitors. A small pot of simmering water with a stick of cinnamon & a wedge of apple will give the aroma of a baked apple pie. Do not leave you stove on while out for the showing.  Buy a package of Pillsbury chocolate chip cookies.  Bake 4-6 cookies, even if its in your toaster oven, & leave them out on a plate for the visitors during the showing.  Warm them just before you leave your home for the viewing so that it smells like freshly baked cookies.  These scents are reminiscent of home. Don't overdo it.  Just because each can work does not mean that all 3 methods combined at once will triple their effectiveness.
  • Put out a bird feeder in your yard.  The majority of people love song birds & will appreciate their visits to their potential home.  Of course, if all you are attracting are seagulls & pigeons, take it down. Song birds tend to prefer black sunflower seeds & nyger seed.
  •  
  • Emphasize the Winter positives of your home: the alternate heat sources, the energy rating, access to bus service & amenities, any Winter sports or recreation that are located nearby ( ski trails, skating ponds / rinks, snow mobile paths, etc ).
Ultimately, the best time to sell is when it suits you & your needs, just please keep in mind that your decision may conflict with market conditions, over which your agent has no control over. 

If you are debating on whether it is the right time for you list your home & would like some advice from a seasoned professional, who will take all of your needs into consideration, feel free to give me a call.

Sincerely,
Merv Edinger & Associates
cell ( 902 )497-1217
Re/Max Nova
Halifax  Dartmouth  Fall River  Sackville  Porters Lake
serving the Halifax Regional Municipality

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