Profile picture for NancyJL

Is it better to sell now, in October or wait until spring?

  • October 13 2009 - Soquel
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Answers (10)

Depends on where you are! In general, many people will believe that "it's not a good time to sell in the winter months" and will take their homes off the market until the spring, which will only reduce the amount of competition on the market for sellers who remain on the market.

Also, people need to move throughout the year. Jobs always require moving. The 4Q and preparations for 1Q in the new year typically require many relo clients to find homes to close by the end of the year. December is usually an active month for resales -- not a slow month -- in most parts of the country, certainly I can speak for the Houston area and particularly the north Houston area. If your house isn't on the market, you won't sell it! You can't sell it if you don't list it; you can't sell it if you don't show it.

One important caveat is that buyers in general, and this is true in the major suburban Texas markets and most metro markets in the U.S. -- buyers don't want "projects." Investors want projects, but they also want to pay pennies on the dollars. So if you have a quality property, and particularly a property with a pool or other commonly desired amenity, then you're going to fare better in "off season" months (or any time of year frankly). Quality properties will typically spend less time on the market and will hold value better than properties that have not been as well maintained or are not as well updated as other properties against which they are competing in the same market -- so start by looking at your own property.

Find someone with experience and expertise in your market to advise you about a) how your property make perform in comparison to other properties in your market, and b) what the particular dynamics of your market are right now and are expected to be through the coming months.

But our general advice is: if you want to move, don't delay, compete aggressively and get it on the market! It's not a bad time to sell. Good luck!
  • November 12 2009
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I would check on the amount of active inventory on the market in your area. If it is lower than normal I would suggest listing it now. I will say that you should price aggressively but in many California markets the inventory levels are very low. Waiting until next year may backfire if the banks start releasing more foreclosed homes onto the market.
  • November 12 2009
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Profile picture for TeamSandyBlanton

No one has a crystal ball but most economist don't predict an increase in property values over the coming months (most predict further decreases in value). Furthermore, the $8k buyer tax credit that currently ends Nov. 30th has yet to be renewed.. This has been a large factor in many of the recent sales in our area (pensacola fl). So, if you were a seller I met today, I'd say sell now..not later. However, every area, situation and each property are different. Meet with a local professional and go over your options. Together, you can make an informed and intelligent decision.

  • October 29 2009
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There is no right answer since alot depends on you. There are some "typicals". Winter time, there are less buyers, BUT the buyers that are out there are usually serious buyers. When the weather is nice, you get alot of "tire-kickers" and that increases the total number of buyers. Do you need to sell or just want to sell? Are you willing to price your home where a serious buyer would be interested or are you just trying to "feel out" the market? How many homes, like yours, have sold in your area in the last 6 months? I'd suggest that you set up a consultation with a Realtor for answers to the market and price questions and then make up your mind to do what's best for you. Just keep in mind, if prices are down, yes, you'll get a lower price for your home, but you'll also pay less for your new home. Same thing if prices are up. Do you want to compete with alot of buyers or a few for a new home? Whatever is true for the home you want to sell, will also be true for the home you hope to buy.
Best of luck!
  • October 29 2009
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Profile picture for nealadler
It depends.  If you price your home correctly it should sell any time of the year.  If your home is on the market during the holidays the most serious buyers are looking then. 
  • October 21 2009
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Profile picture for workabee
So says the MA oracle about CA real estate. Stick to your local market. I don't think your crystal ball goes coast to coast.
  • October 21 2009
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Profile picture for Corcoran1
It depends on you. The market pricing will not change much between now and spring but the holidays will have a slow down on showings and actvity.
  • October 21 2009
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Whatever the statistics are for your area, there's really only one statistic that's static and that's you. The others take a crystal ball to foresee. What is your reason for selling?  If you can stand still and wait for the market to go up (or down!) then maybe Spring is best. But there's still no time like the present to sell.  Buyers who are looking to buy this time of year tend to be very serious buyers. Come Spring you will be competing with many sellers and their freshly planted petunias.
  • October 15 2009
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Profile picture for sunnyview
It depends on your price range, local area wether and competition in the market. Most first time buyers want to close a house now before the credit expires Nov 30. Many new foreclosures are due on the market in early spring and that may drive down prices. Typically winter is not a strong sales season since most families move before school starts and the holidays set in, but homes do sell in the winter. if you are on the market in the winter, you need to be priced to sell, willing to show your house over the holidays to it's best advantage and know what the sales pattern is in your area during the winter months. A local realtor can give you historical days on market in your price range and can also tell you if you area is trending up, down or flat. If your market is flat or trending down, I would take the opportunity to try to sell now.
  • October 13 2009
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Nancy, it really depends on your particular market, price range and property. Right now, there are very low inventories of available homes in parts of our county, and many buyers anxious to get a home while interest rates are good. I've found that often, as some sellers take their homes off the market for the holidays or due to the perception that "nothing sells" in the winter months, the sellers entering or remaining in the market enjoy the benefit of that misconception.
Also, what are your plans? It may be more advantageous for you to sell now, if you are considering a move and the timing is better for your purchase right now.
You might benefit from some individualized analysis of your local market and the place you are thinking about moving to.Whatever you decide, good luck to you!
  • October 13 2009
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