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Should I sell my home in the New Year?

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I am thinking of selling my home next year. What are the pros and cons of selling in the New Year?

If a seller could predict the perfect time to list their home for sale, then sales would be easy.

Realtors often get asked, “when is the “perfect” time to list my home for sale,” and at the risk of sounding like a lawyer (vague), the answer is that it depends.

Early to market

One of the main advantages of being the first to put a property up for sale in January is that there is often little competition on the market, so any serious buyers will have less choice, and the home may sell quicker.

In the past selling in the winter was not popular because people don’t like going out into the snow and cold; so most buyers would wait until spring for nice weather. In today’s market with video technology we can look at properties year round. A good quality video of both the inside and outside of the home can provide a big advantage when selling, because people can view the home from the comfort of their living room.

On the flip side, there are several disadvantages of listing early in the year. First, if the seller hadn’t thought about selling their home last summer, the outside photos for their property will reflect the season and buyers want to see what the yard and gardens are like in the summer months.

Another disadvantage of being the first to list your home for sale is that the seller helps set the market price, and other prospective sellers (along with their realtors) will have a benchmark to price their home with. They only need to price a little below your home to help move their product more quickly than yours. You will then find yourself chasing the market, always a few dollars ahead of what is selling.

Waiting until spring

The spring can potentially bring more buyers because people get the spring itch where they want to get out and start shopping. The spring also allows the seller the opportunity to prepare the outside of their home for photos. With this historically being the busiest time of the real estate year the home will be exposed to the greatest number of potential buyers.

On the flip side keep in mind that you may not be the only person thinking this way; therefore, you will be entering the market at a time when inventory is at the highest level. This gives the buyers more choice which may result in you lowering your price to sell your property quickly.

What would I do? If I was planning to sell I would gather pictures and video (inside/out), fix any issues, stage the property, and list it at a fair market price at any time of the year. A well staged and marketed home should sell no matter what the season.

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Meet our expert
Joanne Beaton

Joanne has been an active real estate investor for the past 13 years as well as owner of a very successful property management company for the past eight years. She loves putting her real estate knowledge and experience to use helping families with their housing needs.