What is the best time of year to sell your home? The reason for asking such an important question is usually to determine two things – how much can I sell my home for and how quickly will it sell? While more homes sell well in the summer months, there is much to consider. Let’s break it down to determine what really is the best time of year to sell your home, specifically in Rochester and our surrounding communities.
Why do more homes sell in spring and summer?
In our local market, weather plays a huge role in the ebb and flow of real estate sales. There’s no denying that the coldest months of the year make for a very slow market. To illustrate this point, take a look at our local market statistics. More homes sold in June than in the entire first quarter of the year. That’s a significant edge and tells you a lot about buyer behavior. One could argue the summer months have buyers with packed schedules that take them away from house hunting, but the truth of the matter is in our local market, buyers prefer to house hunt when the temps are up and the sun is shining.
Summer months give us many things but more daylight is a huge factor. Most buyers have to see homes after 5pm when they’re off work and if you’re selling in the summer months that gives you 3-4 more hours of daylight for showings than you would have if you listed in December when it’s dark by the time most people get home. Your home shows better during daylight hours, so taking advantage of this is a really important thing to consider.
Your house looks better
Lush green lawns, full trees blocking out neighbors, and flowering plants are all a part of why buyers fall in love with homes. Outdoor spaces are extremely important and selling when they look their best is kind of a no brainer. If you live on a lot with lots of mature trees that block out neighbors, that’s a huge selling point, but if buyers see it in the winter months when the leaves are bare and the privacy is diminished, you’ve done yourself a disservice and shown your home to prospective buyers when it’s not at it’s best. Sure buyers can imagine that those large oaks will fill in, but there’s no question that first impressions matter most.
Bigger buyer pool
The pool of buyers is much larger in the spring and summer months. Whether it’s the warmer temperatures, having a little extra cash from their tax returns, or just conditioned behavior to buy in the spring, this is the time when you’ve got the most eyes on your property.
Things to consider when selling in a busy market
Selling at the peak of the season means you will be competing against many, many other sellers hoping to grab the attention of the same buyers. Typically more competition drives prices down, but for our local market, that hasn’t held true over the past few years. This is in part due to our extreme shortage of listings – demand has simply outgrown supply, as evidenced by the huge surge in new construction in our area.
Good number of comps for appraisers
In a fast paced market when buyers are finding themselves in bidding wars and sometimes paying over asking price for a home, it’s important that appraisals continue to go through successfully. A good appraiser will see when this is happening and take into account a healthy market, but sometimes there just aren’t enough recent sales to support a sales price. Selling during a peak time will ensure the appraiser has lots of high quality comparables to support whatever sales price you and your buyers arrived at.
When you’re ready
We’re just coming off of one of the busiest busy seasons we’ve had in quite a while. There were bidding wars on homes that had been on the market for hours, not days. This type of market activity can bring up some serious temptations to sell your home, make a few bucks, and move on while the market’s high. But that’s just it…you’ve still got to find another home to purchase and if inventory is low, you’re going to have a harder time finding a new home to move into after you sell. Our local market has been in this cycle for the better part of the year; we have a listings drought. Whether the market is up, down, or somewhere in between, when you’re considering selling your home, it’s important to know where you’re going after the sale. Renting, building, or staying with family are all great temporary options if you’re ready to sell in a high market but haven’t found a new home yet.
Considerations for living in a small town
The busiest time of year for home sales in Rochester is undoubtedly May and June; however, this doesn’t hold true to neighboring small towns. September is actually the busiest month for home sales in towns like Byron, Kasson, and Stewartville. School systems and a quieter lifestyle are the main draws to small towns, so seeing a peak in market activity at the tail end of the summer isn’t surprising. Keep this in mind if you live in a small town and are thinking about selling.