You may have heard that spring is the optimal time to sell a home and it’s absolutely true. So as the coldness of winter gives way to the warmth of March, keep in mind that this is when a lot people start looking for new places to live. This is especially important for potential sellers who will find no shortage of buyers in the coming weeks. And for those who believe this is mere hyperbole, there are several reasons why this is the best time to sell your home.
The Time/Weather is Just Right
No matter where you live, you probably don’t enjoy going outside during the winter, which is why this is often a slow time for real estate agents. People don’t want to leave the homes they have so the odds of them looking for a new one during the winter months are pretty slim. Also, even in places where this season is mild, there are typically holiday obligations and the school year to deal with, which generally prevent people from looking at the newest listings. But spring is the time of rebirth, new life, fresh cut grass, flowers in bloom and a deep blue sky that make for great marketing photos and lure everyone outside. Homes just look better during this time of year and thanks to daylight savings time, everyone has more time to look at them.
People that experience cabin fever during December and January are eager to tour new homes so they can move into them by summer. They start thinking ahead about upcoming family, job and if they have children, school requirements making spring the best time to start the search.
A combination of low interest rates and lower supply of single-family housing inventory has created a lot of excited people who will have to compete for what little is available. This is fantastic news for sellers who are at an advantage in that there are more buyers searching for homes than there are homes on the market. With this surplus of people looking for houses, you have the unique opportunity to take your time and be cautious with those trying to purchase your property.
Millennial Buyer Pool
Despite the common belief that those born between 1982 and 2000 are a generation of renters, studies show that millennials have been the largest group of homebuyers over the past three years. Owning a home is a popular trend for this demographic and is an option for many of them after a few years of saving their income. Most of them are old enough now that they are either about to enter the home buying party or have already done so. Should any of these people become your clients, keep in mind that they might have a lot of knowledge about the home buying process already. They grew up during the rise of the internet and many of them use this to stay informed about the real estate market. It’s also important to know that they aren’t solely interested in the economic benefits of ownership. Many still believe that buying a home is a significant part of life and a lot of them are doing it because they consider it a point of pride.
*Quick tip: if you’re marketing toward millennials, modernize kitchens and master bathrooms because these rooms will get a lot of attention and first-time buyers are probably less inclined to take on renovations.
If you want to take advantage of this increasing number of buyers, start by speaking to an agent before putting your home on the market. They will have good advice and it’s very useful to have someone with marketing experience. Professional photos also go a long way as do virtual tours and vibrant descriptions. Check out our full post here for details on preparing your home to sell, in addition to these helpful tips:
- Plant some flowers, update kitchen appliances, spruce up the bathroom and make the bedrooms inviting. Get rid of as much clutter as you can, especially in the closets where you need to have as few items as possible to make them look larger. Pack anything you want to keep and store it with a friend because you want your closets to look like they always have enough space. If there are dark corners in your home, paint them a bright color and reflect it with lighting. If you have pets, clean the carpets and open windows to air out the place so that it smells fresh. Remember, people are more informed than ever about the real estate market and you need to be able to address any concerns they might have about it. Be prepared to answer questions like: What are your neighbors like? Any problems with leaks? How pet friendly is the home? Any plumbing issues?
- You only get one chance at making a first impression and a home’s listing is seen more on its first day on the market than at any other time. If you price yours too high, it’s very difficult to bring back buyers who dismissed it because the cost was beyond what they could pay.
- For whatever reason, homes that go on the market on Thursday tend to find a buyer faster and sell above the listed price than on any other day. Wednesdays and Fridays are also good because people tend to check out listings during the latter half of the work week. However, there is not as much traffic on these sights during the weekend and homes listed on Monday tend to perform lower.
- Just because it’s a seller’s market doesn’t mean you will get an offer quickly. Increase your odds by paying attention to the homes for sale in your area and by marketing the strengths of your own. Manage your expectations because even though a lot of markets are doing well, a rise in property values in one area doesn’t guarantee a boost will happen anywhere else.
Good luck and welcome to the spring!