When I am out on listing appointments with home owners who are considering selling their house, they often ask “When is the best time to put my house on the market?” That question becomes even more pointed at this time of year. What the home owners want to know is should they put the house on the market now or would it be better to wait until Spring when the house market is at its peak.
There are many different answers to that question and in the end the answer is “IT DEPENDS.” So, on that note, a fellow agent and blogger, Dennis Hayden with RE/MAX Results and I got together to deconstruct this dilema. We each decided to look at the quandary from different angles. I will explore why it might be a good idea for some people to wait until Spring and Dennis will highlight who might be better served by listing right away and marketing through the holidays.
A Quick Quiz
Will your house be dripping in holiday decor?
Will your front yard be a menagerie of blow up snowmen, santas and reindeer?
Are you planning to have multiple in house holiday parties? Will cleanup spill over to the day after and the day after that?
Are you planning to have over-night house guests?
Will your college age son be returning with duffle bags of laundry, smelly sneakers and leaving a trail of Doritos bags in his wake?
If you answered yes to any of these, then you might want to consider waiting until you can guarantee that your house will be show ready at a moment’s notice.
What do the numbers say?
The screen shots below were taken from the MARIS member database. These market watches are compiled quarterly. The information is very general. But if we are just considering this surface level data (number of houses listed, number of houses sold, days on market etc) then, it does appear there a many more houses sold in the Spring vs. the Winter. Based on the number of sold homes for St. Louis City (563 for the 4th quarter of 2011, 632 for the 1st quarter of 2012 and 818 for the 2nd quarter of 2012) it looks like there were roughly 30% more ready, willing and able buyers walking through homes and making offers in the 2nd Quarter of 2012 vs. the 4th quarter of 2011.