Riddle me this… What is most relevant right now and will be of little value to you 90 days from now, and a year from now it will be relevant again? It is The Second Best Kept Secret in Real Estate! And it has everything to do with when to optimally list your home for sale on the broad market. In fact, it’s
such a well kept secret that many real estate agents don’t even know. By the way, I don’t wish to disparage any in my profession. There are many very good agents, but suffice it to say that there is a reason why the Pareto Principle applies most profoundly in the real estate industry. And if, what I call Pareto Plus (90/10) could be a thing, that’s even more accurate. But that’s another topic that I think I’ll save for a video blog.
So, the secret is this… the best time of year to list your home for sale is not in the spring, as many assume. Yes, the snow is probably gone. The grass and trees are turning green. The flowers are blooming and your home looks much more inviting. But so does everyone else’s, so it’s not really an advantage anyway. Even if yours is so spectacular that others will surely pale, you will miss a buyer segment that is early and anxious and likely under contract before spring.
Having tracked and analyzed market data and useful patterns therein, literally for decades, I can tell you with confidence that there is a whole wave of sales that occurs before that surge we see in March and April. The easy evidence that any agent who follows industry periodicals knows is that the two months having the most closed sales almost every year are March and June. Keep in mind that home sales close on average 30-45 days after the contract is signed.
June as the month of the highest number of closings is no surprise. That plays perfectly to the idea of selling in the spring like everyone else (aka maximum buyers but also maximum listings competition). But March? That’s the big surprise! Those would be home purchase contracts signed in February and even January. But why? The answer to that is for two very good reasons. The first is that many businesses are moving people around at the first of the year. We see the most transfers an
d the most new hires occurring at this time.
The second reason for January and February contracts I confess is somewhat speculative on my part, but I do firmly believe it to be true, based on my 34 years of home selling experience. Historically, sales drop off in November and December, foremost because of the distractions caused by the holiday season. That is well known. And I have empirically proven that buyer activity begins to pick up its pace almost as soon as you see the first Christmas tree hit the curb in early January. The same data shows that listing activity does not achieve the same degree of increase until mid-March. My speculation as to why this occurs is that all the people who have pulled back from house hunting during the holidays, and all those who opened the conversation with themselves or their spouses that “next year will be the year” that they buy a new home, begin looking at homes online as soon as they’ve put the holidays behind them. Thinking they’ll just get started, they quickly get excited, and begin home shopping in earnest.
Whether my logic for ‘why’ the buyer activity accelerates before the listing activity does is correct or not, it does not change the fact that this occurs every year that I’ve tracked it. And I’ve tracked it for over 20 years.
So, the crux of the matter is, if it is your goal to sell your current home in 2018, don’t wait until March to start. Avail yourself of the “Window of Seller Advantage,” available beginning early January, and finally ending by mid-March, when listing competition is heating up.
I bet you wonder what the first best kept secret in real estate is, don’t you? It is that Evergreen, Colorado has the best lifestyle and quality of life relative to the cost of homes than anywhere in the country! Right? Even Denverites miss it and they’re so close. The only time I spill that secret is when I have a great listing that needs a great new owner. Please don’t get mad at me. It’s my job.
As always, KC Butler and the original “Home” Team is wishing you all Happy Homes!