People ask me this question all the time. “When is the best time of year to sell my house?”
“Should I sell my house in the summer before school starts? How about the spring when everything is in bloom? Does anyone really buy houses in the winter or during the holidays?”
In my experience, there really is no bad time of year to sell your house.
Yes, typically there are more buyers in the spring and summer. But that also means, as a seller, you have more competition. Buyers have more houses to choose from. Plus, a house down the street that’s priced close to yours may have been recently updated and, thus, be more appealing. However, in months when there are fewer buyers, you might be one of a few houses on the market.
I find this to especially true in highly desirable neighborhoods like German Village, where I live. In some months, it seems like there is a “For Sale” sign in front of every other house. Other months, maybe one per block.
I base these opinions largely on having been in the real estate business for so long. You get a feel for trends and patterns. But just to be sure, I went online and checked the Columbus MLS database. I searched for single-family house sales for central metro Columbus from the years 2016-2019. The region I selected ran from Worthington to the north to German Village on the south, and from I-71 on the east to I-315 on the west. Of course, this region excludes many sought-after areas like Bexley, Grandview and Upper Arlington. But I was just looking for basic sales trends and thought this would provide a large enough sample. The results were pretty much what I expected.
Sales are stronger in the spring and summer, but still respectable in winter and fall.
As you can see, the sales trends are fairly consistent year from year. In terms of seasons, winter is a bit slower, but sales ramp up in spring and summer, then trail off somewhat in fall.
Comparing sales by quarters, in terms of general trends, its shows that 2017 and 2018 were the strongest years of the four. And even though the media often states that home sales have slowed in many regions due to rising prices, that doesn’t appear to be the case in Columbus, where the last two quarters were solid performers.
Still, in spite of what this graphic shows, this isn’t a complete picture of what’s happening in the city; I know from following trends and talking with other agents some areas of town held their own while others saw a decrease in traffic.
So, when is the best time of year to sell your house?
The answer is anytime you’re ready to sell. There are always buyers in the market. But to stand out in the market and attract buyers, it’s imperative you price your house for what the market will bear. And the market does change. What worked last summer may not work this summer.
Correctly pricing your home is critical and one of the key services a Realtor provides.
A Realtor will examine recent home sales in your area (sale price, not list price) and factor in attributes that make your home unique. Of course, you have the final say in what price you choose, but having a knowledgeable advocate on your side is always an advantage.
The days of asking any price you want, putting up a “For Sale By Owner” sign and having a line of buyers at your door is over.
What if you’re not in a hurry to sell?
If you don’t like what the market will bear and you don’t have to move and can wait it out, there’s a good chance the market will work its into the more favorable territory. But if you’ve ever tried to time the stock market to figure out when is the best time to buy or sell, you know that’s always a risky proposition.
More questions about selling your house?
As always, please don’t hesitate to give me a call or text with any questions There really are no bad ones. 614-507-7785. Or visit the rest my website at VillageQueen.com.