When is the best time to list a home?
Some listing agents might tell sellers the best time to list a home is in the summertime. The reason behind this theory is that families with kids do not like to move during the school year. They want to be moved in, registered for school and unpacked before the first period bell of the first day of school. There is some truth to that. What it doesn’t account for is the buyers that have grown children or don’t have kids school age yet. These buyers are smart enough to not get caught up in the bidding wars and hassle of the craziness.
Appraisals lag behind a few months
Knowing that there are bidding wars and multiple offers pushing up home values happen in the summer months and it takes some time for those to close and be used by appraisers for comps, you will still get the benefit if not more if you wait till fall to list. In other words if the market is pushed up in June and Jully those sale prices don’t hit the MLS input until between a month or two later. Contract purchase price is never revealed until after closing has occurred. That means if prices are pushed up in June and July your home might appraise lower in June or July than in September and October.
Buyers shopping for homes in the fall and winter are serious home buyers
When buyers are out looking for homes in the fall and winter months a seller can be sure that they are ready to buy. In the summer we get a lot of window shoppers. People, for some reason, seem to have a lot of extra time in the summer. Those “buyers” don’t mind wasting the time of sellers and buyer agents. They will be on vacation and think “boy it would be nice to live here” and set up appointments with no leg work done or any real intention of moving. They are caught up in the beauty of Colorado and how nice it would be. They look at homes and then realize it isn’t practical to pack up their lives and move across the country to a place far away just because it has a nice view. That also gets to the point that yes you will have a lot more traffic going through your home in the summer but that just equates to more of a pain than anything since in the summer less than 30% of the people walking through are actually going to buy in the next year. This just becomes an inconvenience. In the winter time you can count on about 70% of the folks walking through your listing buying in the next 6 month.
Worried about traffic through your home during the holidays?
It is never recommended to sellers to ever do black out days for showings. It happens a lot especially in a seller’s market. Not that a buyer will really want to go look at homes on Christmas eve but if it concerns you, you can always black out any days around the holidays. Buyers usually understand but keep in mind that some people do only have time away from work during the holidays. Unlike the summer when people feel as if they have infinite time to waste, during the holidays they only have a week or two so if they are taking time out to look at homes, they are most likely serious buyers.
Colorado has no “peak” selling season
For all the things we just spoke about, Colorado has no real peak season. Many Realtors in the area, including myself have seen a real uptick in business at the end of the summer. More serious buyers and more motivated sellers. So if a seller is asking when the best time to list is I always say “right now” no matter it spring, summer or fall.