I am often asked when the best time to sell a home is: spring or fall? My answer is always: “It depends…”. There are many different factors that make each particular market better or worse for different types of homes. In reality - both are great times to sell but here are two factors that can affect which season is better or worse for you.
School Calendar: If you are selling a home in a family friendly community with lots of schools then you must consider that the buyer is likely to have children they are looking to enroll in the coming school year. Most parents – if they can – will try and arrange a move at the beginning of the summer after school is out. This way children are able to get comfortable with a new house, surroundings, activities and hopefully make friends before they have to leap into a new school. If we work backwards from July and assume that there is likely to be a 60 day closing and assuming it takes 30 days to sell a house then the ideal time to sell for this type of neighbourhood is March/April.
Climate: Since we live in a glorious country with 4 seasons the real estate market tends to be dependent on the seasons and weather. The spring market is usually a seller’s market as historically there is very little inventory available over the cold winter months – in Canada that means November – March. In the spring buyers are keen, they have been waiting with anticipation of planting new gardens and DIY-ing a bookcase. They have been cooped up all winter are want to make a move.
This high level of excitement can make the spring market slightly more active than the fall. The spring will tend realize more multiple offers as buyers are insistent on not missing out and having to wait months to find another property. The fall, while also active, tends to be more of a buyers market. The fall comes with a definite end – the winter/holiday season. If the weather holds out the fall market can continue until Christmas. If we have an early snowstorm things can grind to a halt rather quickly. Home owners who are selling in the fall generally have an aversion to keeping the property over the winter season and are more motivated to sell and are therefore more likely to negotiate. In the spring Sellers always have the summer and fall to work things out.
No two real estate deals are alike. Each particular sale comes with its own circumstances. Your Realtor can help you factor in all of your personal circumstances and help you figure out which time of the year is best for you.