23 Jan Real Estate Spring Market Starts Really Early!
Is spring market the best time to sell a home in Minnesota? The overall answer is “yes”. However, it’s important to understand the Real Estate definition of “spring” may be vastly different from your personal definition.
Real Estate spring is really early, which means you need to start planning as early as possible. This post and others in my Plan, Prepare, and Profit series will help you do just that. Over the past few years the spring market has come rolling in like a tsunami. Several factors influence the best time to sell your home. Factors to consider include price of your home, the demographic of likely Buyers, and your personal needs. Let’s define the Real Estate spring market timeline first.
Real Estate Spring Starts Really Early:
When I started in Real Estate over 20 years ago, the traditional start to the “Real Estate Spring Market” was considered the Sunday after Super Bowl Sunday! Right after the Super Bowl, there was a significant increase in phone calls coming into the office. Showings on homes jumped in numbers and open houses began to get busy. Then, the NFL changed everything and started scheduling the Super Bowl later in the year. It used to be in mid to late January and has now moved to early February.
So when does it start now?
Over the past few years, the Spring Market has come rolling in by mid-late January and builds steadily through February. We have seen strong and steady activity during March, April, May, and halfway through June. There is a noticeable slow down by mid-June which continues all the way through July. The slow down during late June and all of July is what we call the summer doldrums. I find Sellers are often surprised by this slowing of the sales pace. The common rational for this slowdown is “kids are out of school”, “family vacations”, “graduations and weddings”, “people are at the cabin”, etc. The truth is, the summer doldrums is when the changeover happens from “spring market” to just “the plain old rest of the year market”.
There are always people who need to sell or buy homes. Yearlong reasons for moving include job advancement, job loss, a new baby, a divorce or loss of a parent. This group of people are the base of the real estate sales all year long. The spring market is primarily generated by the extra group of home buyers and sellers who have been planning their move for a while. Since they have the luxury of planning this move, they usually plan it for the spring. They consist of folks whose move is prompted by a growing family, steady success at their current job, a recent marriage, new relationship, or empty-nesters who have considered moving since the last kid left home nearly 10 years ago!
It’s tempting to wait until the snow is gone and the flowers and trees are blooming. Many homeowners feel they should wait until spring weather to list their home because they know it will look better at that time of the year. However, the truth is, if you wait that long to list your home, nearly half of the Real Estate spring market has already happened. It’s a short few weeks from when the leaves fully open in mid-late May and the start of the summer doldrums in Real Estate.
Price of your Home:
If your home falls into the price point for first time home buyers, you want to have your home listed as early in the year as possible. First time home Buyers are usually out looking from late January and all through April. Many first time Buyers live in rentals and a common lease cycle is April to April. In addition, first time Buyers aren’t busy getting a property ready to sell. They don’t have any yard work to finish, a garage to clean out, and aren’t usually tied into a school schedule.
Demographics of the Likely Buyer:
There are significant differences in the timing of various groups of buyers. If you are planning to sell a Luxury Townhome, I suggest you get it on the market as soon as possible. Over the years I’ve noticed Buyers seeking a Luxury Townhome are often looking and planning to purchase before selling their current property. More than any other demographic, this group seeks to purchase first and sell second.
Conversely if your home will appeal to a move-up Buyer, then you have a more time before you need to have your house on the market. Move-up Buyers often come from their starter home or townhome. They are likely looking for a 4-bedroom two story with a nice entertaining space. This group of Buyers will sell their current home first and will be making their buying decision a little later in the spring. I would suggest having a move-up appeal home on the market by early March. The busiest time for this group is March, April, May and June.
Your Personal Timing:
Ultimately, the best time to sell your home is whenever works best for you. Moving is very stressful and takes a lot of your time planning, organizing, packing, shopping, showings, decision making, and more. Studies have shown that moving comes in high on the list of life’s stressful events. This is right behind loss of a loved one, divorce and job loss! Yikes. It’s tempting to try to “time the market” in an attempt to get the best price for selling or buying a home. If timing the market means moving before you are ready, the extra stress will likely not be worth any additional value you get for your home or the amount you save when purchasing.
It takes time to get prepared for a move. Sometimes a lot more time than you estimate. To help the process read some of my posts on preparing and planning your move.
Give me a call at 612-889-6496 or email me at [email protected] if you have any specific questions. I’m always happy to help!