Best time to Sell

Is Spring the Best Time to Sell? Real Estate Spring is Really Early!

Is Spring the Best Time to Sell a Home in Minnesota? The overall answer is Yes, Spring is the Best Time to Sell a home in Minnesota.  However, it’s important to understand the Real Estate definition of ‘Spring’ may be vastly different than your personal definition.

Real Estate Spring is really early and over the past 3 years, the Spring Market has come rolling in like a Tsunami. Several factors influence when is the best time to sell your personal home.  The factors we should consider include Price of your Home, the Demographic of the Likely Buyer for your home and your Personal Needs. Let’s define the Real Estate Spring Market timeline first.

Real Estate Spring is Really Early:
When I started in Real Estate nearly 20 years ago, (gosh that sounds so long ago) the traditional start to the “Real Estate Spring Market” was considered to be the Sunday after Super Bowl Sunday! It was sure true, right after the Super Bowl, there was a significant increase in the amount of 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 was historically in mid to late January and then it moved to early February.

Over the past 3 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 with 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 this slowing of the sales pace very often surprises Home Sellers. The usual comments to describe this include the ideas that, “kids are out of school”, “family vacations”, “graduations and weddings”, “people are at the cabin”, etc.

Best time to Sell BeachThe 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 for many reasons such as 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 the current job, a recent marriage or new relationship, or the empty-nesters who have been considering moving since the last kid left home nearly 10 years ago!

It’s tempting to wait until the snow is gone, the flowers are coming up, or the leaves are on the trees.  Many homeowners feel they should wait until true 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 will fall into the price point most attractive to first time home buyers, you really want to have your home on the market as early in the year as possible. First Time Home Buyers are usually out looking by late January and all through February, March and 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, don’t have any yard work to finish or 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 demographic 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 past few years, I’ve noticed that the Buyer who is seeking a Luxury Townhome is quite often looking and planning to purchase a Luxury Townhome before selling their current property.  More than any other demographic, this group seeks to purchase first and sell second.

Conversely if your home will be appealing to a Move-up Buyer, a group of buyers which often are coming from selling a small townhome, likely to be looking for a 4-bedroom up Two Story with Nice Yard, then you have a more time before you need to have your house on the market.  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 as the busiest time will be March, April, May and June.

Your Personal Timing:
Ultimately the best time to sell your Home is whenever it works for your Personal Situation. Moving is very stressful and takes a lot of your time for 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, 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 a home you are selling or buying. From what I see, the added bonus of selling or buying at the right time, is not very large and hard to quantify. 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 amount you save when purchasing.

It takes time to get prepared for a move, sometimes a lot more time than you estimate.  You might find some of my other posts helpful, including Updating a Super-Sized Home, or 5 Ways to Update your Home on a Budget, or We want to Move in 6 Months. 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.

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