Ask anyone in the street when they think the best time to sell a home is and the answer will almost be unanimous – Spring! And it’s no wonder – everything’s in bloom, brighter, blossoming and looks great. But talk to real estate agents and drill down on sales results, and you’ll find that the best season to sell your particular property isn’t necessarily spring.
So with Winter almost finished and Spring only a few weeks away I thought it would be interesting to discuss the question that I am asked the most at this time of the year – isn’t Spring the best time to sell my house?
The truth is the best time to sell your home is when you are ready, regardless of what time of year or season it is. However, if you are trying to pick what times are better than other Spring doesn’t necessarily come up trumps.
The property market does tend to go into a hiatus until spring. In June and July, the volumes of homes for sale across WA are typically below half that seen in autumn and just a third of the numbers reported in the peak selling season, which is October through to early December.
And, as already discussed, that’s entirely understandable. Properties – especially houses with gardens – present better outside winter. And many prospective buyers prefer to undertake a campaign in warmer weather.
However, it would be a mistake to close the door entirely to selling your home in winter, especially if you are thinking of selling this spring. The reason lies in the annual property cycle described above. The sales prices are often higher and the length of time a property is for sale shorter at the start of spring as opposed to early summer. Invariably, demand bounces back quickly after the winter break. Buyers, starved of supply over winter and keen to get a deal done, are plentiful. But supply builds slowly: many vendors don’t decide to list until spring has well and truly sprung! The main problem with this is that there can often be a lag between instructing an agent to list a property and when it sells.
Listing in August and early September can be fruitful, both in terms of a greater likelihood of wrapping up a campaign quickly and also achieving a strong price.
Another motivating reason for listing early in Spring is the lack of other homes on the market. When you put your home up for sale it isn’t in isolation – it’s in competition, usually with all the other sellers who thought that Spring was the best time to sell. Which is brilliant if you are a buyer as you have plenty of choice, you get to shop around, kick a lot of tyres, and if you miss out on one home there will always be another.
If you are thinking about listing in late winter or early spring, then you should get started now. It can take a couple of weeks to prepare and then select an agent. Advertising and photography has to be booked and copy written. And it doesn’t stop there – in all likelihood, the property has to be de-cluttered and perhaps given a little bit of love and attention before photographs are taken and strangers allowed in to imagine themselves living there.
If the thought of this effort has you reaching for the snooze button so you can hide under the doona until spring, let me give you another incentive for going now.
If you’re selling one property, you’re likely be buying a replacement thereafter. If you are lucky enough to sell your home and complete the sale side of this two-step process early in spring are usually faced with an enviable situation. They have the rest of spring and early summer to find a new home, during a period of strong supply. If things go really well (and they usually do for the super-organised person who didn’t press snooze in winter), they’ve sold, bought and moved into their new property – all before Christmas.