Timing when to list your home for sale is not tricky. Conventional wisdom says to list in the Spring, when it's warmer out, there is more sun out, and people are thinking of a new home before the new school season in the fall. And most people don't want to move in the Winter for two reasons. The first is that if it means a change of school for children, that makes it more difficult. Second, if there is snow on the ground, moving is no fun.
Some parts of the country have less dramatic real estate seasons due to more moderate climate, or less families with children. But here in the Twin Cities market area, we have real estate seasons that follow the weather outside. Our local market has ups and downs that usually mirror how cold it is outside, or how much snow we have.
If we have ample amounts of snow through February, and it is still frigid outside, our season may start later in March. But conversely, in winters where there is less snow, and it's pretty warm outside (relatively speaking), the Spring Season may start in mid January. An example of this is January 2016. We did have one major snowfall, that affected the market for a few days, but the buyers have come out in droves. Combine that with the low levels of inventory and you have a ripe sellers market with multiple offers on almost every home.
The Spring market usually starts towards the end of February. There are times that it starts earlier, for instance January 2016 where buyers are coming out of nowhere and snatching up everything in multiple offers. There are also times it starts later such as April 2014. That was the year where we started March off with -6 degree weather.
During the late Spring, things tend to slow down around graduation time, early June.
Our Summer market is up and down. Right after graduations are done, the market usually picks up. The ups and downs from then on are due to vacations, with the July 4th being the largest down period. But the overall trend is down from Spring. Towards the end of August, things slow down more because some of the people with children drop out of searching for the year. They may not want to move during the school year and put off their home search another year.
Fall slowly declines until Thanksgiving.
Our Winter real estate season starts at Thanksgiving. After Thanksgiving the market really slows down. This is because many people have the holidays on their minds (Christmas and New Year) and are concentrating on those activities. Besides most people don't like moving an entire house in the snow and cold. This season extends until the Spring season picks up, usually sometime in February or March.
This chart shows the number of houses that went pending each month from January 2013 to January 2016. You can see the peaks of the spring market in April, May and June of each year. This corresponds with sales that happened 2 or 3 weeks prior due to the inspection period.
Part of determining the best time to put YOUR home on the market is when YOU are ready. When it comes down to it, I have sold homes in December. I have had closings on December 31st. Keep in mind that each year is different as to when is the best time to list your home for sale. I keep a close watch on the market locally, please contact me directly and I would be happy to discuss your home.