You’ve finally made it. You’ve hired a real estate agent, finished home improvements, staged your living space, and now it’s time to sell your home…right? Not necessarily. Just because you’re ready for the market doesn’t mean it’s the right time to sell. Nashville homes, for instance, can command a 20% higher price if sold at the optimal time of year. If you have the option (and can stand to wait a little longer), here’s how to make the calendar work for your listing.
Tip #1: Sell when you have the most buyers.
You’ll want to sell when demand exceeds supply—when there are more buyers than there are quality homes on the market. The logic is that more buyers lead to more competition for homes. The result, ideally, is higher offers and way more of them. Across almost all U.S. locales there are a couple times of the year when you can count on the market to have plenty of buyers.
May and June:
As the world thaws, especially in the country’s northern latitudes, so does buyer activity. You can chalk up this general trend to a number of factors. First, the school year is almost over, so those families looking to move over the summer flood the market. These buyers tend to be on a time crunch, and are therefore likely to make high-quality offers.
Also, as those pesky commercials say, “It’s refund season!”. Many ride the good vibes of their tax refunds all the way to the doorstep of a new home. This is especially helpful to you, because when people are feeling cash rich, they’ll usually put more money on the table.
Not all buyers are on a mission, however. Many use spring housing searches as a way to get out and stretch their legs after a long and isolated winter. This does mean more frivolous browsers than any other time of year, but the right property can turn a browser into a buyer. Even if these snoopers never get serious, more general activity at events like open houses drives offers way up as earnest buyers sense competition.
For all these reasons, the May-June window is consistently lucrative for sellers. According to Zillow, the best time to sell a house last year was May 1 to May 15, when homes sold for almost $2,000 more than the average, and spent about a week less on the market. In Nashville, a consummate seller’s market, these trends are even stronger. In May 2019, Nashville homes sold for 4.43% more than the average listing. This number nearly doubled to over 8% in June. These numbers may not seem eye-popping, but in an area where the average home value is about $300,000, a sale during these months can be worth an extra tens of thousands of dollars.
Convinced this is the sales window for you? You should know it’s not always easy money. You’re not the only seller who thinks the best time to fish is when the most fish are biting, and buyers are not easily hooked. With more homes on the market than any other time of year, your property better be set to impress. That means making those modern updates and cosmetic restylings that buyers desire. Also, be ready to hit the marketing trail hard, because you’ll be one of many properties trying to make a splash on the real estate scene. If this sounds a little too intense, you might want to …
Tip #2: Sell when inventory is low.
The last few months of the year can be a seller’s sweet spot. People are still moving, but the supply of suitable homes has dwindled since the spring and summer boom; and more buyers for fewer homes means—you guessed it—higher prices. In Nashville, October and November are usually favorable, but even those months might yield lower returns on an off-year. December, however, keeps coming up aces.
One reason for the December boost is that both buyers and real estate agents have more time on their hands. People who have been working all fall use the holidays to peruse properties, while agents with fewer homes to show can spend more time selling each one.
Corporate hubs like Nashville drive December prices even higher. The first quarter of the year means job opportunities and relocations. Taking those steps often includes settling into a new home. This influx of motivated buyers keeps prices high enough that, last December, Nashville homes sold for 8.54% more than the average listing, barely edging out June for the most seller-friendly month of 2019.
Tip #3: Avoid times with low buyer demand.
Anticipating buyer demand can feel like a crapshoot. Especially in a market as active as Nashville, things can get hot quickly and unexpectedly. Traditionally quiet months, like August or April, can go rogue with surges in demand and ballooning prices. Not even the best real estate mavens can anticipate every spike, but there are a few stretches in the calendar when it’s tougher to maximize profit.
This isn’t a disastrous time to be selling, but the competition might not drive offers through the roof. Families have settled into their digs for the school year, and the holidays are around the corner: people just aren’t as prone to move. That being said, demand for less family-oriented residences, like downtown condos or trendy townhouses, may not be as school-year dependent.
January and February:
It’s not unheard of to sell a home during these months. As we’ve covered, corporate job openings keep people in the market for new places to live, and your home might benefit from the low inventory at this time of year. Don’t be surprised, though, if you struggle to close the deal of your dreams. Many buyers just don’t want to brave the cold, and those who do venture out find that shorter days allow for fewer showings. That being said, for the right buyer your home might just be the late Christmas present they can’t resist.
Tip #4: Prepare for your selling window.
The early home gets the offer, at least we think that’s how the saying goes. Take care of maintenance and repairs well in advance, so that you can list your property at least a month before demand peaks. This gives potential buyers time to view your tantalizing photos, and to contact your real estate agent so that when the rat race begins, your property is on everyone’s wish list.
Homes that don’t get that early marketing bump may still see plenty of action, but they rarely have buyers falling over one another to submit an offer.
These guidelines will help you decide when to sell your home, but they don’t have all the answers. Every property has its own optimal selling window based on its unique situation. To discuss what your home’s window might be, feel free to give Felix Homes a call at 615-422-4277, or send us an email at email@example.com. We’re open all year round.