Around this time of year, we get a lot of questions from people about the best time to sell a home. Either that, or people say, “I’m just going to wait until the Spring.”
While that may be the best choice for some people, we believe that the off-seasons (typically July-August and December-January) have been given a bad rap.
From our experience, there are NO bad months to sell a Milton home.
That probably sounds like the typical real estate salesperson trying to get you to do something as soon as possible. But for a moment, let’s pretend that we’re not like that, and that we’re trying to appeal to your logical mind.
As we’re writing this, it’s November 2018. In Milton, there have been 42 sales, and 84 new listings. A perfect 50/50 ratio. The way it’s been all year (more or less), and likely the way the year will end.
The only difference between the spring season and now is that the TOTAL volume of new listings and sales goes up. Twice as many listings, twice as many sales.
But we really like the off-season, because it reveals little holes in the market that can be excellent opportunities to hit a little niche. Like this property we sold a few years ago.
This home sat for four months through the summer and fall with another agent… and then we took it over in the second week of December. We didn’t change the price, but completely changed the marketing with better pictures, a better description, more reach through social media and Milton Daily Homes…
As much as we would like to admit it was ALL about us, we really believe the home sold for $35,000 higher than their best offer with the previous listing agent (that’s right… HIGHER) because they were the ONLY property with greenspace behind within a $100,000 price range.
Gary Halbert once taught us that the most important marketing tool you can ever have is a STARVING crowd. No other listings meant we could really squeeze hard when it came time to negotiate for the sellers.
Some other reasons winter can be a great season to sell:
Less buyers, but more seriousYou may have less buyers out there, but the ones that are shopping are SERIOUS. People don’t just casually visit homes for fun on December 22nd, in most cases.
Your home looks greatHomes show well when they’re decorated for the holidays.
Buyers have timeBuyers typically have more time off during the holiday season to see your home.
You move out a few months laterThe average closing is 60-90 days, and some are as long as 120+ days, so you might be able to physically move when the weather is better in early Spring.
Less competitionAnd the biggest one, as we mentioned above, is less competition. Without a doubt, this is one of the best predictors of success when selling a home.
There’s no “one size fits all” approach to the right time to sell, but it’s our hope by reading this that you would at least consider the off-season as a potential opportunity, with the same ratio of buyers and sellers as the Spring and Fall.
We used the example of Milton for this article, but our experience shows virtually identical results when we study Toronto, Durham region, and other suburbs across southern Ontario. Vacation properties and cottages follow a different timeline and seasonality, and you should consult a real estate agent who specializes in those properties for advice about the best time of year to sell those properties.