Spring is certainly the time when most properties sell, and there are reasons for this. But is it actually the best time to sell? There is no simple answer to this, but it’s certainly not a bad time to sell (people wouldn’t be doing it otherwise). The question requires some analysis, a weighing up of the benefits and, of course, plenty of deference to the market conditions where you actually live.
The Importance of the Seller’s Market
It is no secret that the U.S. is currently going through a very strong seller’s market, the result of historically high demand and low inventory. However, interest rates and mortgages are inching up on timescales that are getting shorter and shorter. A new buyer’s market certainly isn’t imminent, but it might not be too far off in the future.
City Home Collective, a real estate brokerage specializing in luxury homes and condos, say that while this fear of a resurgent buyer’s market is one of the reasons why the spring is seen as a popular selling time, this could also be on a timescale that doesn’t really respect the seasons. Instead, the wisdom might be better understood as “now is a good time to sell” or “as early as possible is a good time to sell”. And this doesn’t really say much about the relative advantages and disadvantages of selling in spring.
Advantages of Selling in Spring
Accordingly, it is much better to think about what the actual advantages of spring selling are (as opposed to the advantages of simply selling quickly and early). Here are a few things about the season that make it a great time to sell:
You Can Sell for More
This advantage is very heavily contingent on several factors, and you cannot just take it for granted. Nevertheless, spring has long been considered by many property experts to be – generally speaking – the best time to sell. There are probably many reasons for this, but the data doesn’t lie. Homes sold in spring over the last few decades have pretty consistently (though not always) sold for more.
You’ll Have a Better Curb Appeal
Let’s be honest, unless you’re selling a cozy winter log cabin, homes just look better in the spring. This is all down to the curb appeal (i.e., how your home looks from the outside). Even apartments and condos will be surrounded by vegetation to some extent, and the picture of that just coming into bloom and surrounded by clement weather (as opposed to dreary winter desolation or stifling summer heat) will simply give the home more marketability.
There are a few reasons for this, normally involving the school schedules (for families with kids) but also because the aforementioned reputation of spring convinces many buyers that the selection will be better at this time.
Disadvantages of Selling in Spring
But it isn’t all upsides. Here are some reasons why spring is perhaps not the best time to sell:
Higher Moving Costs
The reputation of spring as a good time to sell means that more people do it. And as the calendar fills up, the rates increase too. It will cost you more to move in spring.
If more people sell in spring, that means there are more properties on the market. That means more competition for the buyers. This is slightly offset by the fact that there are also more buyers but, overall, competition is fiercer in spring.
So, the picture is more complicated than it might initially seem. As always, the best advice is to consult a professional realtor who knows your area well.