When is the best time to list your home?
Naturally, there are many factors to consider and I’ve outlined a few points to keep in mind along with questions you may want to ask yourself before planning your next move.
It is important to clearly define your motivations for moving and to be mindful about when you plan on being in your new home. The process can be stressful and emotional regardless of how many homes you’ve purchased and sold. Having clearly defined goals will allow you to stay on course even if an unexpected occurrence derails the process. Establishing open and honest dialogue with an agent that you feel comfortable with will be critical.
In today’s market, many homes listed at Fair Market Value are getting multiple offers within days of listing. The reason for this is due to a large pool of buyers, but not enough inventory to sustain the demand. Even still, it is not unusual for homes to sit on the market for 30-60 days or even longer.
If the house isn’t selling, it is only for two reasons…
- It was priced above Fair Market Value, or
- It was not marketed well enough to capture the attention of buyers
Confirm that your agent has a clear marketing strategy to attract buyers. Anyone can put up a yard sign or take pictures with their phone and post it on a website.
Once your home is in contract with a well-qualified, ready, and willing buyer, it is important to note that new mortgage laws are pressing lenders to extend their closing dates to help accommodate buyers. With these new laws in placed, and assuming the inspection and appraisals are completed in a timely manner, a 45-day closing should be the minimum expectation. Plan ahead and give yourself enough time.
Is it better to sell now or wait until spring?
This is a question that gets asked all the time. There are benefits and potential drawbacks no matter the season. While it is true that there are fewer buyers during the winter, there are also fewer homes on the market to compete against. Additionally, buyers during the fall and winter months are highly motivated as they are shopping while enduring adverse weather conditions, while others are planning and enjoying their holidays.
Should I wait until the market improves?
Ask yourself the following questions…
- How much does the market value have to increase for you to sell and is it realistic to see that kind of growth within the timeframe that you are looking to move?
- Currently, we’ve seen a 5-10% increase in South King County over last year. If the market were to improve at the same rate next year, would it get you to your ideal selling price?
- If the market does improve, will it be negated by the fact that you’ll have to pay another year of mortgage payments where the majority of your payment is towards interest and not the principle?
How will the rates impact your next purchase?
- Today’s interest rates are at a historic 40-year low, and they’re likely to increase. If the median home price in South King County is $350,000, an increase in 1% interest can cost you up to $50,000 in purchasing power. Can you afford to lose that much purchasing power?
- Let’s not forget that if your house increases in value, chances are that the house you are looking to purchase is also likely to increase in value. Combined with higher interest rates, would you still be able to afford your next home?
As previously mentioned, there are several factors to consider when deciding on the right time to sell your home. If you have any questions or concerns specific to your situation, please contact me anytime.