Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Should you list your home early this year?

We are finding that levels of available listings in certain areas and price ranges are uncommonly low these days.  Most people wait for a spring market to list their home, thinking that most buyers are looking then, so their chances are greatest for selling at a good price.  Although this is true, there is another alternative, especially for homes that are in less than perfect condition, or in less than optimal locations, and that is to list when there isn't much competition.  Homes that are listed when someone needs or wants to buy will stand out if they are in a smaller number of new listings.

This is particularly true in our market, as we are so dominated by educational and medical institutions.  Those places work on a different calendar than most of private industry, and their season for making offers is earlier.  That means that, in Greater New Haven, early February kicks off the spring market for faculty and doctors beginning on July 1st.  That is substantially different from what sellers read in national media reports, where May 1st begins prime selling season.  Since buyers in our area are out sooner, they are searching when a smaller pool of choices is presented to them, and they may view new properties to the market more favorably than a bigger group of buyers would view one of a much bigger group of new listings, later in the year.  Many buyers tell us that they are expanding their parameters due to short supply, and a short timeline.  Your home can be considered, when it normally would not be, by those who need to make a move now.

What does that mean for sellers in our region?  If you've been thinking about selling, and you don't have a lot of work to do to your property before you list, you might consider listing in the next month, and having your home exposed to buyers from around the country, who are looking now to move in May or June, instead of the traditional July or August.  If you do have work to do, don't wait another minute.  There is always more to do than you think, and it always takes longer than you think to complete.  (Another advantage to listing sooner:  Workmen are easier to hire in the off season.)  Take advantage of time, and make it to your advantage.  Act now!