Tuesday, June 9, 2015

School's Out

One of the truisms of the residential real estate industry has always been that homes are best listed in the early spring, to be sold in the late spring, closed in June and July, and moved into before school in September.  Especially in Connecticut, where the average age is high, and the birth rate is low, this pattern seems to be shifting.

 It was always true that condos, which typically had many fewer school-age children living in them, sold more often towards the end of the year.  That made sense, since the tax consequences were more important than the school calendar, particularly with lots of investors buying and selling them.  Now it appears that houses are also becoming less seasonal, and have more to do with jobs and second homes than with the school year. Part of that may involve the length of time it takes to sell, where people aim for summer and accept fall/winter, but I really think, looking over the past couple of years, that the sales pattern is evening out (except for snowy months) in general, regardless of days on the market.  There are also probably more retired people here, so that they are free to move at any time.

What does that mean for sellers?  It is still usually best to avoid peak holiday times (mid-December comes to mind) for listing, as well as the dog days of summer.  Otherwise, get it ready and price it correctly, and you are good to go.

And for buyers?  You doubtless have done enough on-line looking to know a good deal when you see one.  Don't expect it to last, if you find it, even in what you might think of as an "off" time.  Even if you buy first and sell later, supply is low for well-priced, well-maintained properties, and you shouldn't take choice for granted.