Sellers: Think spring in February
No doubt you’ve heard that utterance since it’s common knowledge that the real estate market comes to life in spring.
Sellers, though, might have an advantage if they turn intention into action to list early in the season.
In fact, there’s less preparation time than you might think.
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In many markets, as in the Tarrytown, NY, area that Christopher Pagli of Raveis Legends Realty Group, works in, the spring “unofficially begins after Super Bowl weekend.”
Market conditions in your area, though, dictate whether it’s worth it to hurry:
How long have homes like yours taken to sell?
In 2019, listings for homes – especially those priced in the lower or middle range – were scarce in many areas.
“Ask an agent for the average length of time homes like yours have been taking to sell and “if it is three months or less,” look for an early advantage, says Norm Miller, of Collateral Analytics.
Tight inventory of mid-range homes in his market means there’s a pent-up demand ready to pounce on new listings, agrees Pagli, and “you might sell before a lot of competition comes on.”
Carefully consider the right price.
Recent sale prices of homes similar to yours guide pricing. Without many recent winter sales, other metrics like time on the market and price appreciation trend help pin the listing amount.
Pricing below optimal level might result in a bidding war between buyers if there’s significant pent-up demand, but it’s a risky strategy, says Miller. Buyers tend to regard listing amounts as an anchor and hesitate to pay much more.
Don’t hurry if you’re not ready.
While early entrants face less competition from other properties, but the whole aim of getting a reasonable price quickly is undermined if you’re putting “until proper preparations are made,” like cleaning and de-cluttering, notes Mike Ferrante, of Century 21 Homestar, Solon, OH.