The weather has an impact on so many different aspects of our lives, when it comes to choosing activities, our appetites, attitudes, and of course, real estate. Whether you live in Canada and have the privilege of the four seasons or whether you live in one of the Southern States, the seasons have a direct impact on the real estate market, no matter where you live. Are you planning to buy or sell a home but aren’t sure which season is the best to enter the market? Rest assured, homes do sell in all seasons. The key to real estate seasonality is knowing how to strategize your timing to maximize the value of your home.
Generally speaking, real estate sales increase slowly during the spring and early summer months, and are followed by a gradual dip in sales from the fall into winter, but overall, sales remain at a fairly constant level. These real estate seasonality patterns vary somewhat, depending on climate and location, but peak shopping typically starts around mid-February and goes through about mid-June, with closings occurring in June through October.
SPRING & SUMMER
Spring and summer tend to be the best seasons to sell a house, depending on your target market. Many sales peak around June and July with this activity largely dominated by families with children, who time their purchase based around the school-year. Families begin shopping in the spring once the weather gets warmer and so that they can move in during the summer months and be ready for the start of school in the fall. Spring is also far enough out from the expensive holiday season, and comes coincidently just after the tax refund season, which can help with a down payment or closing costs. If you’re thinking about selling in the spring/summer, be prepared for a competitive market!
Autumn is the ideal time to sell if your demographic is singles and couples without children, and because of this, the median price tends to decline in the fall. Families and parents with school-age children usually don’t want to switch school districts mid-year, so ultimately, the fall can be a little slower for home sales. If you’re selling your home in the fall, remember to rake the fallen leaves to keep the lawn looking its best and try to decorate using colourful fall plants. You will also want make sure your outside lights are in working condition to help illuminate your home and pathways, due to the earlier nightfall.
Cold weather means fewer people are out looking for homes but there is still hope for a sale! Fewer homes are listed on the market during the winter months and it can actually take buyers longer to decide to purchase (even with slightly lower prices). Winter is also a great time for singles and couples without children to begin shopping for a home and note that serious buyers will definitely be out shopping for more than just holiday gifts. If you’re looking to purchase a house in the winter, there is certainly less competition from other buyers, even though fewer homes available for sale. You may find that sellers who have been out of the market for a while may be more willing to negotiate price. Serious sellers should price their homes competitively in the winter, as serious buyers will be looking to take advantage of the lower number of buyers. Listing your house at a slightly lower price is one way to sell it faster during the winter months. If you find yourself in a vacation hotspot, the off season could bring quite the crowd of bargain hunters.
Sometimes there are underlying circumstances and reasons for selling homes in the “off-season” market, so whatever the case may be, just make sure you price your home appropriately for the season to make people interested in coming to have a look. If you have time to prepare, consider taking photos of the home at its peak in different months as prospective buyers usually like to see a variety of photos of the interior and exterior of your home. Many of the best home photos are taken in spring and summer, when the plants are at their greenest, flowers in bloom, and the sun is shining. Even if you aren’t planning on selling anytime soon, you should make sure you take plenty of photos when your home looks its best, so that you can cherish the best moments and be proud of your hard work!
If you have any questions about this post or are still unsure of what season you should list your home in, contact me today to go through the options that are best suited for you and your individual situation!