Timing the Market: Should I list my home over the holidays or wait until spring?

Ask any almost real estate agent if you should list your home for sale during the holidays or wait until some better time, you will get an empathic response; sell now!   The answer is easy for the agent, it’s a slow time of year for Real Estate agents and they need the commission checks.

Aside from agent need, there are a few valid reasons to list over the holidays; a lot of homes come off the market during December and there is much less competition.  Buyers are still out there; some have to move, others may need to buy before the end of the year for tax purposes, are among the most common reasons buyers are active during the holidays.

But timing when to list your home for sale is a decision to be made only by sellers who do not really have to sell.  If you have a new job that requires you to move to another city, or you are about to get foreclosed, then you are not really able to time the market. For this seller, there are few reasons to put off to January what you really need to do now.  And as an upside, you will have the benefits of selling over the holiday. Buyers out there around the holidays can be more serious about their decisions and may be less likely to drag their feet or suffer decision anxiety.  If you do decide to list during the holidays, don’t leave the decorations in the attic; you can enhance the appearance of your home with tasteful holiday decorating.

But the larger question about how to time the market is a serious issue with a lot at stake.  There is seasonality to real estate sales.  In Los Angeles, over the past three years, the number of homes for sale has peaked each year between July and September.  The lowest number of homes for sale has traditionally been December.  Things pick up after the first of the year, and slowly climb to their peak and then fade.  The graph looks like this;

graph

Those  who are thinking of selling for other reasons; moving to a larger home, downsizing, taking profits etc,  you need to examine your reasoning, map out your plan of action, then move forward according to what makes the most sense.  There is data that supports early May as the best time to list your home for sale, but the increased competition can offset whatever statistical gains that the data identifies.

Just keep in mind, if you are thinking of selling, and then buying another property in the Los Angeles real estate market, the most important element of the timing decision is to avoid getting caught as a buyer in the heated summer market.  Whether you are moving up or downsizing you will face stiffer competition from other buyers and sellers in the market over the summer.

If you want to discuss timing with a real estate agent who will listen and offer pros & cons without pressure, contact LAandymay.

 

www.LAandymay.com

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