Should I wait until spring to sell?

I get this question all the time:  “When is the best time to sell our home?”

And my answer always is, “When the time is right for you.”

If you’re like most people around here, you’re programmed to think that spring is the best time to sell a home in southeast Michigan, with summer running a close second.

Entirely not true.

Michigan is one of those states that have 4 beautiful seasons, each with its own endearing qualities.

Homes sell every month of the year.  Even in January. In fact, I’ve always believed that winter might be the best time to sell.

Because buyers who are out shopping for a home when its freezing cold and snowing in February are way more serious than casual lookers in July. And maybe more importantly, there are fewer houses on the market in the winter time which means less competition.

I’ve had several conversations over the year with home builders, and almost unanimously they’ve told me that the absolute worst month for new build contracts is June.

Why?

Because June is the busiest month of all for most people; weddings, graduations, Father’s Day…there’s something going on every weekend in June.  People just have way too much going on to be out shopping for houses.

I think there’s something special about shopping for a home when the leaves are changing colors or when homes are decorated for the holidays.  It’s an emotional time. And as a seller, you always want your buyer to be emotionally involved in their purchase.

Keep in mind that people’s housing needs change all the time; there are divorces and weddings, babies on the way, job transfers and leases ending every month.

I did a little homework to see if recent statistics agree with my assumptions.  Check this out:

Realcomp MLS Stats for West Bloomfield, Zip Code 48322

Month                       Active Listings                    Confirmed Sales                         % Sold

October 2013                     157                                         47                                           30%

February 2014                   103                                        40                                           39%

June 2014                           161                                         42                                           26%

There were only two fewer sales in February than there were in June, yet there were waaay fewer properties on the market.  Less competition is always good for a seller.

And there were more properties sold in last October than there were in June of this year…even though the inventory in October was slightly less.

So, October is a better month than June…And February is better than both of them.

Obviously real estate is local, but the point is the same no matter where you live: If you’re thinking about selling, do it when the time is right for you. And don’t pay attention to the calendar.

This post is first in a series where we’re going to debunk some myths about the real estate market.