While we understand that “conventional wisdom” states that, once we’ve passed some imaginary line on the calendar, it’s too late to list your house for sale and you had better wait until March. Potential Seller Clients often tell us that they fear there aren’t any Buyers looking for homes in October, November, and December, and that they really don’t want to move in the winter. Team vanRahan understands that you, as a home owner in the Peterborough area, may be reluctant to go against the grain after hearing the same “conventional wisdom” for years. However, we would like to share with you why we believe that line of thinking is causing home sellers to lose money. Here are Team vanRahan’s top three reasons why it’s a good idea for home owners to list their home for sale in the last quarter of the year.
1. Supply vs. Demand: Basic Economic Principles Still Apply! Each year we watch the snow banks go down and the number of homes in Peterborough and area for sale go up. Supply rises greatly and demand (Buyers) have more to choose from and, because it’s early in the year, that demand is less motivated. Juxtapose this situation with that of later in the year: Supply is reduced and demand numbers remain level. Therefore, the fourth quarter Seller has more control on the supply side of the equation and can attain a higher price. The important difference in demand between spring and autumn is the quality of the Buyers we see later in the year, which brings us to point two.
2. Spring Buyers are Not the Same as Autumn Buyers: The average Peterborough home buyer in the spring is NOT the average home buyer we see in the annual last quarter. As noted above, Buyers have much more to choose from in the Spring Market, but there’s a more important reason why: Home Buyers looking in the spring are looking to move in the autumn. Many Buyers we speak with in the spring tell us they have been to a couple open houses to “test the waters”, and that they are hoping to move sometime after summer holidays. “We have lots of time” is a line we often hear in the spring. And why not? These Buyers have so many houses to choose from that they will not be upset if they can’t secure a property for a price they want, and they really aren’t in a hurry since they are happy to move in the Autumn anyway. The Peterborough Seller in the Spring may think it’s a better time since they will have many more showings, but what they do not see is that those Buyers are much less likely to bring an offer to the Seller’s liking, if at all. Now let’s take a look at the Autumn Buyer. These Buyers are much more motivated. Autumn is a very busy time. Kids go back to school, Thanksgiving and Halloween come and go, and Christmas looms. Yet they are still out looking at homes in steadily decreasing daylight and dropping temperatures. Wouldn't you, as a Seller, agree that this Buyer is a more serious one? Couple a more serious and motivated demand with a lower supply and you have a situation beneficial to the Seller.
3. Be an Autumn Seller and a Spring Buyer: We have established that the autumn Seller is in more control as a result of a lower supply and a more motivated demand. Part of this control being more able to dictate the time of closing. We have also established that spring Buyers have more control as supply is up and demand can afford to be picky. Therefore, the autumn Seller can become a spring Buyer. Listing your home for sale in the autumn sets you up to take advantage of both situations. Also, by selling in the autumn with a long closing, Sellers can make more competitive offers in the spring against Buyers who have waited until the snow melted to get that sign on their lawn. Sell high and buy low: There is some more grade 10 economics for you.
For any questions about this, or any real estate topics, please feel to get in touch with Team vanRahan. We love hearing from you!