A common question that real estate agents are asked is, “when is the best time to sell my home?” While a direct or non-complicated answer would be ideal, the honest answer is, “it depends.”
It depends on what?
Various factors go into when someone should decide to sell their home. Let’s look at those:
How’s the Real Estate Market?
There are three types of real estate market: A seller’s market, a buyer’s market, and a balanced market. A hot real estate market, especially when there are more buyers than sellers, favors people looking to sell their homes.
A Seller’s Market
A seller’s market is when there are far more buyers than available homes for purchase, which usually helps drive up the price of a home. Generally, if the supply of homes available for sale is less than three months, the market is a seller’s market. The closer the market gets to zero in terms of months of supply, the hotter the market is, and buyers are typically more aggressive with their offers.
Waived inspections, all cash, free rent back for the sellers, contributions towards closing costs, and more are some carrots dangled by would-be buyers trying to win a bidding war for a property.
We’re seeing a strong seller’s market in Boise, and it’s only gotten stronger the past couple of years. With homes averaging less than a couple of weeks on the market, sellers are in the driver’s seat, generally receiving offers more than what their property is listed for sale for. This type of market is also pushing home values higher across the region.
A Buyer’s Market
A buyer’s market occurs when there are more than six months of inventory available. So, this is the converse of a seller’s market when there are more houses for sale than demand. In this situation, buyers can usually take advantage of sellers looking to move, getting concessions on price, payment of closing costs, etc.
A Balanced Market
A balanced market is when there’s generally four to six months of housing inventory available, meaning that the market doesn’t benefit a seller or a buyer. There are some instances where deals can tilt in favor of one side or another, but those are usually few and far between.
An example of this can include when a house is for sale in a coveted neighborhood that doesn’t see many homes sold, and buyers are waiting for an opportunity to buy. A circumstance like this could tilt things in the seller’s favor.
Another example on the buying side is several homes are for sale in the same community, which would allow buyers to choose a home to their liking. Sellers looking to move might have to lower the price or offer other incentives to entice buyers to purchase their home.
Depending on the seller’s goals, capitalizing on a seller’s market might be ideal, especially if they’re looking to get the most money out of their home’s purchase. Even if the market is in their favor, other circumstances may dictate a homeowner’s desire to sell.
Personal Preference and Situation
Even if the homeowner could capitalize on a seller’s market, maybe they can’t buy another house in the current market, especially if inventory is limited. Perhaps they have other considerations to factor in, such as education for their children, employment; neighborhood; quality of life, etc.
Sure, their home may have gained a lot of equity since it was purchased, but maybe it’s not the right time to sell.
Time of Year
Houses are bought and sold year-round, and there tends to be a selling season when more people put their homes on the market. For instance, here in Boise, the early spring from February through June and September through November are the peak times, or seasons, when people sell.
Since there’s more inventory on the market during these months, homeowners are competing with others selling their homes during the same period.
Since buyers are always looking for homes, there’s always an opportunity to capitalize when there are fewer homes on the market during the offseason.
Is the House Ready for Sale?
While it may be a great time to sell a home, an important question to consider is whether the home is ready to sell or not. What does that mean? Maybe the paint is faded, the roof needs to be replaced, the yard is in disrepair, etc., and should be corrected before the home hits the market. Those are a few examples.
Significant issues will undoubtedly be uncovered during a home inspection, so they should be corrected before selling.
Staging is also essential, so removing clutter and positioning furniture and decorations in such a way to appeal to buyers will also be imperative in making sure the house is ready for sale. And don’t overlook the curb appeal of the home, either.
When should I sell my home?
So, when should you sell your home? Well, as we mentioned above, it depends, and timing is everything. You should have a conversation with a REALTOR® to get a better understanding of the local housing market. They’ll also be able to tell you what your home is worth based on the features of your home and comparable houses sold nearby and can guide your decision based on market research and trends.
Armed with the information you’ve gathered from the real estate agent and based on your situation and circumstances, you can decide if the time is right to sell your home. Here in Boise, now is a great time to sell your home. And if you’ve decided to make a move and sell your home, we have some tips from homebuyers to help you sell your home.
Of course, we’d be remiss if we didn’t look at the opposite view and show how a case can be made not to sell your home, even if the market conditions are conducive to doing so.
The decision to sell your home is a personal decision and is yours to make. Sure, some occasions may provide a better opportunity to sell your home versus others, but in the end, you know your circumstances and goals the best and will choose to sell your house when it’s the right time for you. If you’re curious to know what the value of your home is, we have a handy tool to help you find out.