The primary reason why an owner should sell real estate is because it is the right time for their particular situation. In any given market at any given time there are buyers ready, willing and able to purchase real estate. However, many Sellers think they should “time the market”. One key objective of most Sellers is to optimize what they will realize on the sale of their home. There are other considerations to keep in mind, including terms and what timing works best for the situation. Thus as a professional Realtor®, I’m frequently asked the question: “Why sell in the fall? Should I wait until the spring?”
An example is a home I listed in McLean that came active on the market in mid-September. When I met with the owners in the summertime they asked me whether I thought they should wait until next spring. What would you do? They are building a new home that is scheduled to be completed in December and would prefer to not “carry” two homes until springtime. I shared with them that the spring is not necessarily the “perfect” time to sell real estate. One of the challenges of the spring market is there is typically a lot more inventory coming on the market, thus more competition. Thus one of the corresponding benefits to the fall market can be a less competitive environment.
The Virginia area is just as gorgeous in the fall as in the spring. This time of year the trees are ripe with fall colors of red, oranges and yellows – the setting is just captivating. Further, appraisers in the valuation process select comparables from the previous 6 months. Sales from the spring and summer markets often are of stronger values. Waiting until the spring means comparables often reflect softer winter month values.
From personal experience, the last home my husband and I purchased was during the weekend before Thanksgiving and because we ratified on a contract on that town home, we put our single family home on the market the day before Thanksgiving. The timing worked out great for our family as my husband was able to take time off of work during the holidays to help with the details of packing, moving and getting set up in our new home.
The good news for my clients in McLean, VA is that they listened to me as a professional Realtor®. The home was priced correctly for the market relative to the condition. Public open houses were held two Sundays in a row, in addition to a Realtor® open on a Tuesday at lunch time. Two offers with favorable terms for the Seller were presented after the second weekend on the market. It is scheduled to close just in time for the holidays for my clients to enjoy being in their new home. So yes Sellers, fall can be a very good time to sell real estate. Good houses priced correctly for the market sell in all seasons.
How to know whether to sell now? The best guidance is obtained from a professional Realtor® that is actively involved in your marketplace. If you are in the Northern Virginia, Washington DC or suburban Maryland area, please contact Karen Briscoe and Lizzy Conroy with the Huckaby Briscoe Conroy Realty Group, Keller Williams Realty at 703-734-0192 or Homes@HBCGroupKW.com as we would be delighted to be of assistance. Or visit our website for more information at www.HBCGroupKW.com.