Is it Better to Sell your Home in the New Year or Wait till Spring?

Some of my fellow Realtors have been posting recently about how it’s a better time list to your home in the New Year vs. Springtime because there is less competition (inventory). I am not one to believe everything I read so I did some real research and this is what I came up with.

Data Sources

For my research, I randomly chose seven towns in Monmouth and Ocean Counties with larger populations to analyze the data from the Monmouth Ocean Regional MLS.

The townships picked were Barnegat, Brick, Toms River, Howell, Freehold, Middletown & Tinton Falls with all residential home sales between $100k-$600k (the price range for the bulk of the sales).

The date ranges taken for the comparison is for homes listed in January – February 2017 and April – May 2017.  Please note: Every effort was made to provide accurate information but is not guaranteed. Now let’s check out the results!

The Results by the Numbers

Total Homes Listed:

  • Jan-Feb: 1,317 Homes
  • Apr-May: 1,865 Homes

Remarks: It is true that inventory grows substantially in the spring months (548 more homes listed or 40% increase)! But that is not the whole store…let’s dig a little deeper.

Total Homes that Sold:

  • Jan-Feb: 899 Homes
  • Apr-May: 1,237 Homes

Remarks: It is interesting to see that listing your in either range of months generated almost the same percentage of home sales (about 77% of homes listed did sell).

Days on the Market Before Sold:

  • Jan-Feb: 55.7 Days
  • Apr-May: 46.3 Days

Remarks: Even though the same percentage of homes sold, it did take homes listed in the earlier months an average of nine days more to sell. But wait till you see the next stat before you make your final decision!

Listed to Sold Price:

  • Jan-Feb: 97.75% of List Price
  • Apr-May: 95.97% of List Price

Remarks: Homes listed and sold in January/February sold at a higher price (even though it took on average more than a week longer) than homes listed and sold in Springtime.

Conclusion

Seeing the whole picture reveals some interesting facts. You can sell your home in the New Year just as successfully as Springtime, and you may get more money for it, but it might take a little longer to sell. So what should you do?

If you have the choice, I would suggest listing your home in the January/February months. Less inventory can help you sell especially if your home is not in perfect condition. Many sellers take a few months to prep and make their home to look like a model home you see in a magazine, and with 40% more inventory coming on the market in the Springtime, the sooner you sell your home, the better. Besides even if it doesn’t sell during the first few months of the year, you haven’t missed the Spring rush of new potential buyers.


Honest Tips to Help Sell Your Home Faster and for More Money

Price it Right!

No matter how much you think your home is worth and how unique it is, it will only sell at market price. Prices you saw last year and even 6 months ago (and yes even on Zillow too) are not the current market conditions. You can use our online Home Valuation Tool to get a decent estimate of your home’s value. If you complete the form on our home value tool with your contact info, I will also run another more accurate home value report and send it to you for free (this report costs me $5 to generate).

Estimates of your home’s value are only the start. Get a real estate professional to see your home in person and generate a recent Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) that reflects all the attributes of your home and neighborhood. Following this process is your best source in pricing your home.

Choosing the Right Realtor!

Choosing a Realtor to sell your home is just as important as deciding to sell your home. Every seller has unique needs, and a good Realtor will help guide you with realistic expectations during this emotional process. Friends or Family members who are Realtor’s are not always the best choice. Will you be comfortable talking about finances with them or when a real estate transaction becomes difficult? I’ve seen friendships lost over real estate transactions.

You want a real estate professional who always has your best interests in mind and who isn’t worried about losing a friendship (even though many good Realtors do become friends with their clients). Interview at least 2 or 3 agents before making a decision. Find out how they will communicate with you (and how often). Compare their marketing strategies and don’t choose the agent who is just willing to list your home at the highest price as you will most likely be disappointed why you are not getting showings and hasn’t sold.

Pictures are Worth a Thousand Words and even More in Dollars!

I cannot stress enough about how important professional pictures are. Way too many agents out there are using their point and shoot cameras (or even worse using their mobile phones) for their listings. It’s a fact that professional pictures will get more showings to your home. According to NAR research, 95% of all home buyers are now searching online themselves (even if they are working with a Realtor).

Quality pictures like this can seriously impact the sale of your home. Be sure when interviewing for a listing agent to see examples of their recent listing photos. BTW, I am the agent who is also a semi-professional photographer of house photos like this home above.

How we can help you!

If you are thinking of making the move to and adult community and need to sell your existing home…we can help. Our team of real estate professionals has been helping clients transition to the golden years for over 10 years! We sell all residential real estate (not just in adult communities) and work with many agents outside of the Central NJ area to assist clients who are relocating from New York, North Jersey, Florida and more!

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