The Typical Tradition in Real Estate is Seller list in the spring and hang tight during the fall and winter, and I am not saying it’s not a good school of thought if you need to do some work to your home, but if you can sell in the offseason why wouldn’t you? Why stay on the sidelines if you’re ready to sell your home now.
Here is some reason why selling in the offseason might be better than selling during spring or summer market.
When home prices rise your equity also goes up and that can help a seller get their mortgage above water especially if they are underwater.
When there is less inventory on the market it often means a buyer pays more for that home which is great for a seller. Offseason market homes often have less competition and weed out the less serious buyer. A buyer who buys in the winter often has to deal with certain elements that a buyer in the spring has to deal with starting with the weather. When the weather is not great it requires more effort for the buyer to check out the home which is good for a seller since only the serious home buyer will trek out to see your property. Buyers also get to see your home at a time of year where any defect your home has will be highlighted. A buyer in the spring might not know if the roof leaks and well if your home is listed in the winter you will know if you have a problem and so will the buyer and they can make an offer that reflects that.
If you’re a seller who wants 100 percent of your listing agents attention you’re more likely to get it in the winter months then spring. As mentioned early majority of properties are listed in the spring which means Real Estate Agents are often spread thin during those months, but during the winter months, agents often have more time due to less inventory on market. If you want to dive deeper into the market of the home or have more questions or want more updates from your listing agent your more likely to get that during the offseason.
Off Season is a great time to test the market and if it doesn’t see much action you can always adjust the price or take it off the market. Some seller list there home as a quiet listing which means it listed in the house with that agency but not broadcasted to the world that your home is on market. There are buyers in the market who would rather buy a property discretely and you might a seller who would like to sell without the world knowing your selling. Off season is a great chance to test the marketplace. When a home is on market as a quiet listing a buyer can’t see how long a listing has been on market and nor can their agent so if you have no bites you can try in the spring with a new price if needed.
You might be able to list your home for slightly less due to the fact you’re in the offseason and often times they will attract more than one buyer which could lead to more than one offer which in turn could drive your price up. I have found if you price a home for fair market value or slightly under the seller has more than one offer to choose which means the home will sell for over asking. I often tell the seller to price a home in between price points. For example if there is decent inventory of homes 500-600 range but there is nothing in the range 650-740 and the next big price jump is mid or high 800 range I might say to a seller lets price it in the middle of this range since there has got to be a decent amount of buyers who are looking to stay in this range and right now there is nothing to satisfy that demand and a buyer may not be able to go to the next price point and they might not see anything lower. During the Month of September which is off-peak time nationwide home prices soared and that without a doubt held true for Greater Boston.
BabyBoomers are not the only buyers in the market the second largest generation is just starting to enter the market and they are the Millennials. The Millennials have been on the sideline for a long time and they now account for 42% of the buying market. Millennials were surveyed and they feel 80% confident now is the time to buy a home and feel that if not now it is in their future. Millennials are starting to start families which are causing a shift in the market where supply can’t keep up with population demand. Boston unemployment rate is 3.2% which is far lower the national average, and while rest of the country has seen days on market increase Boston has seen the opposite effect. In September which is the offseason, the days on market speeded up.
Lenders have special programs or incentives to offer which could be lower down payments, lower credit score, no closing costs and you might be thinking who cares about that, but these programs might not be around in the spring and not every buyer can afford cash and you could find that buyer who not only has that but has flexibility in closing which could work for you the seller. Often times spring a Seller has less wiggle room and during the off-season often times both buyer and seller have more flexibility on closing timeline.
Buyers will purchase what is readily available. They will start their search online and they will purchase or decide not to purchase what they see is available in the market and if you’re not listed guess what you miss out of the chance of having a buyer pay a premium for your home.
Newly forming Households will require their own homes. Due to the growth of housing costs surpassing the growth of income of the past decade one than a third of United States adults has doubled up to save money. A doubled-up household occurs when at least two working-age 23-65 unmarried or unpartnered adults move in together when they could or would under different circumstances live apart. This doubling up results in more than 5 million fewer households today than there would be under normal circumstances. As the economy grows these double ups households will divide an individual will start buying a home of their own. When this happens the demand for housing might outpace supply
On Realtor.com Boston gets twice as many views than other major cities. Boston also has 7% more millennials due to fact that many of them went to college or graduate school and decide to stay and work here. Boston Metro also doesn’t just have one job sector it offers a diverse job sector which makes it an attractive city to move to. Baby Boomers are also part of this as well and they are moving to Boston which is driving prices up.
If you’re a Seller thinking Spring in the time to sell you might want to rethink that. You might have more options your home is competing with and you might see longer days on market. The last thing a seller should keep in mind rates have been at historically low rates and we are being told that rates will be going up which means a buyer can afford less house. Off Season might be the best time for a Seller to get top dollar and close on terms that work for them and work for the buyer. If you’re thinking about listing your home during the offseason or in the spring contact me, and we can set up a custom marketing plan along with strategy that works for you.