During the winter months I am often asked by clients, when is the best time to sell. When they ask the question, they are expecting to hear what is commonly believed to be the spring. There are two reasons people commonly believe this. The first relates to children in school and the anticipation of a closing date in the summer months. While this reason still remains true, our mass population ( the baby boomer's ) no long have that concern.
The second reason is that the buyers cannot see outdoor features such as pools, gardens and land due to snowfall. While this may be a consideration with large country properties, it is a common myth and often one that sellers can use to their advantage. Because of this myth, real estate inventory drops drastically in the winter months. The reality of real estate marketing today is that buyers will shortlist your home based largely on the quality of its on-line representation. ( see my blog "The Real Estate Secret" ). This on-line representation can use many different sources of information to help represent the property such as, pictures taken outside the property in other seasons by the seller, satellite images, commercial ground level imaging or even pictures taken in anticipation of a winter listing. Even pictures that a seller may think cannot be used, can be modified to remove unwanted items or even people from the photo. With the use of all resources and a little technology, a good on-line representation a listing is most often possible.
When you consider the power of supply and demand, listing in the winter months with a strong on-line representation can be very beneficial for a seller. Not only is there less supply, but people in cold climates will spend more of their time indoors on the computer being exposed to real estate listings.
Lets put this to the test together. I just listed a condo townhouse less than 24 hrs ago. This is a good sample since the comparable sold properties make it easy to see what the same houses have been selling for. Based on recent solds (less than 4 months ago), one would think that the market value was approximately 280,000. The seller wanted to wait until the spring in order the sell the property. At the present time, there are NO other similar listings in the same area on the market. The seller accepted my counsel and listed now at $279,900. In my opinion, under such conditions, it is not a matter of wondering if we will sell or even if we will get 100% of asking, but rather how much more than the comparables solds will we get. I anticipate the seller will get well above the asking price. Now you may be wondering why I didn't counsel the seller to list above the comparables. Pricing strategies is a topic for another discussion, however, suffice to say, getting top market value is not about listing above the market. I will update this blog (http://blog.flaherty.ca) with the selling price. The listing can be viewed at http://Flaherty.ca/gold_custom2.asp What do you think the seller will get?