This was written by RE/MAX Canada for the RE/MAX blog. Find the original blog here, posted on July 18, 2019.
As first-time homeowners, you might get to a point where it’s time to sell your house and move on to your next home. However, you don’t want to sell your home at the wrong time—you might have trouble finding buyers or you might miss out on making the most money back.
Therefore, it’s crucial to watch the market in order to gauge whether it’s time to put your house up for sale. There are several things to consider before doing so, especially when it comes to a decision as big as this.
Here are a few tips for watching the market when deciding to sell your house:
- Consider the time of year
- Think about the job market
- Research your local housing market
- Don’t get obsessed with timing
Consider the time of year
As you may recall when you bought your first house, there might have been a time of the year that you favoured when looking for a new home. This undoubtedly influences other homebuyers.
It’s crucial to consider the time of year since there are numerous effects that a season has on a home and the real estate market. Buyers typically stray away from the coldest months of the year, which is why most buyers look to purchase homes between the spring and fall seasons.
Many people would rather buy and move to a new home during the spring and summer months to avoid the worse conditions in winter. Moving homes is very much a hassle, so it’s understandable that new homeowners would want to move during a less busy time of year. Families find it much more convenient for their kids to move to a new home and area when school is out, as this would give them enough time to settle in before they start a new year at a different school.
However, that isn’t to say that you should only sell your house between the spring and fall. While many buyers may be looking for a new home, there may be more competition on the market during these months. Other sellers understand that this is a great time to sell, but many don’t realize the amount of competition they may face.
Despite the time of year and the potential amount of people looking to buy, the number of listings can be abundant. This can impact how long you’ll be listed until you find the right buyer. Some sellers might find it more advantageous to tackle the market when there are less listings and competition. While there may be fewer buyers, there are always people looking to purchase homes year-round. Keep your eye on the market and consider if it’s truly time to sell your house.
Think about the job market
Finding the right time to sell goes beyond than simply the time of year. A good way of determining the best time to sell involves thinking about when people want to buy. The hotter months of the year may be convenient times for families looking to move. However, people also look for homes when new jobs become available.
Consider the job market in your local area. There may be a new manufacturing plant opening nearby. If you currently live in a metropolitan area with nearby public transportation, housing may be incredibly expensive in dense cities like Toronto or Vancouver. Buyers are likely to seek out homes in areas with commuter connections. New jobs mean new residents that need homes. These events are prime opportunities to sell your house potentially quickly and possibly at a higher price.
Research your local housing market
Pricing is critical to figuring out when to sell your home. Home-sellers would much rather sell their house at market price or higher than incur a short sale. Research past housing prices in your area to gauge the current state of your local housing market. Figure out if the market is up or down. It’s important to determine the state of your housing market when deciding to sell your home, as it can loosely predict if housing prices may go up or continue to fall.
Don’t get obsessed with timing
While timing may seem like everything when selling your home, you must make a key decision at some point. Homeowners looking to sell often become obsessed with timing to the point where they pass on key opportunities that they may regret.
When watching the market, one of the most important tips to understand is to determine what you think is best for you and your home. Consider everything from the time of the year to the current job and housing market. Determine when your house is most appealing—whether it be in the literal sense or figurative. For example, your home might literally look best during the spring and summer months, so it may be best to consider selling it then to attract potential buyers. On the other hand, when new jobs open, more people will be looking to buy in your area which can make your home very appealing to these buyers.
At the end of the day, it’s your decision—so it’s crucial to research the market as much as you can to make a well-informed one.