“Best” Time to Buy or Sell

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Ask a REALTOR®️!!

I am not a lawyer, and I am a licensed sales agent in the state of Texas.

Old friend and Navy Vet (hiss) Michael Fry got me with a good one this week: “What is the best time of year to look to buy or sell a house?”

The “best” time always varies with local markets, but there are statistically better times for the National Average. In general, most homes will sell in the summertime. The reasoning behind this is fairly simple: If a person is relocating, they will try to do it during the summer months when children are out of school. So, shortest answer: the best time to buy or sell a home is “in the summer.”

But is that really the BEST time to buy a home? It depends on your goal. If the time of your relocation is a luxury you can afford, and if you’re willing to sacrifice selection for value, than for you, the “best” time will be in the fall. The rush of homeowners have bought up all the competitive stock, and what’s left will be Sellers who are faced with a tough decision: Take a lower-than-listing offer, or face the possibility of having the house unsold moving into the winter months, when most markets slow to a crawl. For a bargain-buyer, this is the “best” time to buy a house! Yes, you will have to choose from “what’s left,” but you generally won’t get into a bidding war over a house with other Buyers, and you will have the “offer ball” in your court.

Mike’s follow on question centered on the best time to LIST a property for sale. My opinion is to find out the average time it takes to sell a house in a market (80 days in the Brazos Valley, 32 days for NOVA), and back it off from your “no later than” departure date, and maybe add a ten-day buffer. The danger with listing too early is if you list your house in May, you live in a hot market and sell your house in 30 days, and you don’t need to be at your destination until August…you’ll have to make temporary living accommodations. This can be expensive, but might not be the WORST problem to have in the world. Plus, you want to avoid the dreaded “been-on-the-market-longer-than-average” phenomenon.

I hope this answers your question, Mike!

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