Times are changing and you’re thinking about moving the family into a new home. But before you start searching for your next dream home, you’ll need to figure out when you’re going to sell your existing home. The decision is a complex one, especially considering the unpredictable economic environment you’re living in. And while there’s no magic formula for determining the best time to sell a home, there are several factors you should consider.
The wrong time to sell
This likely won’t come as a big surprise: you should avoid selling your home during the winter holiday season. Tensions run high during the holidays and budgets run low. The result? No one’s really itching to buy, and offers that do come in are often low. So as a general rule of thumb, avoid the months of December and January when selling a home.
The best season for selling
Conventional wisdom dictates that spring is the best time to sell a home. In spring, the holidays have past, the new school year is still a while away, and gardens and other outdoor spaces tend to look their best. And while spring is the season that sees the largest amount of buyers, it’s also the season when inventories are highest. This means lots of competition, so if you’re going to sell in spring, you really need to get your property to stand out with effective marketing and staging.
The best day for selling
According to research, Thursday is the best day of the week to list your home for sale. By listing your home for sale on a Thursday, you can make it available immediately for weekend showings. Come Saturday – the busiest day for real estate – your home will have only been on sale for two days, which is great for attracting full-price offers. In general, the shorter amount of time your home remains on the market, the higher the offer you’ll receive.
Selling your home doesn′t just mean hiring a realtor to stick a sign out front. There are a lot of preparations you should make to ensure you get the best offer possible in the shortest time.
Repair. Just because you’ve gotten used to the cracks in the walls and the rattles in the radiators doesn’t mean a buyer will too. If you have hardwood floors that need refinishing, be sure to get it done—hardwood is a huge selling point. Buyers like to snoop around, so be sure to fix any sticky doors or drawers as well. Finally, don’t forget to address any issues with the exterior—fences, shingles, sidewalks, etc. After all, without curb appeal, some buyers may never get to see the inside.
Neutralize. You want buyers to see themselves in your home. If your living room has lime green shag, wood-paneled walls, and all your collectibles and personal photographs, this will be much harder for them to do. Try replacing any bold color choices in your floors and walls with something more neutral—beiges, tans, and whites. Repainting and reflooring will make everything look fresh and new, and help prospective buyers imagine all the possibilities.
Stage. Once your house is clean and updated, it’s time to play dress up. Home stagers can add small details and décor touches that will bring out the possibilities in the various spaces in your home: lamps, mirrors, throw rugs and pillows, flowers, decorative soaps and towels, patio furniture. Home staging can be particularly useful if your home is especially old or if the exterior looks dated. Think of it as a little mascara and rouge—if it’s done right, you notice the beauty, not the makeup.