“What is the best time of year to buy or sell real estate?”

Ryan Coffey
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Short answer:four-seasons-real-estate
It doesn’t make that huge of a difference for the most part. It is more important that you are ready both financially and situationally than what time of year you buy or sell.

Sort of long answer that is actually somewhat abridged to keep people from dying of boredom:

The classic line of thought, or belief, is that spring is the time to do it. I’m not really sure where this idea came from and most Realtors don’t do much to stop people from thinking this way because there are so many far more important misconceptions to clear up. In fact, I’ve heard quite a few Realtors use talk of the spring market as a motivator to get Sellers ready to sell. I think this is a tactic that uses an existing belief to motivate people into doing something now rather than putting it off. You see, Realtors know that when people put things off it so often turns not doing it at all or worse yet, getting snagged by a different Realtor.

How I see the idea of buying or selling real estate in the spring? Well, it’s definitely the busiest time of year. There are more Buyers…. and more Sellers too.  The homes will look prettier with all the green and flowers and maybe some sun.
I have long held the belief that the real estate market picks up for the year once the weather gets nice. Every year, once we get our first week or two of happy weather, people seem to get optimistic about life and want to make a positive change for themselves. I’m told the same pattern is true for the other big ticket item, cars. There is also the perception that a lot of people are trying to time their move, which typically happens a month or two after the contract is written up, to coincide with when their kids are out of school in the summer. But does any of this translate into better prices for Buyers or Sellers? Not as far as I can tell. It’s really just a pleasant time of year to do it.  No real downside except that maybe the Realtors are more strapped for time and you may not get quite as much personal attention as you might at another time of year.

Summer is usually a little more quiet than spring as most people are on the beach and later on the the summer many people are off on vacation. Somewhat fewer homes on the market but less Buyers too. No major advantage or disadvantage here.

Fall is usually a bit busier than the summer but not as busy as the spring.

Sometime in November things usually slow right down as most people are focusing on the holidays at this point. Realtors are likely to take some time off at this time of year. Some Buyers follow the line of logic that any property that is on the market during the holidays must have some serious (desperate) Sellers so they are expecting to find something good. This is why I tell Sellers to keep it on the market anyway at this time of year if they can muster it because Buyers who think like that are serious about Buying and you don’t want to miss the timing for meeting those kind of Buyers. Every strategy has a counter strategy and this is just one.

So ,back to my intial statement. Time your move around your life and your finances first as these will make a bigger difference than the other factors. There are many ins and outs to real estate and having the guidance of a seasoned pro helps you navigate the seas of information that you find online, via word of mouth or on the news.


Ryan Coffey