Updated: Dec 17, 2018
It is a common understanding that the best time to list a home and sell in late spring. Is that what you are thinking too? Let's consider some scenarios.
I say it all depends on your situation. Owning a home is costly. Mortgage, utilities, insurance and taxes. Keeping your current home and waiting to be listed until spring comes around could be costly. I'm going to go through a number of examples. When I mention that the house is "ready", I am talking about the house is ready to sell. All small repairs are done, you've talked to the agent (such as myself), your future plans are thought out, and you've gone through the purging process.
Example 1. Let's say your family is growing and need to move and want to buy a bigger home within the same neighborhood. This decision came about in the Summer. Should you wait to sell your property until Spring?
In this instance, you would do better to buy when you are ready to sell/buy. If you think you will get more money for your home, you would also end up paying a bit more for the home you are buying. Since you are moving up and buying a bigger and possibly more expensive home, the proportion amount that you will be "over-paying" will probably be more for the bigger home then the amount you will receive for your smaller home. So sell/buy when you are ready.
Example 2. You are retired. You and possibly your husband live in a house too big. You will need to downsize to a smaller house, condo or a townhouse. This decision also came sometime other then spring. Should you wait to sell your property until spring?
In this instance, you could the decide to sell/buy at spring. But at what cost? You are spending more money on mortgage, utilities, insurance and taxes. If you are ready to move out not too far from late Spring, then yes wait. But if it's only early fall or middle of the winter, should you want to wait and spend on upkeep of your bigger property to get a few thousand more for the house? I don't think so.
If you are moving out of state and need to sell the house in order to find a new home, you need to sell the house immediately. Waiting a few months to spring is really not worth the extra few thousand you MAY possibly receive. It is important to talk to the real estate agent and discuss your situation and options. Every situation is unique and that wait until spring may not apply to you always.
Earlier planning is the key. Contact me for more information!
Yon Chung, CPA, Realtor is a full time real estate agent based in McLean, Virginia (Capital Area Homes | Keller Williams Realty). She personally invests in real estate around Northern Virginia and out of state. Yon Chung serves sellers and buyers of primary homes and investment properties in Fairfax County.