Fall has many benefits for selling
First of all, there were some major changes made back in April that put much of the market on hold for a while. Many buyers believe what they want to believe – that prices will come down. They didn’t. Well, they did… but not to the level that they were a year earlier. In round numbers and general ones, in 2017 prices rose by about 20% and then fell by 10%. Home prices in the lower and mid market were not impacted as much and have started a slow rise again.
Testing the stress
Second. A lot of buyers are under pressure to buy within the next 90 days. A new stress test is going into force in January 2018 and home buyers are stressing over it already. “I’m going to lose 20% of my purchasing power”. “I won’t be able to afford a house next year. I’ll have to buy a condo”. That is what I hear.
Let’s get serious
Third. A hidden benefit to home sellers for the fall and winter market is that the buyers out there looking now and when the weather turns nasty are serious. The lookie-lous, and nothing-better-to-dos are not attending open houses. No. They are binging on Netflix and thinking about Christmas.
If you are an investor and maybe a commissioned salesperson or self employed or maybe you were briefly unemployed —> you didn’t have a great year financially, or maybe you expect next year to be a greater year than this one, then you can avoid income taxes as your income is lower than it should be. Sell this year when you are in a lower tax bracket.
An open road
Just like it is cheaper to travel in the off-season and drive after the rush hour, there are similar advantages to selling and moving in non-hectic times. Access to movers, lawyers and real estate people with more time will make your selling process a lot smoother.
The truthiness of statistics
Statistically house prices float up in the springtime but don’t believe the statistics. It could be that more expensive homes are bought and sold in the springtime and those sales skew the statistics. In fact, if you have an expensive house to sell, the fall or winter might be the best time to sell because now you have less competition.
Material flaws and latent defects
Although material facts must be disclosed, maybe there is something about your home that will put it a better light in the fall or winter. Maybe your home looks and feels like a ski chalet. Or maybe you would like to hide the fact that your neighbour has noisy pool parties or works on old cars in his driveway. Maybe your dogs have ruined the yard.
I always say that you cannot time the market and we all carry around a world view that may or may not be completely true. Real estate is cyclical but sometimes going against the flow, sometimes being “opposite George”, sometimes sticking up and standing out is a great advantage.