When Is the Best Time to Buy or Sell a House?

Like everything else, there are always conversations predicting real estate values, and
whether to wait or to move quickly. Here is what I have seen since I was licensed in 1980.
Most of my business has been in the months of March, April, and May. Probably no
surprise to you since people assume summer is the best time to move. “Spring Fever” is
prime time for folks to be more active and to make plans. What this means is that homes
were listed and sold in spring so that folks could move in the summer.
And listing a home for sale means preparation, lots, and lots of preparation. Sometimes
this takes months. The “rush” of having a new place can get bogged down with clearing
out, packing, cleaning and freshening spaces that have been status quo over the winter, or
for years. A summer move means starting now.

The flow of buyers and sellers is always modified by human events. The best example is
the slowing of activity in April. Sales are moving briskly and then there is a drop off.
Every year I hear “What happened to the market?” The answer is Passover, Easter,
Spring Break, and the federal tax deadline. And if you wait until after April 15 th people are
looking toward graduations and vacations. This does not mean there is no activity. It just
means that people are preoccupied.

What may surprise you is that the second most busy time of the year for me is September,
October, and November. “Who would want to move during the holidays?” my clients ask.
And then about 40% realize that is exactly when they moved into their current home.
And like Spring Fever, folks are thinking about fall activities. Is their current space too big
or too small for Thanksgiving dinner and where shall we put the Christmas tree?

Looking for a home to buy is the opposite timing. When everyone is looking you have more
competition. For example, on a hot July day I encourage my buyers to get some lemonade
and look at homes with me. I found that folks will put on a raincoat to look at a house, but
most people do not want to get in and out of a hot car in July and August.

After telling you all of this, here is my advice today. Everything has changed. People are
selling, buying, and moving every week. Nothing in 2020 has slowed down real estate sales
in our beautiful area. And if you are contemplating making a move, begin now. That way
you will have enough time to catch the wave, even if you need to stop and give yourself a
break, or several breaks. This is like driving to a destination that is 1,000 miles away.
Some will want to drive straight through. Most will want to stop and stretch and spend the
night in a nice motel.

If my 40 years of selling homes in this beautiful valley can save you time and money, please
pass this tip to your friends.
If you have a question do not hesitate to ask me.
Judy Naimo
Coldwell Banker Brokers of the Valley
License #00827675

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