Home Selling in 02466>Question Details

M K, Both Buyer and Seller in Newton, MA

Should I sell now or wait till Spring?

Asked by M K, Newton, MA Wed Oct 20, 2010

I am considering selling my townhouse in Newton. However, I am wondering if it will be better to wait until Spring. My concern is that the market is going to calm down with cold/rainy days plus holidays.

Help the community by answering this question:


Maksim, selling in fall and winter when you are in a cooler climate that actually experiences below freezing temperatures is a good idea. Why? Simple, you will generally get more money for your home. I know many people will argue that in a busier buyer market you have a greater chance of attracting one of the many buyers to your home. Maybe even get competing buyers. Statistically this is not likely. Any chance you have is offset by the groups of other homes for sale that your potential buyer will flock to if yours is not priced appropriately. BUT you get a buyer out there to brave the weather and trampling through the snow...and...well that's a serious buyer who really wants or needs to buy. A buyer who may spend a bit more to get what they want and get out of the cold!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 26, 2010
Maksim is trying to sell now FSBO and wants to float the idea if it makes sense to list it now with an agent when the holidays are around the corner. Look at his profile page web link for the condo photos.

Any Newton/Waltham agents out there with a buyer in their pocket and you can sell his condo now? Contact him offline. Hope you appreciate the plug Maksim!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 22, 2010
Hi Maksim,

In my opinion, you should consider Selling your home this year for several reasons. We will continue to see downward pressure on home values because of the weak housing market and over abundance of homes for sale (with more foreclosures & short sales to come). This means the value of your home will be lower when you place it on the market next Spring.

You should consult a local Real Estate professional to share with you the current Absorbtion Rate (number of similar homes to yours on the market /(divided by) number of homes sold per month. This will tell you the number of 'months supply of homes. You should also consider the percentage of Selling Price vs Final Asking Price (.i.e. homes are selling for 94% of asking price), and the percentage homes declined in value in your area from 2009.

You will find very serious Buyers coming to your home when they are shopping around the Holidays. Its a great way to market your home, when its beautifully decked out for everyone to see... You are giving your potential Buyer that emotional attachment to your home by making it warm & inviting! The Holidays are a great time to sell your home...

Best of luck,

1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 21, 2010
When you are ready to sell.... I say try to sell. Why? yes their are more buyers in spring time however the buyers that are out during the Holiday's are serious buyers. In addition a home is very warm and inviting looking at this time of the year. For most home buyers this is also an emotional purchase so what better time to show off your home is when it has the ahhhh... this is home kinda appeal!!!

Just something to think about.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 20, 2010
Hi there Maksim, just answered your FSBO question....

Your instincts are correct - though it is true that the "right" time to list your home for sale is when the time of life is right, the fact is this....during any 12 month period, the best time to list and sell is during the spring market when more buyers are present. Yes, competition will be fierce, because sellers tend to flock to the market then. But the holidays are slow, once you hit mid November, the market gets pretty sleepy until after New Years.

If there are any projects you can do to prepare your home for sale, now is the time to do them. You want to hit the market strong - remembering that the most important time of any listing is when it is fresh and new. Statistically speaking, it is highly likely that your buyer will find your condo online - that is where the action is - and if you miss the mark while the online buyers are interested, you've made a big marketing blunder. You may recover, but you may not, because attention spans are short.

Good luck to you!
Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Service
Web Reference: http://www.feenick.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 20, 2010
Maksim, this is a very good question. Different seasons have different market behavior.
In the spring you have more buyers out there, but also more inventories to choose from. In the winter there are fewer inventories on the market so your house will get more attention.
However since that you are in Newton I don't think that you should worry about when to sell. If you are ready and need to sell, just sell. Newton is a very desirable area and sellers get fast and high offers on their homes, as for Newton even multiple offers.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 10, 2012
I would say sell now. The chance of the market declining by next Spring is higher than it increasing.... according to multiple sources.
Good luck,
Ken L.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 3, 2010
Hmm. As someone who is actually looking for a house right now, I find it odd that a serious buyer would stay home because of rain. If they are getting ready to spend $500,000, I think they will get in the car and go look at houses. We just started looking and will look through winter... and I like to see the basement during rain.
Also, with so much for sale, I don't think old rules apply. 8 years ago it was timing, now my wife and I can go to any town around Boston, any street, and find a house for sale. Doesn't matter if yours is there or not. List it and be ready to wait...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 29, 2010

Your question, and its answer, is a double-edged one: it can cut either way.

A lot will depend on your local market. As a buyer and seller you've got the perspective from both angles and you can see if you go to open houses and on appointmentns just what the level of activity is and/or competition.

Moreveover, there's a school of thought that once the elections are over and the shifting of the sands takes place that a clearer picture of governmental and fiscal policy will emerge. There are cynics who maintain that if the political shift is to the right that businesses will start reinvesting in themselves and start hiring. Since "job security" is a major factor in the current housing market, such a growing trend would get us out of this debacle. Don't expect, however, some meteoric rise in prices, however.

The bottom line is that if you can "score" a hit on your purchase then you should be willing to take a hit as a seller. As we move into the holiday season, there is a greater than average chance that the "bottom fishers" will take over the market and for the sellers who are eager/desperate to move, they will have to deal with those low-ball offers.

Please note, no one knows the market like a buyer -- especially the ones who are out there everyday. They are the ones who see the market and really know :value." If you get a "low-ball" offer on your place, see if you can play with it to get the best price possible. If not, you might just be one of those sellers who says: "If I only...

Check with your local realtor to see if you can determine the absorbancy rate. It will give you a better sense of how to proceed.

If you want to hedge your bets, put it on the market now and see what happens. If you don't get any activity you can take it off the market and try again in the spring.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 28, 2010
It seems that many people start looking to purchase a home in the spring rather than fall/winter. I think it is the weather and all of tired of being stuck inside. Also if they have school age children, they would rather move after the school year is over.

Good Luck to you
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 27, 2010
That is an interesting point John.
At the same time, buyers who are currently renting or don't need to buy right away can afford to skip a rainy or snowy day and stay at home with their family instead of attending an open house.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 27, 2010

The advantage to the late fall market is that the competition is less and there are still some very serious buyers in the market. The major point to consider is whether you are willing to price the property to sell. If you price right this market is fine, but if you are high then you will find it very difficult. You can find more helpful hints on my blog on my website.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 25, 2010
Really great responses here, Maksim.

With November just around the corner, you could use several weekends to get the townhouse ready and get your ducks in a row. Get the lights working for your home when you go to stage your townhouse. You may want to add some spot lights to bring out the assets. That kind of thing can help you on getting your price. Make sure the floors and kitchen are spotless. Then stage an asset that people make favorable comments about. If you have an impressive stair case descending from a hallway with impressive banisters, make sure it is well lit.

As for getting buyers to come looking, marketing is extremely important these days. Many people make the decision to forgo using an agent - and this isn't criticism - to save money. Agents have marketing and networking power. Just a thought ...

PML - we move property
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 22, 2010
Selling now or in the spring..hmm..depends on your goals. I have several buyers looking now. Interest rates may go up or down. Values could trend down due to foreclosure inventory. You just never know. The best reason for selling now is that we have less inventory than we will in the spring, hence less competition for you. Call me if I can help.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 22, 2010
Hi Mark-

Yes the holidays will have an impact on the sale of your home. However this is both a positve and a negative. The negative is that there is less traffic during the holidays, however, there are also fewer homes to compete with for buyers. Many sellers take their home off the market during the holidays. So maybe you could work this to your advantage.

The other item to consider is the potential tax advantages of selling this year. If you can get your transaction closed by 12/31 you will get the potential benefits of the sale to use against your taxes this year vs. next. I would say that you should discuss the tax implication with your accountant to get a handle on how it will impact you.

In the end, there are always reasons to list your home now, and just has many reasons not to list at the moment. I have noted several times on my Trulia blog that selling in today's market is very much about price. You will need to have your pricing correct in today's market. If you are trying to sell and hit a record for homes similar to you yours, you should most likely wait until the spring. If you are looking to sell at fair value, then there is no time like the present. With fewer homes on the market due to the up coming holidays, you will have less competition for buyers.

Lastly, give some thought as to how you want to market your home. Be sure to have a game plan with action items. You could use the fall to your advantage. Most good REALTORS can help you with this process.

Feel free ask me any questions if you think that would be helful.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 22, 2010
Thanks Irena.
That is what I thought you meant on MLS.
Thanks for the statistics.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 21, 2010
Well in another post (which has been removed by Trulia for some reason) you have been talking about going without realtors to save on commission and have started several threads about your place and promoting it. That is why I have answered the way I did. If you are not sure what you want to do you can still test the market by yourself before listing with someone. Once you are listed than the MLS will record the days on the market, (and by the way with Realestate being all local and such), in certain areas it does matter how long the property is listed. Newton is and always has been highly desirable for its many amenities therefore I would not expect your place to linger on the market if priced accordingly.
Solds for the past 6 months
Single Family Listings: 313 Average List Price: $957,088 Average Sale Price: $916,349 Average Market Time: 71.27

Condominium Listings: 157 Average List Price: $490,941 Average Sale Price: $470,089 Average Market Time: 114.10 Average List Price per Square Foot: $293

Certain places sold within few days on the market.

And honestly I do not give advices to buyers in Colorado or Cali or whatever because I do not know these areas, so sometimes is good to butt out if you are not qualified to give answers. Our housing market is way different than yours and it is very much localized.

Btw. I don’t say call me lets talk in any of my posts or give me thumbs up for the best answer. I simply answer the question asked. Isn’t that the point?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 21, 2010
Buyers are out there looking now - low interest rates are keeping them looking.

Need assistance, feel free to contact our office.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 21, 2010
If you home is ready to sell, put it on the market. Right now, presentation sells. If your home is not show ready and still needs things here and there, then my advice would be to do those things first and then put it on the market.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 21, 2010
I am considering selling to take advantage of low interest rates and upgrade to a single family house.
Thanks for all the replies.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 21, 2010
What is the reason you want to sell your home? There are buyers all year long and at these interest rates, it's a prime buyers market! If you are seriously considering selling, consult with a Realtor, and express your goals and future plans in more detail. They should be able to assist you in what is the best strategy in the marketing and sale of your home. Best of luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 21, 2010
You need confer with Realtor who can pull DOM / history of area. If homes are selling YES could be an option HOWEVER general rule is from Sept - April " non real estate buying months" . THERE are some areas in Dallas on market 365 days a year. !

You don't want a home become stall on market rake up DOM... our listing which did not sell during busy time of year we pulled from market doing only private showings qualified buyers. Therefore when May hits go back on market .


Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Loan Officer, Credit Repair Advisor
The Michael Group - Dallas Business Journal Top Ranked Realtors
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 21, 2010

In the old days, (3 years ago) accumulating days on market made people think there was a problem with the house. Nowadays, 90 0r 200 days does nor stigmatize the property. You have been selling FSBO it looks like from your web link on your profile, so hows it been going without an agent?

You need to define why you want to sell. Is it because you want to buy another house in this opportunistic market? Or because you cannot afford this one and want out? Are you in a high equity position on this property or close to bringing money to the table? Either scenario suggests that you list with an agent NOW, price it right, let the agent do their thing and move on. This is not the kind of market to test the market and see if it sellsat a target price. Appraisals are brutally conservative and FHA lending is problematic for condo associations in general.

If you like my answer, please select best answer - Thanks!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 21, 2010
Historically, the market slows in the fall into the winter months. However, people are still looking and buying during this timeframe. Depending upon your particular situation and the inventory levels in your area of Newton you may want to consider selling now. The question is how motivated are to sell? Call me and I'd be happy to provide you more information and details on the best course of action for you.
Margaret Richardson 978-790-6000
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 21, 2010
This is a great question and a common one......

The fact of the matter is that if a property is not listed, it stands little chance of selling. On the other hand, if it's listed, even during a typically slow time there is a chance that the right buyer will discover the opportunities your home has to offer.

The fact that the weather is not desirable and it may be the holiday season does not change the fact that there are still buyers out there that need to make housing arrangements....The fact of the matter is that if your home is not listed you will stand no chance of being a consideration.

Having the home listed cost nothing other than the inconvenience of keeping it up and having it ready to show......in our opinion, waiting could be a mistake!

Best wishes,

0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 21, 2010
It all depends on your goal. Sit down with Realtor and get the stats and explain your goal. Your market conditions overall will answer this questions best for you. If you don't have a time line then wait. If you do then don't wait...either way...when you do list...price, condition, location are the key factors so get them in order (location is the only thing you cant help but when you buy you can!).

good luck!
Laura Myers
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 21, 2010
Thanks all for your answers. I appreciate it.
I agree that holidays or not, if the buyer is looking to take advantage of the low interest rates nothing will stop them (especially if the price is right).

Irena - I was not sure what you meant: "Since you wanted to go without agent anyways you can test the market without accumulating the days on the MLS" ?
Assuming I use MLS only service I will start accumulating days on MLS as soon as my property is listed there.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 20, 2010
Hello Maksim,
I like Dianne Hicks answer, and I am rewarding her with a thumbs up. True, the fact that the traffic slows down is not sufficient reason to hold off. If there is some reason like you have a house full of guests from November to January, then that would be justification for holding off. Otherwise, if your home shows well, start showing it.

Besides mortgage rates are so ridiculously low, you would be selling during a particularly advantageous period for buyers. I say go for it and best of luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 20, 2010
I'm in Illinois, so I am not fishing for your business, but i do think now is a great time to sell! Interest rates are very low and many serious buyers want to be in the new home for the holidays. I noticed your web link, looks like you have been trying to sell FSBO from what I can tell. A 1/2 percent increase in mortgage rates reduces a buyer purchasing power by 10% Thus price suppression happens if interest rates go up.

Big issue nowadays is your association being on the HUD approved list. High tenancy, owner delinquency rates and association solvency is kicking HOA's off the HUD approved list meaning your buyer has to go with conventional loan. Really tough to sell a non HUD approved association, a local lender can tell you if yours is on the list. Plus investors want to be able to rent it out, and locally we see many associations stopping new leases to curtail the non owner occupied units.

Talk to a two or three local agents and get market values and listen to local advice.

if you like my answer, please click best answer- Thanks!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 20, 2010
I do not think there is a “right “time to sell in certain areas. In Newton the demand is always there for decent properties that are priced competitively. Yes the buyer pool is different. For example people with kids have already settled in because of the school year, but the rest is still out there looking all year round until they find what they are looking for. A person / couple that is/are looking at condos in Newton is usually childless, looking for a stable neighborhood with commuting options and or proximity to city and the “Newton amenities”.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 20, 2010
On the other hand with number of properties going of the market for the Holliday season could work out for you since the buyers who are still looking have seen it all and perhaps your place is what they are looking for. Since you wanted to go without agent anyways you can test the market without accumulating the days on the MLS.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 20, 2010
List your property when you need to sell and are ready to sell--keep in mind that Spring may bring added competition from other area sellers who waited--decide when it's the best time for you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 20, 2010
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