An educated consumer is the "best" consumer.
When you actually look at the hard numbers it i startling the difference in the median price quarter to quarter. I would say much of it has to do with agents taking the time off between Thanksgiving and New Years each year. We might tell our clients something along the lines of "there is not much inventory to look at, or the market is slow" to avoid going out and tromping around in our relax time.
The other reason could be construction cycles. A builder buys a building or vacant land and starts construction in the early spring, they have it up and enclosed the following fall and work through winter finishing off the interiors, people shopping in the 4th quarter pick out their finishes and wait while the cabinets come in and the counter tops and those special bath and kitchen fixtures that have 2-3 month delivery times and that pushes closing into the second quarter.
The reason the average spikes compared to the median in this quarter more than others is there are more expensive places selling, could be linked to the trusted "spring is the best time to sell" I think this is self fulfilling prophecy, spring has been determined the best time to sell so more agents and sellers place their homes for sale in the early spring months and this generates the higher prices as more buyers decide to shop the increased inventory, more buyers = more competition = higher prices.
Please see weblink for a chart of quarterly condo sales 1997-2007.
In the past eight years I have found January to be my busiest month business wise. I mention this in regard to the spring market definition one broker mentioned to you. I agree, we are in the midst of the spring market right now. So if you are interested in selling your place with a closing date from March through June I heartily urge you to list your home as soon as possible. Given the increase in activity and showing requests that my listings have witnessed so far this calendar year, I strongly feel that now is the right time to list in Lincoln Park. Having said this and though I have sold one Andersonville townhome and we expect to finalize a Bucktown single family contract tomorrow it is conceivable that we will experience a longer than usual market time as the 2008 market finds its way. However, I urge you to expose your listing as soon as possible to as broad a swath as possible of consumers.
Any questions feel free to either email me at email@example.com or call me at 773.848.9241.
All the best!
Personally, while there are serious buyers out in November/December/January, there are far fewer of them than in Spring market, so I wouldn't waste "Days on Market" fishing for them. I'd put the dupliex on the market a touch before everyone else... maybe the last week of January... so that you're out there, and available as Spring Market gears up!
First step prior to listing - determine the facts. What have similar properties SOLD and CLOSED for in the past 3 to 6 months? Recent past sales are generally the best indicators for what the value of your property will be. While that may be the best indicator, the ultimate sale price of your property will be determined by what ready and able buyers will put in writing when they submit a contract. In many cases some negotiating will allow both buyer and seller to arrive at a mutually acceptable price.
What is key to selling your property in a timely fashion is pricing your property at a reasonable and appropriate price. Regardless of the time of year, there are always motivated buyers. Truly motivated buyers will write offers on property that is appropriately and reasonably priced. While current market conditions currently indicate longer market times, it is not unreasonable to expect that appropriately priced property will sell more quickly.
Clearly there are some buyers currently in the market seeking deals and may be motivated to write a "low-ball" offer. Understand not all buyers have the same perceived value of a property. However, if multiple buyers write offers that are in the same of similar price range on a property that is significantly lower than your perceived value, the market is telling you something. Under current market conditions, you may not have the luxury of multiple buyers - you may likely only get one buyer. If you are not priced appropriately, you are likely to have NO buyers.
Again, past sales are the best indicator, however under these market conditions, buyers may be establishing new perceived values due to the available inventory. This is an important factor to consider when you are ready to sell. If you are not ready to listen to the market, you are not ready to sell.
Again - with some understanding of the current market conditions, list your property when you are truly motivated to sell - and be prepared to listen to the market.
Think of it this way....what is going to drive your price. Nowadays with the holidays and into January there are a handful of buyers out there. In a few months as the weather turns here in Chicago there will be more buyers which equals more activity which equals more potential to sell your place for more money. I always thought that was the way to go if you had a good place that shows better than the competition.
If you have a place that my not show as well and the competition is going to be touch than it might not be a bad idea to look at listing befor everybody else is out there. You have fewer buyers but there are also fewer sellers. If it's a better market and there are 10 places better than yours than it doesn't matter if there are more buyers.
A few ideas for you. Ultimate decision depends on what you have vs. what is out there. Also depends on how the market is performing in 60614. Lincoln Park is Lincoln Park and tend to do well no matter what. Pricing it right is that key. I know I'm all over the place but good luck. Hope it sells quick when you do decie to sell.
At this point (just before the holidays), it's best to wait until after the 1st of the year. Then, list it right after the 1st. You will hear plenty of opinions suggesting March, April or as soon as after the Super Bowl. However, this is why you want to list it sooner - to beat the rest of the market to the punch! There will be a spike in new buyers looking, after the New Year, when employees are starting new jobs, transfers are completed... You want to capture these buyers while the rest of your competition is sitting on the sidelines, waiting for the "Spring Market" to begin, where you'll then be faced with an avalanche of new competition.
If you need any assistance, let me know.
A lot has to do with marketing. That being said, you still want to put yourself in a position to get maximum exposure. Spring is a good time and as the broker you referred to and the previous responder mentioned, January/February is the time to put it on for the Spring market. I too suggest that the home hit the market after the Super Bowl. Talk with your agent about getting it all ready and marketing begun prior to the Super Bowl, so that the week following you start showing it.
If you don't have an agent chosen yet, feel free to give me a call. I'd love to share my marketing plan with you!