When is the best time to list a home in the Northwest?

Asked by Dorothy, Spokane, WA Sun Jan 18, 2009

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Sun Jan 18, 2009
Dorothy, I was hesitant to respond because all the comments to this point have offered sound advice. However, I did have a slightly different thought for you - the "best" time to list your home is when you are 100% ready to move.

If you are not ready to move then you'll be one of the hundreds of sellers who have overpriced their homes just to "test the waters." That's a waste of your time and the agent you list with.

Once you've decided you MUST move then the rest is easy! A good agent will help you price your home accordingly, give you advice on what cosmetic items need addressing, and hopefully locate your next dream home.

While the traditional spring selling season is well documented I can tell you that I personally sold two of my residences in the middle of winter. Once was during the week between Christmas and New Years, and the next was in October. In both cases I priced my home $3,000 BELOW my next competitor and I sold in less than three weeks from listing my home.

Good luck!
1 vote
BethAnn Long, Agent, Spokane, WA
Mon Jan 19, 2009
Dear Dorothy,
This past year statistics show that the most closed sales were in June(592) and July(586) , which would suggest many of those homes went under contract in late Spring (May/June). This would translate to most buyers being out there in the Spring here in Spokane 2008. However, it also depends on your personal circumstances, and making sure the home is market ready. 2009 may be a little different but that is the trend according to the past 3 years stats. I can provide you with the local market monthly report's if you like.
I would also be happy to provide you with a complimentary, no obligation Market Analysis if that would be helpful.
Best wishes!
Web Reference:  http://www.BethAnnHomes.com
0 votes
James Hsu, Agent, Bothell, WA
Sun Jan 18, 2009
The best time to list a house is when the most buyers are actively shopping and pulling the trigger on buying. Historically for most areas around here that time frame is March through June. Some areas peak March/April, some peak May/June ...but overall .. March through June has the most buyer activity. The caveat is ... this time frame also usually includes the most competition (ie ..other listings). The flip side is winter time...where buyer activity is at the slowest ..but your competition is at the lowest as well. Even with that...I think your best chance to sell is when the most buyers are looking and buying ... so.. March through June.
Not to say you can't list it any other time of the year ... sometimes you gotta sell when you gotta sell and can't time things.
0 votes
Kary Krismer, Agent, Renton, WA
Sun Jan 18, 2009
"Since the snow has melted to allow more easy transport around the city and the Valley I am experiencing more showings. "

We didn't have as much snow over here, but I noticed the same thing after our snow melted (and the holidays ended). It was sort of like there was a bit of catching up to do by buyers. Whether that will be maintained is another question.

But maybe the answer to this question is: After record amounts of prolonged snowfall during the holiday season. ;-)
0 votes
BJ Mors, , Tri Cities, WA
Sun Jan 18, 2009
The best time to sell a home (not list, sell) is when you are ready. The most important considerations in my opinion is price and updates. The home needs to be priced and presented ("staged") so as to create the "wow" factor during the critical first 3 weeks of market time. Our market is very price sensitive--so it needs to be "priced to sell". Offering the home at too high a price will cause prospective buyers to look; but not buy--so you get a lot of showings; but no offers. Then when you finally reduce the price; you have lost the best buyers. Another consideration, is that you may be buying in the same market you are selling in; so you can take advantage of the record low interest rates and resonable prices of the Spokane market. Best place to live and work and play--Near nature, near perfect!!
Web Reference:  http://www.mors4homes.com
0 votes
j, , Denver County, CO
Sun Jan 18, 2009
Hello Dorothy

Since the snow has melted to allow more easy transport around the city and the Valley I am experiencing more showings. With the incrediby low interest rates buyres are back out there and I even have more activity from buyers out of stat coming to buy. This up tick in activity is most welcome after the slow last quarter of last year but even last year was in the top five years for real estate sales over the last several years. It is important to get your property in it's best showing condition and the Realtor you select can assist you with that and with personal advice relating to your exact property.
0 votes
Kary Krismer, Agent, Renton, WA
Sun Jan 18, 2009
Real estate is local. Over a year ago my brother asked me the same question. He wanted to sell in the middle of winter over in Kitsap county. I went back two years and didn't find any significant change from season to season over in his particular area. That's probably unusual. Anyway, by not waiting until the spring of 2008 he most likely missed a downturn in the market over there. And that's the risk. By waiting for a time that is typically good for the area, you might have market forces overwhelm any benefit. Of course, the market could improve too. It's a crapshoot.
0 votes
Lara McHenry, Agent, Spokane, WA
Sun Jan 18, 2009

The best time to list a home is any-time. The main concern sellers should have is finding a Realtor that is experienced at marketing a home. There is a difference between a buyers agent and a sellers agent...when you bought that home the circumstances and process were different. In todays market an experienced, full time, Realtor is essential. I would caution you to interview a few different agents and companies as not all offer the same services. We are personally telling our clients that if they are thinking of selling in the spring to consider letting us prepare the marketing now so we will be ready when the seller is ready. My team has the luxury of having someone available to you day or night, a background in professional advertising, a negotiation specialization, staging background and much more but more importantly, straight up common sense about the ins and outs of marketing and selling a home right now. Not only do you have to be at the top of your game, you have to understand the availability of what loans are applicable to selling a house and which ones fit the needs of the buyer also, the escrow process, how to negotiate delays, inspections, repairs and more. Granted, winter in Spokane makes home selling more difficult, especially when you get 80 inches of snow! but the buyers are still out there and it could be that your home is the one that fits their needs. I would be honored to interview for the job and tell you all about our marketing plan and how we get homes sold. We sold over 8,000,000 in volume in 2008 and you know this was not an easy year...but we persevered. Please call me anytime and or look us up.
Best Wishes and Good Luck!
Lara McHenry
Group Five
Coldwell Banker Northwest Group 509-789-8537
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