Many sellers believe spring is the best time to put their homes on the market because buyer demand traditionally increases at that time of year. What they don’t realize is if every homeowner believes the same thing, then that’s when they’ll have the most competition.
So, what’s the #1 reason to list your house in the winter? Less competition.
Housing supply traditionally shrinks at this time of year, so the choices buyers have will be limited. The chart below was created using the months supply of listings from the National Association of Realtors.As you can see, the ‘sweet spot’ to list your house for the most exposure naturally occurs in the late fall and winter months (November – January). As of November 4, 2019 there are only 421 active residential homes for sale in Schuylkill County, and only 1078 in Berks County. That is an extremely tight market (as it has been all year). It does not look like we’re going to increase in inventory any time soon – but once March/April hits then we will see more houses for sale. Temperatures aren’t the only thing that heats up in the spring – so do listings!In 2018, listings increased from December to May. Don’t wait for these listings and the competition that comes with them to come to the market before you decide to list your house.
In the third quarter of 2019, the average sales price in Schuylkill County was up to almost $114,000 and days on market was 81. This is up significantly from a year ago due again to the lack of inventory. Forecasts call for an impending slowdown in the real estate market in 2020 or 2021, so to maximize your value, if you intend to sell, do it sooner rather than later. While experts are not expecting a market crash like we saw in 2008-2010, we are seeing signs of softening. Showings are down and days on market are rising. It has been a strong seller’s market all of 2019. Like all industries, real estate is cyclical. It won’t remain a seller’s market forever.
Added Bonus: Serious Buyers Are Out in the Winter
At this time of year, purchasers who are serious about buying a home will be in the marketplace. You and your family will not be bothered and inconvenienced by mere ‘lookers.’ The lookers are at the mall or online doing their holiday shopping. If you’ve been debating whether or not to sell your house and are curious about market conditions in your area, let’s get together to determine the best time to list your house.