By Chad Taylor
As the cold weather sets in and Thanksgiving has passed, potential home sellers seem to be postponing their upcoming move until 2017. And in most cases, they are planning on spring when the market is hot and the weather begins to warm. You know, April or May when things begin to bloom, and buyers hit the streets.
That is the best time to sell a home, right?
The best time to sell a home is when you have the least amount of competition. The month on the calendar has nothing to do with it. Yes, our market follows a seasonal cycle. However, the Spring market in 2011 was awful. Even with the flowers blooming and birds singing, sellers were begging to get their homes sold. The strongest market for a seller is all about supply and demand. A seller with the goal of netting the highest sales price that the market will bear should sell when supply (the number of homes for sale) is at its lowest point compared to the current demand.
In 2016, that market was in March. And I would suggest that it really kicked in to high gear as early as February, but for today’s purposes, the fact remains that March was when the highest percentage of active homes for sale were going under contract in all of 2016. Timing this sweet spot in the market, which is not easy, can have a dramatic effect on the ultimate sales price of a home. For example, in February 2016 only 23.1 percent of the active homes (in the Blue Valley School District) were going under contract. By March, that number increased by 34.4 percent (from February 1) to 31.1 percent of the homes receiving and accepting offers. Higher demand+lower supply= higher sales prices.
So let’s pretend for a moment that one of your goals for 2017 is to sell your current home and you would like to net as much equity from the sale as possible. Using March 1 as a target date for going under contract, let’s back into the calendar and establish when the selling process should begin for you and your family.
If a seller intends to be under contract by March 1, 2017, then they should consider the following:
Days on market. Currently Taylor-Made Team listings are on the market an average of eight days before receiving an offer. Conservatively, let’s use 14 days to be safe. If your home will take 14 days to receive and accept an offer, then that means you would need to be on the market no later than February 15, 2017, to be under contract by March 1, 2017.
Conditioning and staging. We have found that the average seller takes two weeks to prepare their home for sale. Prior to going live on the market, our sellers complete a staging consultation and a pre-inspection to ensure a quick sale for top dollar. The length of the staging report and the findings from the pre-inspection may dictate if the prep time is two weeks or a month. Either way, our goal is to give our sellers as much prep time as possible to still hit their target “go live” date in MLS. Therefore, if your home takes the average two weeks to condition, then that means that you would need to begin the conditioning and staging no later than February 1, 2017.
In a nutshell, if your goal is to sell for top dollar in 2017, then we should meet between now and the end of January to put together a plan to get you the top dollar that you deserve. My experience has taught me that most sellers would like as much prep time as possible, so I am currently meeting with sellers this month to give them a jump start on their new year’s home prep.
If you would like meet in the near future to discuss your plans for a move in 2017, feel free to email or call me directly at 913-825-7540.
This weekly sponsored column is written by Chad Taylor of the Taylor-Made Team and Keller Williams Realty Key Partners, LLC. The Taylor-Made Team consistently performs in the top 3 percent of Realtors in the Heartland MLS. Please submit follow-up questions in the comments section or via email. You can find out more about the Taylor-Made Team on its website. And always feel free to call at 913-825-7540.