When is the best time to sell?

All homeowners want to know the best time to put their house on the market. There are two answers. One answer
is obvious, the other isn’t.

The first, is that you should sell when you get the right offer, regardless of how long your property has been on the market. Obvious, right? But a lot of people don’t do this. They reject early (good) offers. Then they regret not selling to ‘that buyer’.

It’s common to then experience a vastly extended selling period and/or reduce their price to attract a buyer because they can’t hold out any longer.

The second, less obvious answer is about freshness. Sellers need to think like green-grocers. The arrival a new real estate ‘produce’ is exciting for buyers picking over the stale stuff.

You should aim to sell within the first 6 – 8 weeks of your property being placed on the market – while it is fresh to the market. If you don’t sell during this time, you leave yourself with one of two choices: wait for more buyers to enter the market or reduce your price expectations.

Many sellers initially list their property with a high price because they have a low motivation to make a sale happen. Over time, as their motivation increases, their price decreases.

Uninformed sellers who deliberately overprice their property with a view to lowering it later, often find they have to lower their price well below what they could have achieved initially if the property had been priced correctly. This is not to say that if you don’t sell within the first 30 days you cannot get a fair price – it’s just that the odds are beginning to work against you.

One key element of the real estate game worth remembering is this: sellers focus on yesterday’s price and buyers focus on tomorrow’s price.

The natural reaction for a seller is to wait for the price to rise while the buyer is waiting for the price to fall. This impasse is what causes a property to become stale. It is not that there are no buyers in the market; it’s just that both parties are waiting to see who gives in first. Unfortunately, during this waiting period, more stock will come onto the market for the buyer to view.

The seller now has another choice to make: either start a discounting race to the bottom with their competition or stay put. But if the seller really wants to sell, it’s best to focus on today’s price. Forget yesterday’s price or you may have to accept tomorrow’s (lower) price.

Sellers sometimes say “we are prepared to negotiate” or “we will look at offers”. They haven’t learned the essential real estate truth that home buyers want to buy, not negotiate.

Sometimes it’s easier to blame the agent than your price but that won’t do you any good in the long run. There is strong statistical evidence that when a seller changes agents, they end up selling for less than the first agent had the home listed for.

If you price correctly, you may experience more than one buyer making an offer. This is a clue that you have priced your property right.

Selling
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When is the best time to sell?