Have we past peak selling time, now that it's almost Fall?

southernmumAugust 25, 2010

Good morning! (Tried posting this already but it never showed up -- sorry if it's a duplicate post, but I don't think it is...) Just curious if you think it's about to be the slow(er) time of year for selling a house? My husband totally thinks we've missed the boat for this year, and that we should wait until next spring to sell our house. He thinks no one really moves once school has started, it's the holidays, etc. What do you guys think? Does it depend on the house, or just come down to luck -- or IS it the time of year that largely determines when a house sales? I'd love to make someone a really attractive offer on a house but I've learned over the years that you can't really do that when you have a contigency to sell your home in the offer. (I know, technically you can, but you can't get such good deals regarding the price...I digress, sorry!) Would love to hear your thoughts on this! Thanks!

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chisue

A story in today's Chicago Tribune is pretty discouraging. One Realtor is quoted as saying he doesn't expect to make any more money this year; he did well in May. Another mentions that the first frost is looming -- usually writes "The End" to selling.

If you don't HAVE to sell now, I'd wait. The same article told me there's still a huge backlog -- more than a year's worth -- of unsold homes. One person sugggests renting out your unsold home -- to someone transfered in, who also can't sell HIS home back in 'wherever'.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2010 at 12:09PM
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susanelewis

The problem right now is that the $8k Home Buyer Tax Credit has expired (unless you are already in the process) so that is going to bring things to a crawl (as we are seeing). I think waiting until spring is wise. In the meantime, do your homework on what tips will sell your home the fastest and do all those little things in advance of a spring sale.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2010 at 12:20PM
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adellabedella_usa

I believe that you have passed peak time, but I would still get it on the market now if you need to sell. We put our house on the market at the end of July last year. We only had three sets of buyers come through during the month it was on the market, but we got lucky and that third set of lookers put in an offer on Day 28 and bought the house.

You might not have a huge number of potential buyers so you need to make sure that your house is the best house in your selling price range. If not, you need to fix the house or lower your price until you are the best house in your price range. Make sure your house has good curb appeal and stage it well.

Personally, I wouldn't wait to get the house on the market. I've seen too many gloom and doom reports. Real estate markets are local and you may live in a better market. I'd err on the side of caution and try to sell now.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2010 at 1:41PM
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twit

Well, I can tell you for sure that you probably WON'T sell if you don't list it. Houses sell all the time. No matter what time of year as there are always people moving depending on jobs, etc. Okay, so the peak time is probably during the summer, but that's not to say that you can't sell your house now. You obviously CAN't sell if you aren't on the market and I don't see the harm in testing the waters so to speak. Now is that a lot of work for something that may not pan out, perhaps. But again, you will never know if you don't try it. It also may bring to light whatever issues you may have that you can find out now and when it comes off the market if it doesn't sell, allow you time to work on those issues in time to relist in the early spring. It's all a matter of whether you want to put the time and effort into it right now or hold off until later.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2010 at 1:42PM
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sweet_tea

if you want to sell, just put the house up for sale. Don't worry about selling seasons. Not everyone has school aged children, so moving any time of year is usually fine with those folks.

Also, the volume of competition is down in the off season, so maybe you will sell because of lack of competition.

I have read many times that very serious buyers are looking in the off season. They might need to move due to a job xfer or other issue and they can't simply wait until summer to move.

I assume you live in the southern usa,based on your user name. If this is the case, the weather is usually much warmer in the south throughout the fall, winter and spring. When no snow and not freezing, folks will look at real estate. Is some parts of the south(some of FL), the winter is the season that gets the biggest volume of sales year after year.

So don't let the calendar dictate your home sale plans.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2010 at 1:53PM
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southernmum

Thanks for the interesting comments. Yes, I'm in the South, so we do have nicer weather for a few more months. The thing that is different for us this time is that we don't HAVE to move, we just want to. Overall, I have a really great house, we just want more land. Thus, there is no real urgency for us to move.We do, however, think there are some real deals to be had out there right now, as far as buying goes. (Of course this may bite us in the bum as far as SELLING goes...) Mmmmm... Lots to think about! Thanks for taking the time to respond.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2010 at 2:28PM
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Billl

Just mathematically, down markets are good times to upsize. Say prices are down 20%. Well, 20% of $500k is more of a discount that 20% of $300k. Of course, you need to be able to afford the upgrade.

Conversely, the people who chose to downsize at the height of the market look like geniuses now.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2010 at 3:39PM
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thisishishouse

Yes. I too think you've missed the boat.

We're in the same situation, don't need to move, but want to. Bigger house, more land, plus prices & rates are historically low.

Our home is actually on the market, but in 5 weeks we've had 3 showings. And that seems higher than average. We've talked to others in our area who haven't had a showing all summer. R.E. agent says right now in our area there's only 1 or 2 sales per month closing, with >100 properties on the market. I think that federal incentive sucked all the buyers out of the market. We had to reduce 20% in the first couple weeks just to pull in lookers. We can't/won't reduce further, so it is what it is.

Bill is right though. If you're looking to move up, you'll save more on your purchase than you lose on your sale.

We're gonna stay on market until October-ish, then put it on hold until spring. You're right that most families don't look to move during winter or the school year. There may always be a few buyers out there, but do you really want to live in "showing mode" for months on end "just in case"?

Hopefully rates & prices will still be down come spring. I have a feeling a good number of the houses we'd like to buy will still be available in 6-9 months. It's a buyers market, but there's just no buyers out there.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2010 at 4:07PM
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susanelewis

Just keep in mind that if you list now and don't sell, you are creating a history of your home being on the market X amount of days at a certain price. This time period is on the heels of everyone trying to take advantage of the Home Buyer's credit so it is IMHO the worst time to list. The news just reported a huge decrease in home selling because of it.

So, if you list now and don't sell, you will have to relist later at a lower price at perhaps a more opportune time to sell. This is especially unnecessary since you really don't have to sell.

Just food for thought.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2010 at 4:46PM
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worthy

Just mathematically, down markets are good times to upsize.

I wonder if the reverse holds true--that "up" markets a good time to downsize?

    Bookmark   August 25, 2010 at 7:56PM
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krycek1984

The minute that tax credit expired, it automatically became past the peak selling time, regardless of season.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2010 at 9:20PM
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adellabedella_usa

Not all of us qualified for the tax credit. We bought and sold regardless. There are still people who people who want or need to move, they will still also move if the conditions are right. The tax credit may have attracted some people, but not everyone made their decisions based on it.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2010 at 10:44PM
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kats_meow

I think you need to find out about your specific market. I was surprised to read of the post about some people not having showings all summer. I was listed all summer and had quite a few showings. Didn't sell, but had showings. We just reduced our priced and had a showing this week and another scheduled.

Here I think things slow down this time of year, pick up a bit in Sept and Oct and then slow down a bunch in NOv. and Dec.

If well priced houses are selling and getting showings in your area then you could list now. If they really aren't then no. Also look carefully at what you can sell your house for. Now is not the time to be taking a flyer on listing for a high price.

FWIW, we bought our last 2 houses not in summer (and we have kids). We bought one between semesters and the other near spring break.

Also, the impact of the tax credit expiration probably depends on your house. Most of the buyers for the house we are selling are unlikely to be people who would have been eligible for tax credit so not really that much impact IMO.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2010 at 12:14AM
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cymraes

I think it just depends on your specific house and the type of buyer likely to purchase it. We listed our custom 4000 sq.ft. home on 80 acres in June. It will take a very specific buyer as it is very rural and completely set up as a horse operation. It is also a high end home with many upgrades. I don't think time of year will affect us as much as the type of buyer being shown the property. We really don't expect it to sell this fall, but will keep it on the market in case that special buyer comes along.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2010 at 12:00PM
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ncrealestateguy

For all those people that say it will be better to wait until Spring to sell must be fortune tellers.
You know what the market variables are NOW, but you will not know what the market will bring you in the future.
I am advising all of my clients that if they are thinking of selling soon, to do it now.
Just take a look at all of the market trends right now... not good at all.
Sell your property now, and be happy.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2010 at 7:06AM
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chisue

There is a three year supply of $1 million and up houses on the market in my town. Yes, we know what the market is now: BAD.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2010 at 12:08PM
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qdwag

List it asap, and deal with the possible inconviniences..The Housing Market is NOT going to turn around by the spring, and even if sales increase, prices likely will not..Why wait (with every other person who takes their homes off the market in fall/winter),price it agressively,and move on..Interest rates can't get much lower, and by "upsizing",you're benefiting from lower prices, as others posted above...

Best of Luck

    Bookmark   August 27, 2010 at 3:50PM
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cymraes

Well it appears some people must be fortune tellers...to say that the market is not going to turn around by spring is a guess, nothing more. There are still people buying and it just takes one.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2010 at 2:23PM
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bushleague

I get new listings daily from Remax and all week the first dozen listings have been "reduced, new price", there is a lot of inventory out there, this being on Cape Cod. I never thought I'd find a waterfront home five minutes from the gulf
for 256K.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2010 at 12:37PM
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qdwag

quote:

Well it appears some people must be fortune tellers...to say that the market is not going to turn around by spring is a guess, nothing more..

Guess? not really,there are way too many homes currently on the market,with a shadow inventory of significant size..To drink the "kool aid" and think the housing market is going to recover by spring is foolish,i can't find 1 positive thing about housing,except,perhaps, the rate of price declines is moderating...waiting til spring to list is a mistake

    Bookmark   August 29, 2010 at 12:51PM
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susanelewis

For me, I wasn't implying that the market was going to turn around in a big way by spring. My point was that we are coming off a big wave of home buying. Just like when all the Big Three had the "employee pricing for everyone" and that incentive expired, sales fell off dramatically and it took a few months for sales to show any kind of increase. Those who needed a car bought and those who planned on buying in the next few months bought during that promo.

So what happens after this? There simply are very few buyers left who didn't jump during the tax incentive. And, they did increase the income level for those eligible for the rebate further depleting the buying pool.

My fear would be that if I listed going into fall and the holidays (traditionally slow) coupled with the fallout from the expiration of the rebate, I would establish a price that didn't bring a buyer and when I had to relist in spring, I would have to pick a lower price.

At least in Michigan, I don't see the picture improving substantially for almost a decade.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2010 at 4:44PM
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thisishishouse

cymraes Wrote:
Well it appears some people must be fortune tellers...to say that the market is not going to turn around by spring is a guess, nothing more.

We don't necessarily think the market will improve in spring. We do know that in our area there's many many homes on the market, and not much moving. As susanelewis said, it appears, as predicted, that the home buyers credit sucked all the buyers out of the market for the rest of the year.

From what we've seen in our area, not a lot of new stock goes on the market in the winter, and in fact many listings get put on hold. That's certainly the case in our suburban/family area. Also, not many folks want to pull the kids from school mid-year and move furniture thru 2 feet of snow. (We certainly don't!) Unless they really really have to. Otherwise, the "move up" buyers will act on convenience.

We're hoping that if we relist in early spring we can be at the head of the spring buying surge, if that happens. Might be easier to get noticed when/if there's less stock on the market, and people are starting to plan their summer moves.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2010 at 7:11AM
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mom270

I think this is a regional, not a national, question and your best bet would be to consult a local realtor, or two. In my area (close to NYC), inventory is low and demand is high for updated, move-in-ready houses. The houses that are sitting need updating or are unrealistically priced. I even had a realtor leave a note for me last week asking if I would be interested in selling because she had a buyer who likes my area.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2010 at 10:16AM
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qdwag

^^^^ Not sure how close to NYC you live, but in Bergen County NJ, inventory is as high as ever..Homes are sitting on the market for extended periods,with many price drops...

and this quote makes me laugh:
" I even had a realtor leave a note for me last week asking if I would be interested in selling because she had a buyer who likes my area"

The oldest trick in the realtor playbook,fishing for a listing ;)

    Bookmark   August 31, 2010 at 10:37AM
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booboo60

If you decide to sell the all, most important issue right now is pricing your property correctly, or in my mind, LOW!! Make it as low as you possibly can!!!

    Bookmark   August 31, 2010 at 11:04AM
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