At this time of year, some of my clients are asking if it is a good time of year to sell. The answer is, it depends.
I spent some time this morning playing with the various combinations of statistics available looking at historical sales trends over the past ten years. In most cases, December is not a great time to sell which may have much to do with the holiday season and pre-occupation of Buyers with other matters. January however is a different story.
For example, condos in Blue Mountain have strong sales in January and February. In fact, last year there were more sales in the month of January than there were in May, June, July or August as this chart shows.
On the flip side, single-family homes are slower in the first two months of the year which also makes sense. Families with children are reluctant to move during the school season. Other Buyers that have homes to sell first, may have timing that is dictated by the market in their own hometowns. January is typically a fairly strong month in the Toronto market so our GTA Buyers are still in the market up here. Here is a chart showing sales, by month, for single family homes in our area.
You can see that sales still do happen although at a reduced rate. Is this a bad thing? No. At this time of year, Buyers are serious and motivated. Personally, I’d rather have fewer yet more serious Buyers traipse through my home than have dozens of lookers. There is also less competition in the marketplace from other home Sellers giving you a better chance of fetching top dollar if you have the type of property that appeals to the Buyers at this time of year. In our area, a home in the downtown core or a chalet near the hill would be prime examples of in-demand properties in the winter while a house in a subdivision of young families may be in less demand during the same time.
If you are selling your home this winter, there are a few important tips to keep in mind that will help you improve the chances of a great sale:
1. Price properly! Your agent can give you clear data on sale comparables and trends in your neighbourhood.
2. Keep the snow and ice cleared on your walkway and driveway. It is really difficult to show a house that we can’t easily get into.
3. Have fresh welcome mats both inside and outside the entrance-way doors. Wet boots are going to create a mess otherwise.
4. Show your home in its best possible light. Declutter, clean and repair. I also highly recommend home staging as it can make a tremendous difference in how a home feels. Adding cozy blankets, cushions and having the fireplace glowing add to the warmth and charm in the house.
5. Keep the heat on so Buyers are not shivering while they tour your home.
6. Have lights on inside and out. It gets dark early in the winter and fumbling for keys or light switches in the dark is not welcoming.
Give me a call and let’s see if this is the best time for YOU to put your property on the market.
Marg Scheben-Edey is a Broker with RE/MAX four seasons realty limited, Brokerage in beautiful Collingwood, ON. With three decades of experience, Marg is a leader in the local real estate marketplace and is ready to help guide both Buyers and Sellers in achieving their real estate goals. Email Marg