Wondering what the best time is to list your home for sale in the North Shore, Lake Forest, the 'burbs, or the Chicagoland area? It’s such a common question we receive from our clients! But, it’s not exactly a straightforward answer. So we thought we would dispel some common myths about the “right time” to list your home for sale and break it down by season, in the blog below. Of course, all of this is leans on what we typically see. Every year is a little different and every client has different needs and reasons why they need to buy or sell any time of the year.
We had to kick it off this post with Early Spring! Because, believe it or not, it can sometimes be the hottest time to list your home for sale, get a premium price, and sell fast. Why? Buyers from the previous year, who began their search the summer prior and never found a home will likely be eagerly waiting for new homes to hit the market. In fact, by this time, they are primed and ready to make a purchase. They have already seen their fair share of previous homes, they know what they want, and are ready to strike! This time of year inventory, in general, will be low and those buyers will be eager to see each new home that comes on the market. If it checks the boxes, there's no waiting to see what else is out there, it's go time for them! All in all, listing your home in early spring will be an amazing sweet spot that will typically enable you to sell to the right buyer.
Expert Tip… if you know a month ahead of time (like the summer or fall prior) that you will be listing your home for sale in late Winter or Early Spring we advise having the exterior of your home photographed in late summer or early fall. That way when we list your home in February or March, or, even early April (when the trees have no leaves & everything is brown) your listing will have photos depicting a time when everything was lush & green and your landscaping was in full bloom! No one loves looking at a yard full of snow or lifeless trees. So our approach is to work with our clients to get going ahead of time so we are ready to AND stand out above the competition!
Yes, it is true, the Spring Market and Summer Market can be a buyer's favorite time to buy. And as a seller, especially if you have a family, it is typically when you think about selling. Why? Well, many families don’t want to move before the end of the school year. Yet, many buyers with families want in before the next school year starts. So, because life with kids can be hectic, and because the school year is dictating an optimal time for families, that typically drives the spring & summer markets to be busiest. And sure, if you live in the Midwest, it certainly is more appealing to move in the warmer months versus in the snow!
The later summer market can be an interesting time. Many homes that went on the market in April-July have likely sold. But what if you weren’t ready and wanted to list your home for sale in August or September? As mentioned, many buyers are eagerly looking to buy before the school year starts in the fall. So if you list in early August and the right buyer hasn’t yet found their desired home, you may be in luck and sell right away!! But if you get your home on the market after that, don’t worry it's not a hopeless situation. Is it typically a slower market? Yes. That is because many families wanted to move before the school year started, or, at least have a contract signed in order to know they got into the school district. However, that doesn’t always happen. Yes, We typically see a big slowdown at the end of August until about mid to end of September. But then once the rush of school slows down and kids are back in session, buyers start to come back. And, of course, not all buyers make a decision based on the school year. So by October, we start to see buyers looking again, with many eager to find something before the holiday season kicks off and the market cools.
We saved winter for last, and we know you’re very curious! So we will say this, yes, people still buy homes in the winter! No matter what you’ve heard, it is absolutely true that potential buyers will still be looking during the colder months. But, many of our sellers fear listing their homes for sale in December, close to the holidays. And with good enough reason. For many, this time of the year is hectic, and filled with travel, gatherings and so much more! When we work with our clients to list their homes for sale in winter, we set the expectations, based on their needs. In fact, if they do plan to list their home for sale in November/December then we advise how to get the most out of your listing, including photos before all the holiday decor is hung.