When’s the best time to sell my house?

I can only speak for the Ottawa market, but spring is certainly our busy season. What I’ve noticed over the past five years is that spring comes a little earlier each year in terms of sales. These days the properties that hit the market in March and April seem to get snapped up pretty quickly; it used to be May/June that was the craziest period.  We sell something like 60% of the year’s sales in the spring months with 40% of overall inventory.

The next busiest season is the fall, but it has a shorter window – from Labour Day through to the end of November. By December, no one is buying anything except Christmas gifts, and in January, a lot of people head south.

The slow periods are late summer (forget doing any kind of an Open House over the Labour Day weekend; no one comes) and the really harsh months of winter.

If you’re thinking of selling, then, your best shot at getting a quick sale is to start getting your house ready during the slow periods (in summer, that would be July/August; in winter, January/February/March). That way you can take your time decluttering, repairing whatever needs repairing, painting etc. and the nice thing is that’s the best time to find good trades as well: it’s their slow period too.

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2 Responses to When’s the best time to sell my house?

  1. Hate to disagree, Peggy but Ottawa transaction #’s show that July and August are the two most important sales months after April, May and June. Someone, somewhere created this notion that summer is slow in real estate but the #’s show differently. (perhaps a Realtor who wanted time off after a busy spring? or was saving some listings for September?) One older Realtor (and I’m old!) even used to call Fall the “2nd season”. While Fall is still important, summer is still a sellers best chance of selling between now and next April, so we would encourage sellers to get on the market now and not wait “…until things pick up in September”.
    I tried to post a file from my website with the stats but it didn’t format correctly. You find the data on our homepage at http://www.oasisrealtyottawa.com
    Gord McCormick
    Broker of Record
    Oasis Realty Brokerage

  2. Peggy Blair says:

    Thanks Gord, have posted the June stats from your website (below). I actually thought June was a busy month in the Ottawa market. I’ll look forward to seeing what the July stats are like and maybe we can continue this discussion! Here’s what I copied and pasted from your link: Cheers, Peggy

    Ottawa Real Estate: June 2014 results

    Listing inventory level remains key issue in very competitive Ottawa Market

    June Sales:
    Depending on your point of view, June sales were either steady or lacklustre with residential properties showing a slight increase in both # of transactions (over a slow June 2013) and average prices increased 1.8% during the month. Condos sales were flat and average prices -2.8% lower than last year.

    Year-to-date sales:
    For the first half of the year sales for residential properties are almost identical to 2013 while the # of condo sales has decreased by 7.1%
    Average prices for residential properties sold this year have eked out a 1.4% increase to $391,374 and the average condo sale registered this year is off -.5% at $262,469.

    Listing Inventory:
    Listing inventory for residential properties at the end of June is 37.2% higher than the 5 year average from 2009-2013. New residential listings during the month were the highest recorded during the month of June during the last 10 years.
    Condo listings are 79.3% higher than the average over the last 5 years.
    Listing Inventory:
    Listing inventory for residential properties at the end of June is 37.2% higher than the 5 year average from 2009-2013. New residential listings during the month were the highest recorded during the month of June during the last 10 years.
    Condo listings are 79.3% higher than the average over the last 5 years.

    Contributing Factors:
    We believe military moves have both decreased and been delayed this year, due to budget issues at DND.

    Builders are facing higher development fees with the City of Ottawa 5 year review being completed and 22% to 31% higher fees expected as early as October 1st. ($5,000-$8,000 per house/unit) Builders may have prebuilt inventory to avoid the pending higher fees and are also seeing either flat or declining unit sales, so buyer incentives have been quite strong compared to the recent past.

    Many sellers are also buyers and if they cannot get their existing home sold or sold at an acceptable price, then they are not in a position to become buyers.

    Seller challenges:
    Listing price is even more critical in this market which favours buyers and sellers have to remember to stay on top of all resale listing competition and new construction homes in their area. As competitive listings change prices or builders change their offerings, sellers have to be prepared to act accordingly. As houses sell, those still listed need to be in tune with actual selling prices and determine if this impacts the opportunity for their own listing.

    With peak spring selling season now behind us, we expect to see a very interesting summer, as listings battle it out for available buyers and perhaps with the market seeing some sellers quit the market to either make updates to their property or anticipate relisting at another time.

    As noted in the article below, however, summer is still the best chance to get properties sold until we hit the spring market next March/April-so sellers should aggressively have their properties positioned right now. *If you are considering a summer purchase or sale, please give us a call and we will be glad to share our thoughts on how you might best approach what is bordering on a “buyer’s market” (if we are not already there!)

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