By Shellie Moore, EcoBroker, CRS, Realtor Windermere Real Estate South Whidbey
I often have discussions with home owners who are getting ready to sell their home and are trying to figure out the perfect timing for a listing date. I have heard it said the only hard and fast rule for the best time to sell is when you are ready. What does ready mean?
Ready physically- Is the home as ready as you will be able to get it- de-cluttered, clean, landscaping tidy, curb appeal dialed in, deferred maintenance caught up, septic inspected, repaired and pumped, etc. If realistically you will not be able to accomplish this time wise, but you need to sell now, you can always list it AS IS, but know that the buyers will discount the value because of condition and perceived work needed and you may have to renegotiate for repairs after inspection. Hiring help will usually pay for itself in the long run, as you will get back in sales price what you paid out for work done.
Ready also refers to an emotional state- often one comes into a home for sale that is overpriced and unstaged with walls and shelves and cupboards and closets and garage stuffed with a thousand disorganized, personal items that need to be sorted and packed. It causes one to think, “Maybe they are not really ready to sell or more importantly- to move.”
Ready may also have to do with legalities and logistics. If there are legal issues to deal with, like a cloud on the title, x’s that need to be dealt with, liens that will complicate the sale, encroachments on your side or the neighbors, permit problems that will need to be disclosed and resolved- it is always best to get these straightened out before listing your property. They will likely delay closing, and worse yet, may scare off a good buyer or kill a deal.
That being said-what if you are ready in December, but the garden isn’t in bloom? What if the home is ready in October but you are concerned that families don’t want to move in the middle of a school year? What if you are ready in April, but there are 5 other homes on your block that just came on the market this week? Not to worry; people move and buy homes all year long with different motivations. There are advantages for going on the market in November when the inventory is low and competition not as steep. If you have lovely gardens, the late spring may really make you property shine above the rest. I just looked up statistics from South Whidbey Sales for a past year. We only had 1 home go pending from June 1- July 1 at any price or description. However, from December 1- January 1 we had 9! Go Figure??? Could it be family members visiting relatives here for the holidays deciding they can’t live so far from grandkids? Could it be climate refugees from the Southwest, not wanting to face another hot dry summer? Or perhaps was it a newly hired Boeing Executive wanting to find an area with a good quality of life for her family. Or a drop in interest rates got buyers off the fence. Like I said, there are lots of reasons for buyers to buy a home in any season.
The main thing is, for your home to sell in a timely way, it needs to be the best dressed and best priced in its category. You need to outshine the competition and show your readiness to sell with price and condition. And you need a local real estate broker that will help communicate that to the Buyers out there through professional photography, marketing, and exposure.
When you are READY to sell, I am happy to be at your service and on your side.