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When is the best time to sell or buy a new home?

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People begin putting their homes on the market early in the year, though peak home purchasing occurs around June once school has ended, the weather warms up, and vacations begin. In mid summer people begin to have more time to house hunt. Income tax refunds can also increase payments, adding to the increase of volume.

While buying is steady in the summer, it begins to taper off in early fall, with another spike in mid-Autumn when overly optimistic home sellers in Spring, begin to lower their prices.

Like investing in the stock market it pays to be a patient house hunter. Though there are more Springtime homes to choose from, sellers hold their prices to the ceiling because of demand. During the late fall and early winter between Thanksgiving and New Years Day sellers can be more motivated to except a lower offer (people want to limit the time to sell during these holiday seasons when they are busy with families).

Large layoffs or announcements of a planned corporate headquarters moving out of a neighbourhood can result in more homes on the market for the short term with lower pricing by motivated sellers. Conversely, a corporation coming into an area can result in increased home prices.

Homes can sell for 3-5 percent more than the annual average in May through June; closer to the average annual price in very early Spring and Autumn; dropping to 3-5 percent below the average annual price prior to winter in December and January.

Sellers generally have a larger buying market during May through August during which time nearly half of the annual sales close. Bear in mind, that while deed transfers peak between May and August, most of those sales began one to three months earlier (it takes time to close home transactions).

Don’t be too stubborn. A home priced unreasonably high (up to 15% above market value) may be difficult to sell at any time, especially in a buyer’s market (in most cases is in early Spring). A “buyer’s market” in a city means more inventory is available, whereas a “seller’s market” means fewer homes are for sale.

Where possible, place your home for sale far in advance of buying the new one. This removes the possible need to juggle two mortgage payments in addition to the other complications of home selling. You will have more time; as well as more choices if you start during your new region’s peak inventory season.

Movers book up solid in the summer so plan this well in advance once you know your closing date. Shop around and call for an estimate. Book tentative dates until you know for sure adjusting your strategies as you go along.

The Internet offers virtual tours, and neighbourhood data, to help the decision-making process. With the advent of commission free websites, some sellers are listing their homes on sites such as without the traditional real estate agent or fees. However it is important to get listed on MLS, and few people know the intricacies of bringing an offer to the status of a concluded deal.



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