When is the Best Time to Buy or Sell?

Nationally, it’s December. Locally Though…

We always tell our clients the pros and cons of buying and selling in any season. In the winter there are less homes for sale (less competition), and the buyers who are out looking in this weather are serious…and there are always buyers out looking.

If you’re a buyer looking outside our local market, we have good news in the form of a recent analysis. Marketwatch and Realtor.com published some information from Attom Data Solutions, a provider of real-estate data, showing that December is the best month to buy a home in the U.S. if you’re looking to save money.

“…During the last month of the year, homes only sold for 1.2% more than their estimated market value on average. Comparatively, June, when homes sell for roughly a 7% premium, is the most expensive time to buy.

This data is based off of the recent multi-year sellers market we’ve been coming out of, and is also based on national numbers. This could change in 2020+ as the market has begun to become less volatile. The authors did make sure to include the disclaimer of:

“…At a local level, though, other months can be better than December.”

So what do our local numbers say? In Plymouth, Canton, Northville, and Novi, over the last four years, you’ll be surprised (or not surprised) to learn that sale prices are pretty consistent all year. January is technically the best time to get your discount, at an average of 2.1% off of the asking price, while May is the worst time at…wait for it…0.7% off the asking price. This means that across all price ranges, marketing plans, real estate companies, and seasons, there’s only a 1.4% difference in the averages of the highest and lowest months.

The takeaway is that if you’re selling your home , then there is no bad time to do it in our area. Let’s imagine those numbers were law (instead of averages) and you were guaranteed to sell for 0.7% less in May and 2.1% less in January. Waiting 4 months to sell your home to net 1.4% is usually going to backfire because of your carrying costs (4 months of mortgage payments, taxes, repairs, etc.).

But what about specific price ranges? Even at the starter home level, which is by far the hottest price range in the country, the difference is only 2%. Homes above 3,500 SqFt? 1.8%.

Of course, always consider your unique circumstances and get a market analysis done for your home when you’re ready to sell. For some properties and neighborhoods, there are advantages to waiting until certain times of the year. Just keep in mind that the odds are in your favor whenever you decide you’re ready.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *