List or Buy Now? Or, Wait Til Spring? (October 20, 2018)

    By Rich Rodenburg, Nebraska Home Sales Associate Broker

    One of the most common questions we hear this time of year pertains to the timing of the market.

    Should I wait until spring to sell my house?  Is this a better time to go house hunting?

    I’ve run some numbers for you.

    The most active months for closings are April through September where an average of 12 existing homes are sold per day in Lincoln. The other (slower) six months, from October through March, there were 9 sold per day.  June was the busiest single month with almost 14 homes sold per day.  The slowest was January. To summarize, homes are sold throughout the year. Maybe a little slower when it’s cold outside, but still steady.

    Homes are selling a little slower now than earlier in the year. The time it took from listing to putting the house under contract has slowed from a median Days on Market of 4 to 10 through those same 6-month periods. That’s still pretty fast and steady.

    Other factors that come into play when considering selling:  Will you be entertaining over the holidays?  Will you be travelling?  Do you think your flower garden is what will sell your home?  (I hope you took some photos at its zenith). Are you OK with moving during the winter? When do you think your neighbors might sell? You could be the only house on the block for sale this winter giving you an edge.

    From a buyer’s perspective, winter can be a good time to buy. The colder months are a bit less frantic.  Many potential buyers lost out this year when their really strong offers did not win.  During the winter, you may even have the luxury of sleeping on your decision and still being the only offer on the table.  REALTORS®, lenders, appraisers, inspectors, title companies, etc. are also not quite as busy during the winter, so delays due to scheduling are less common.

    Finally, interest rates have crept up about 1% in the last few months and are predicted to rise even higher.  If for no other reason than that, my advice is DON’T WAIT.  Enter the market now, whether buying or selling.

    And, above all, use a REALTOR®.

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