By Rich Rodenburg, Nebraska Home Sales Realtor
My friends often ask if there is a better and worse time to sell their home. Many also wonder when might be the best time to buy. I will try to shed some light on the trends in the Lincoln market based on data from our Multiple Listing System.
While it is true that spring and early summer are prime times for closings, the numbers show that homes are being sold consistently throughout the year. During the winter, home sales slow down a bit, but, they are still selling. For instance, this January and February, there were 6 or 7 homes per day that sold on average over the past 4 years. During peak months of May and June, there were 13 or 14 homes per day that closed.
There are some things to remember. Closings are the end of a long process. There are interviews between sellers and us, your Realtors. We may make recommendations to get the home ready to market. We list the home; we go under contract. The average number of days to find a buyer is usually over a month, and longer as the price goes up. Then, once under contract, it usually takes another 30-45 days to process the sale, get final financing, inspections, appraisal, etc.
There is never a bad time to start the process. We often get calls from clients a year or more after our first consultation. That said we are always prepared to do the paperwork and plant the sign in the yard, even on the first visit.
As for the perfect time of year to plant the For Sale sign in the yard? Whenever you are ready is the answer. There is usually less competition over the winter, and buyers don’t hibernate. Buyers love to see homes enter the market at any time of the year. This was a year of particularly slim inventory, and many home buyers have been frustrated by either not finding their perfect home, or when they did, they were up against others in a bidding war, or the house was sold before they could act.
Winter might be a little less frenzied, and for that reason might even be a better time to buy, and on the flip side, sell your property.