Claire's Home Sellers Ask: "Should I List Now or in the Spring?"

ShouldB Home Owners List Now in WinterB or Wait Until Spring?

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Pondering whether to sell your home now or wait until the spring?B Here are a few things to add to your list as you weigh the pros and cons.

  • No matter when you list your home to sell, the selling climate in the Portland & Vancouver area still demands that best house at the best price (no, you do not give it away), sells. Period. It’s no different now as we approach the holidays or in June next year. Your house simply must be prepped,B properly staged, marketed-to-the-hilt and at the best priceB in order for it to sell.
  • If you list your home now–pre-winter, it MUST be sold by springtime.B You have no time to mess around. A home listed in November, December or Janaury that is not priced to the market and still for sale in the Spring when the competition is traditionally tougher, will be old, stale and having buyers asking ‘what’s wrong with it?’ and ‘whyB hasn’tB it sold?’.B
  • Understand that parents rarely want to move their school-aged children during the school year. If your home is in a highly ranked school district, it may behoove you to wait until Spring before you list it.
  • Decorate your home and prepare to neutralize your Holiday decor if you choose to list it now. Remember that buyers need to be able to see their life, their furniture, their stuff in your house–so the rules of ‘keep it neutral’ still apply.B Homes for sale withB a herd of raindeer in the front lawn, Griswold lights on the house and decorative schlock (for lack of a better word) from the past 15 yearsB everywhere inside….will have buyers running out the door before they even get inside.
  • Understand the market–My clients always know the number of buyers that are successfully closing sales in their neighborhood by month, theyB know the exact number of homes for sale directly competing with theirs and they receive updates on new listings as they pop up. MyB sellersB have seen theB neighborhood trends for their price range and they understandB the sell through % and the corresponding time on market forB their area.B You simply must know what is happening in your neighborhood and in your target price range.
  • Selling in the winter = No surprises! Make sure gutters are cleared out, any water, roof, and basement leaks have been professionally repaired by a licensed, bonded and insured contractor and that basements are not just clean, but pristine!B If you really want to tighten down the hatch, have your home inspected and all repairs made prior to putting it on the market.B Make the report and repairs available to the buyers that come through–and instill a greater level of confidence in those seriously considering writing an offer.

My last thought is: There is ALWAYS room for one more fantastic listing. The Portland metro area has over 13,000 activeB listings right now as I write this. And as someone who works with sellers and buyers, there are so many ‘dogs’ out there that the homes that are prepped well in every area and priced rightB catch the eye of discerning buyers and sell.B Period.

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