So you are thinking of selling your house, but don't know when the best time to sell might be. You hear it often from realtors or friends at dinner parties- that "Spring is the best!" or, "Summer is red hot". Sure, those could be the best selling times, but you have plenty of other options, that might even be better than those times, and here's why.
Most of the time, there are other factors and circumstances that surround your decision making regarding selling. Whether is is a new job, a relocation associated with a job change, an end of a rental lease, etc. Even if you could time it for the best month (April?), you may not even have the ability to do so.
In light of this, here's my argument why the winter might be the best time to sell for you.
I. Less competition
You know the drill, when the market's hot- you are surrounded with others trying to accomplish the same goals (sell high). As a matter of fact- you can have 3 or 4 others selling, on your same street! With so many others competing to sell at the same time- it is often a cutthroat game, and competition makes it that much more difficult. If you are selling in the winter, you may be the only choice for one of the 60 buyers that are buying every day in Charleston.
II. Less Inventory (available homes)
With so many houses on the market in the spring/summer, it is much easier to stand out to buyers in the winter. Like I mentioned, in summer- it is tough to rise above the market noise, difficult to stand out. In the winter, less homes on the market, less inventory for buyers- and I've seen this drive up the price in micro-markets (neighborhoods).
III. Fewer tire-kickers
In the winter you have SERIOUS BUYERS with serious motivation. You many not appreciate this now, but you won't have 30 showings in a week with 85% of those being tire-kickers trampling through your house. Spring/summer get a lot of "looky-loos", while winter buyers are serious and have an immediate end-goal in mind. Plus, I don't know too many folks that want to go out to open houses in freezing 30 to 40 degree weather "just to look", either. Sure, in the spring/summer it happens all the time- but in the winter you have folks that have to move for specific reasons noted in the second paragraph above.
IV. Consider you may be purchasing, too
One aspect to think about when selling, is that you'll most likely be buying, too. And for a higher price typically! (moving up). So if you are buying in the winter, you won't be competing with all the craziness of spring/summer, and will be able to find a house that's right for you, with less buying pressure to move so quickly. Yes, there might be less homes available, but you most likely won't HAVE to make an offer THAT DAY on a house in order to secure your dream home.
There you have it- winter is a great time to buy or sell! It just depends on a good Charleston realtor, some strategic planning, and knowing your market and audience when selling your house in Charleston.
Good luck this winter!
Beautiful Rainbow Row photo courtesy Catherine Ann Photography: http://www.catherineannphotography.com/
Mike Ciucci specializes in the Charleston SC real estate market. He has been a Charleston resident for over 35 years, focusing on quality and attention to detail his clients have come to expect.