I recently blogged about the best day of the week on which to list your home. But the question I’ve been asked at least twice a week by potential sellers over the past couple months is: When is the best time to sell?
Ask any Realtor out there now in San Francisco, and he or she will respond, “Now!” Yes, it’s true that our property inventory continues to be low in relation to the number of qualified buyers looking for homes. But I think there are a few key points worth making for all the potential sellers out there.
San Francisco did have its down market a couple years ago, but values have come back, and there seem to be anywhere from four to 30 buyers for every property that comes on the market. (Single-family homes are garnering the crazy, 20-offer activity, and condos/TICs receiving four- to ten offers. Of course, activity will depend on your neighborhood and level of amenities your home offers.)
Buyers started getting off the fence last year, realizing that we’d hit bottom and that they could also now get loans again. And as San Francisco attracts many well-paid workers, buyers don’t seem to have a problem coming up with solid loans or cash for their purchases. Rents are at historical highs in the city, and it’s finally making sense for renters to buy property vs pay that $4,000/month for a two-bedroom apartment in Noe Valley.
Based on these factors, you could certainly make a case for “now” being the best time to sell. But the more I think about it, I’m going to say that listing your home in May, June, July, as well as September and October will be the best times to sell in 2013.
I’ve been selling real estate in San Francisco for more than ten years, and it never fails that the market heats up in the Spring and Fall. This year should be no exception. The weather is nicer across all neighborhoods, buyers are out and about, there are no major holidays and people are generally in town to make purchases. In terms of determining an accurate value for your property, the Spring and Fall are nice because we have a few months’ worth of data to reference in the current year.
In addition to the best time of year to sell, it’s equally important to determine the best time to sell for you. And you’ll need a solid game plan. Here are the main factors you’ll need to sort out:
- Where will I go if I sell?
- Can I buy my next home first, and sell after?
- How long it will take to sell my property?
- How much is my property worth, and how much will I need for my next purchase?
- What will I have to do to get my property ready for sell?
- What are the main selling costs?
As it takes time to develop your game plan, I recommend getting started at least a couple months prior to your targeted selling timeframe. One of the primary parts of my job is to consult with potential sellers about the aforementioned factors. If you’re aiming for Spring or even Fall, please contact me at 415.823.4656 or email@example.com. I’d be happy to provide information and recommendations without pressuring you to “sell now!”