No Time Like the Present

By: Wayne Clements

A Chinese proverb states that the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago.  The second best time is now.  This proverb can also be applied to the decision to buy or sell real estate.  While we are heading into the holiday season and are rightfully distracted with family, friends, giving and fellowship, it is also the ideal time of year to begin planning for a spring sale.

Many people believe that the spring real estate market begins in April when the snow is gone and the buds are on the trees.  The reality is that the spring market begins in the end of January and runs through to June.  In fact, an ideal time to be on market is February and March before the typical spring glut of listings comes out.   Ask yourself this:  If real estate is directly affected by supply and demand (which it is), would I rather be on market in February and March, when there are fewer active listings for buyers to choose from, or in April, May or June when everyone else lists their house?  Decreased supply usually results in higher prices…it’s the law of supply and demand.

Ask yourself another question:  If I had to sell my house today…could I?  Are you one of rare homeowners who could simply tidy your house and be ready to show?  Or are you like most people who have a long ‘honey do’ list you have been meaning to get to?  Minor repairs, major repairs, new carpet, painting, major decluttering to name a few.  My experience is that most homes need some repairs and a lot of decluttering and this takes time.  How much time?  Somewhere between 4-8 weeks depending on the length of the list and your availability to get the work done.

So, if the ideal time to list your home in February or March and the average person needs 4-8 weeks to properly prep a home for sale, the planning needs to start now!  Even if you are planning on listing in April and May, why wait until the last minute?  Know that you only get one chance to make a first impression with buyers and while house prep is important, it’s not particularly fun.  The longer you leave it, the less fun it will be.

So, enjoy the holidays…you deserve it!  While you sip that fireside glass of wine, take a minute to start a ‘listing do’ list and think about tackling it in early January so that when the time is right to list your house, you are prepared.  Believe me, your family will thank you and you will thank yourself!

Your friendly neighbourhood realtor 


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