Mar 8 2017 18943 1

Mar 8 2017 18943 1

Should sellers wait for spring to list?

by Susanna Kim

homes above market

If home sellers are worried that listing their house in the winter will leave them out in the cold, they can take heart. An analysis byRedfinof housing data for 7 million homes listed across 23 metros from 2012 through August 2016 shows some benefits in listing in the winter. The national real estate brokerage tallied how many homes went under contract within 30 days and how often they sold for more than their list price to see if any of the four seasons came out on top. The company found that spring has a slight edge for sellers, "but just barely."

"Spring offered the highest likelihood of selling above list price and of selling within 30 days, but winter, the supposed slow season for real estate, was a close second," says the Redfin report.

Qiang Cai, a Fannie Mae senior economist, pointed out that Redfin's report is unique in a few ways. First, the Redfin report analyzes home sales and prices from the "time-of-list" perspective, which can provide new insights on the dynamics of housing market. Since the more common housing statistics like home sales and prices are recorded by the "time of sale" instead.

Second, the 23 metropolitan areas Redfin used show a disproportionately high number of coastal areas and California cities, which might not be representative of the entire US housing market.

Third, it's likely a significant portion of homes listed in the winter (first quarter) sell in the second quarter, Cai says.

In Redfin's analysis, 18.7 percent of the spring listings were above asking price, followed by winter's 17.5 percent. And 48 percent of homes listed in the spring sold within 30 days, compared to the 46.2 percent of homes listed in the winter.

So what's the best time to list? Whenever your seller is ready!


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Dated: March 8th 2017
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