Should I Sell My Home Now or Wait Until the Spring?

Posted on Nov 6 2014 - 4:29am by Kyle Hiscock

pumpkins staging

There are many questions homeowners ask themselves during the selling process. "How much will my home sell for?"  "How much should I list my home for?"  "Who should I select as a real estate agent to sell my home?"  "What if the real estate agent overprices my home?"  Last but not least, "Is this a good time to be selling a home?" is also a very common question that real estate agents are asked.

As with every decision in life, there are pros and cons, and choosing when to sell a home is no different. There are many factors that need to be taken into consideration before deciding when to sell a home. Many homeowners believe selling a home during the fall or winter months is not a good idea and that the spring is the only time a house should be sold. This is the furthest from the truth. Certainly most real estate markets across the United States experience a "spring market rush" every year. There is no doubt that the "spring market" is a great time to be selling and buying real estate, however, the fall and winter seasons may be the best fit for you for many reasons.

Here are several reasons why choosing to sell your home now may be a better decision than waiting until the spring:

Less Competition
One way that you can tell the spring real estate market has arrived is by driving down a street in your local community. In all likelihood there will be For Sale signs up all over the neighborhood! One great reason to sell your home now and not wait until the spring market is there is sure to be less competition.  The fewer number of comparable homes for sale, the greater the probability that a buyer will look at your home.

Simply put, it’s the supply and demand theory. If there are less homes for sale, there are less homes that a potential buyer can choose from, therefore increasing the demand for your home. Not only will less competition increase the probability for showings, but it will also increase the probability that an offer will be received and you will get the maximum amount of money for your home.

Serious Buyers Are Out There
Homes are sold and bought 365 days a year, period!  Many homeowners believe that buyers aren't out there during the fall and winter months. This simply is not the case. Serious buyers are always out there!  Some buyers may stop their home search because it is the fall or winter, but serious buyers will continue to look at homes, no matter what time of year it is.

The fall and winter months are also a great time for a potential buyer to see what a specific neighborhood is like.  Do your neighbors have pumpkins on their front step?  Are there lots of Trick-or-Treaters wandering the neighborhood on Halloween?  Do any of your neighbors have any light displays for the holidays?  There are buyers out there who will look at these types of things when determining whether your home is in the right neighborhood for them or not.

The Best Agents Are Always Up To The Challenge
Any real estate agent who tells you that the fall or winter months are a bad time to sell is not someone you want selling your home! A great real estate agent will know how to adapt to the current season and market their listings to reflect that.  A great real estate agent can make suggestions and give some of their tips on how to sell a home during the fall or winter seasons. If a real estate agent doesn't have any suggestions on making your home more desirable for the current season, you should be concerned about the creativity they are going to use when marketing your home.

Staging For The Holiday Season
Many sellers believe staging a home is the main reason a home sells.  While staging certainly helps sell homes, some buyers have a difficult time envisioning themselves in a home no matter what you do. However, there are some buyers who can easily be "sold" on a home because it is staged.  Simple “seasonal” staging such as adjusting the color of the decor or having an aroma in the air that is relative to the time of year can go a long way with some potential buyers and possibly be the difference between a home selling or not.

Mortgage Rates Are Low
If you've read about real estate in the past year, it's likely you've read that the mortgage rates are very low.  You also probably read that there is an expectation that the rates will increase very soon. Since mortgage rates are so low right now, buyers are able to afford more expensive homes.  If mortgage rates increase over the fall and winter months while you're waiting for the spring market, it could cost you thousands of dollars as it could eliminate many buyers from the real estate marketplace!  Less demand for your home will mean less money. Bottom line: take advantage of selling your home while the rates are this low.

Quicker Transactions
Right now, there are fewer real estate transactions than there will be in the spring.  The fewer number of transactions means the mortgage lenders have less loans to process, attorneys have less closings to do, and home inspectors have fewer inspections to do.  All of these factors should lead to a quicker transaction and closing for all the parties involved.  One of the most frustrating things for a seller to deal with while selling their home is not getting answers in a reasonable amount of time. A quicker transaction is going to be less stress for you.

By considering all of the reasons above, you will be able to determine whether now is a good time to sell or if you should wait until the spring.

Kyle Hiscock is a top producing Webster, N.Y. real estate agent with Nothnagle Realtors, based out of Rochester, N.Y. He has helped hundreds of buyers and sellers move in and out of the Greater Rochester, N.Y. area. In addition to his vast real estate knowledge, Kyle is very active on many different social media websites. Connect with Kyle on Google+.    

52 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Andrew Fortune November 6, 2014 at 9:55 am - Reply

    Great article Kyle! Very compelling points on why it can makes sense to sell your home in the winter months.

  2. Larry November 6, 2014 at 1:12 pm - Reply

    In Denver, homes generally have sold for more in the Spring than similar homes sold the previous Fall or December. That’s been true for last 4 years. Of course a Seller may still opt to sell now for reasons of their own. Proficient Realtors should know the patterns in their own market and explain it accordingly. That’s adding real value and not just saying what might result in a quicker commission.

  3. Kyle Hiscock November 11, 2014 at 8:53 am - Reply

    Thanks Andrew, appreciate the compliments! Sometimes it can make sense to sell now instead of waiting until spring.

    Larry, thanks for your comment! It’s very likely homes will sell for more money in the spring, but for some, now maybe a better time to buy. This is especially true if the seller is planning on buying another home.

  4. Diana Dahlberg November 13, 2014 at 1:00 pm - Reply

    Excellent article Kyle. I agree with all of your points and believe there are different reasons for having a house on the market for sale during the colder months. Especially when the house is well staged … we are only looking for one buyer right? They are out there — the serious ones … and we need to be there so they can come and buy!!!

    • Kyle Hiscock November 19, 2014 at 3:01 pm - Reply

      Thanks Diana! That is correct, all it takes is one buyer 🙂

  5. Arthur Harris November 28, 2014 at 9:03 am - Reply

    Great article Kyle, every house will sell it just needs the right buyer!

    • Kyle Hiscock December 9, 2014 at 4:02 pm - Reply

      This is true Arthur! Thanks for reading!

  6. Frank Cancilla November 28, 2014 at 5:43 pm - Reply

    Excellent article Kyle. I agree with your points and I believe there are different reasons for having a house on the market for sale during the colder months. After all we are only looking for one buyer?

    • Kyle Hiscock December 9, 2014 at 4:03 pm - Reply

      Frank that is completely right! The spring time can tend to attract less serious buyers than this time of the year, which can save sellers lots of time and frustration!

  7. Chris Cribb December 1, 2014 at 12:08 pm - Reply

    Thank you Kyle, well said!

    I would additionally submit that there are people that may be wanting to push to do a contract during the calendar year for tax purposes & it helps to think about the average days on market in your community.

    Long story short, choose a great REALTOR & price at a market demand price and you will find that one buyer!

    Thanks! C.Cribb – The Bubb Cribb Team @ ReeceNichols

    • Kyle Hiscock December 9, 2014 at 4:04 pm - Reply

      Chris you are on-point with your comment. Pricing it right and having a great REALTOR are two of the most important things to get right when selling a home!

  8. Scott Roes January 10, 2015 at 3:05 am - Reply

    Excellent Post and thanx for sharing us.

  9. Jimmy@Propertyvalue April 6, 2015 at 1:39 am - Reply

    Very informative. Keeping the leaves raked and the home cleaned up on the outside will give your house great curb appeal! This doesn’t mean you have to rake up every leaf that falls, as a few colorful leaves can add interest to your home’s exterior!

  10. seek April 16, 2015 at 5:59 pm - Reply

    Very good info. Lucky me I ran across your blog by accident (stumbleupon).

    I have book marked it for later!

    • Nick Caruso April 17, 2015 at 11:34 am - Reply

      Glad you found us, and thanks for reading! We’re on Twitter too – @housecallblog! Would love to connect!

  11. Wendy Weir September 27, 2015 at 7:47 am - Reply

    Kyle – I Loved this Article – it was laid out so well, covering all the points a Seller should consider. Same as your Market there apparently – and I’ve read through the comments – our market is year round. We get transferees dependent on the Corporate atmosphere- and in Automotive – like with VW – we will be having a large number of sales around here as people (suppliers – for VW) unfortunately will be laid off.

  12. Ryan Fitzgerald December 11, 2015 at 8:53 pm - Reply


    Awesome article my friend!

    Launching one soon on why you should not wait until spring to sell!

    This will be an excellent reference!

    Thank you!

  13. Brett Cairns September 16, 2016 at 5:02 pm - Reply

    Real estate markets are clearly cyclical throughout the year but how much they change is often tied to the local market area. The kind of market that exists at the time can also have a bearing on whether or not a specific time of the year is a good time to list.

  14. Judy Edwards October 26, 2016 at 9:59 am - Reply

    Great article. I am working with a family that just asked many of the questions you mentioned
    in your article. I feel I did answer them but will follow up during our meeting today with many of your points.
    Thanks Kyle

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