The real estate industry has been enjoying a strong sellers market as of late, which begs the question: is there a best or worst time to sell? While homes have been flying off the market with record speed over the last year, this has not rendered the question of seasonality null and void – not by a long shot, especially for luxury homes.
The luxury home market is unique and, while luxury properties are less affected by economic changes than the average single-family residence, this upscale market does still answer to a few industry rules. If you are considering putting your luxury home on the market, read on to learn how timing can affect your selling success – but first, let’s discuss why working with a real estate agent is the smartest move you can make.
Why you should work with a reputable real estate agent
The first step to selling a luxury home at any time of year is to find an experienced real estate expert. The benefits of working with an agent are multitudinous and not only streamline your selling process and answer every possible selling-related question, but can also speed up the process significantly – and make the deal considerably more lucrative.
Before you even list your home, your agent will likely have a candid conversation with you about why you are selling, to ensure you have clarity and a compelling reason to drive you through the selling process. Your agent can also help you with everything from avoiding the five common mistakes most novice sellers make to staging your home for maximum profit and navigating the details of closing. Working with a luxury real estate specialist will illuminate any confusing or complex areas of the industry, like the rising interest rates, and how they may affect the luxury market.
How long does it take to sell a luxury home?
The real estate industry is hot off the heels of a strong sellers market, in which homes of all shapes and sizes were selling fast and for record prices. Luxury homes can take a bit longer to sell simply because the clientele for these lavish properties is smaller and the market is more exclusive.
In a buyers market, homes tend to sell within six months. In a sellers market, that number trends toward three months of listing. Luxury homes can take a bit longer than the average single-family residence, and your agent will be able to guide you on your particular property’s prospects.
How seasons have historically affected the market
Seasonality is still relevant, although this concept is not as much of a factor as it once was in the industry. Before online listings became a significant part of the initial home search process, summer was one of the slowest times for selling. The assumption was that those who could afford to buy a new home could also afford a summer vacation, so sellers generally held off from listing in the summer months. With the advent of online listings and remote buying, the seasonality of selling has opened up quite a bit – but seasons do still hold some sway over the industry.
The worst time to sell
The answer to this question depends on your home’s location and type. If you are selling a home in the Northeast, or any area with frigid winter weather, the winter months typically are not as desirable for selling. Snow and ice can hold up home tours and open houses, landscaping looks bare and bleak, and the idea of moving in the coldest months can be unappealing. Curb appeal, a critical part of attracting potential buyers, takes a serious hit when trees are bare and mud takes the place of lush, green grass and gorgeous flowers. But what about properties in warm climates? Regarding St. Petersburg luxury homes, is there a best and worst time to sell? The answer to that depends on even more circumstances.
While properties in locales with year-round balmy weather need not consider snow or ice storms, winter does bring another obstacle – the holidays. Most families want to be settled by Thanksgiving, meaning the closing date would need to be scheduled about two months prior to allow enough time to move in, unpack, and make the house a home. This puts the closing date in September – which causes yet another potential problem. Families with younger children generally like to be moved in and unpacked at least a few weeks before school starts in the fall, meaning closing should happen by the beginning of August.
The best time to sell
Have you guessed the answer yet? The best time of year to sell a luxury home is in the spring. Not only does the spring provide the prettiest backdrop and most attractive weather for open houses, but it also allows for the easiest moving dates for families. March in some areas still has a bit of winter’s bite, and school is still in session through April. But listing a home in May is right on the money – literally. May has been found to be the sweet spot for selling luxury property.
Listing your home in May provides a beautiful setting for open houses and home tours. Spring has officially sprung by this time and sprawling, verdant yards are full of blooming flowers, which show off the house and the entire property in their best light.
Should you sell in the summer, fall, or winter?
Again, like so much in real estate, this depends on location. If you are selling a luxury property in a year-round paradise like St. Petersburg, the weather will not affect your sale the way it could in a snowy wonderland like the Northeast. If you are selling a vacation home, the holidays will not prove to be an obstacle the way they would in an average home sale. Selling a tropical oasis or beachfront property in January may work in your favor, as potential buyers may be eager to escape the icy temperatures of their permanent residence. As for selling in the summer, buyers looking for homes in July and August may be highly motivated to buy fast and expedite the closing.
Are you interested in exploring St. Petersburg real estate? Contact Andy Salamone of The Salamone Group today to learn about moving to St. Petersburg and navigating the St. Petersburg real estate market.