BEST TIME TO SELL IN NEW YORK?
By Ali Ebrahimi
Sellers are constantly asking me, “When is the best time to list my home?” My short answer is almost always, “There’s no better time than now.”
In my previous article ‘The Return of the Buyer’s Market, and the Buyers’ Broker,’ I noted the shift we are seeing from a seller’s to a buyer’s market in New York; but in terms of the right TIME of the year to list, there are varying opinions…and the ‘rules’ once upheld, have changed.
It used to be generally agreed that the ‘optimal’ time to bring a property to market was mid to late February, the beginning of the spring selling season. After Labor Day or early September when buyers were back from summer vacation was another good option.
You would have NEVER considered listing a property around the Fourth of July, or anytime in August for that matter. Surely no one thinks about buying real estate while busy enjoying summer; and who in their right mind would stay in NYC over treacherously hot summer weekends to go to Sunday open houses!
The same was true of the Jewish holidays in the fall, or anytime between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. Then of course, there was the whole notion of waiting to list after Wall Street bonus season in January.
Well, I’m happy to say that most of those ‘rules’ no longer apply! Digital media and the extensive volume of information available to consumers online have shattered all the rules.
My theory is, get the property out there and see if there’s someone waiting for it. Real estate is now a 24/7 business, and buyers are always online searching for properties. With instant access to relevant/current information, they are ready to make a move as soon as the right property becomes available.
In fact, many brokers feel that listing during the above-mentioned traditionally slow times of year could prove advantageous, as there will be less competition.
It must say, some blackout periods still do exist, particularly for high-end properties above $2/3 million. It is generally agreed that listing these properties from mid-December to mid-January, and from July 4th to Labor Day would be doing them a disservice, since buyers in this price category are generally on vacation or away at their weekend homes during those times.
Too many sellers get stuck on listing at the ‘right’ time of year as opposed to focusing on listing for the right price. Assuming that timing outweighs the importance of pricing completely misses the point in the current New York City market, which is presently favoring buyers over sellers.
Yet, New Yorkers are strong-headed, and old ways die hard; so many of these outdated beliefs about timing still prevail.. not for long, I hope!