Saturday, December 20, 2008

Should I List Now... Or Wait Until Spring?

Should I List Now... Or Wait Until Spring?

I met with three clients last week who said, "David, I know it is not a great time to sell. Should I put my property up now or wait until spring?" What's interesting is that I've found myself answering this question frequently... so, I figured it made sense to write about it as it relates to the Greater Toronto and Orangeville real estate market.

If a seller has no place to go or plans on purchasing in the future or there are other external factors that pushes their timeline out, it might make sense to wait until those answers are figured out. This is the case for any seller at any time of the year.

But if there's a real need to sell in the next six months... to me, the answer is obvious. List now.

Take the plunge, so to speak. :)

There are six main advantages for a seller to list now in December or January instead of waiting until spring:

1. Inventory - In the spring, how many other sellers will have ended up waiting as well? They may have been waiting a year or so until the market got better or perhaps just figured it was the best time to list their property. So come March, April and May, there will be that much more competition to potentially go head-to-head with. By listing now, you avoid all that potential competition. In Milton for example, there are a LOT of homes closing through builders like Mattamy, Arista, Sunvale and Montgomery Homes that will be ready between March and July, and there will be a flood of inventory as the buyers of these homes try to sell their homes in order to "move up". I predict Milton will experience more inventory (read: competition) than it's ever seen before in Spring 2009. Not particularly good news if you are trying to sell.

2. Motivated Buyers - Often many buyers will just wait until spring to start their search as well. They will just be beginning the process. Believe me... the buyers that are out house hunting during the Thanksgiving and Christmas timeframes are serious and motivated. By listing now, you will potentially get one of these buyers to write an offer on your property.

3. Mortgage Rates - The mortgage rates right now are at their lowest point in months. This is actually causing an uptick in buyer traffic and activity. If you list now, you will catch this wave of increased buyers shopping for houses (instead of Christmas gifts) because of these lower rates.

4. Buyers Confidence - Further, buyer confidence is starting to shift which is also increasing buyer traffic. The November stats from the Toronto Real Estate Board's Market Watch report show an upswing in prices in November after a very poor October, which saw a stock market meltdown and an always slow real estate market during the end of the election campaigns.

5. Accomplish Your Goals Now - When it's all said and done, wouldn't you rather have your house sold by March and April and moving on with your life than potentially just listing your house at that point in time. I love it when we accomplish our goals ahead of schedule - it's a great feeling. By listing now, you are positioning yourself to accomplish your goals sooner than later. By the way, what would happen if a traumatic life event happened in the spring and you couldn't put off your plans? Nobody knows what will happen in the future, but we do know about today.

6. Reverse Fear - Lastly, not to buy into the media's doom and gloom, but there is always risk that the housing markets could deteriorate more instead of picking up by the middle of 2009. In addition, the reality of the market getting that much better in a short period of time is remote. I doubt that just by waiting until spring, a sales price could be higher by 10 percent. In fact, it could even be a little worse if you think the economy is going to deteriorate as the automakers struggle to survive. By listing now, you avoid that extra layer of uncertainty.

To summarize, you know a great deal more about TODAY than TOMORROW, so go ahead and be proactive.

I'm curious - what is your opinion?

Shelburne Gas Price Watch!

Lowest Gas Prices in Shelburne
Shelburne Gas Prices provided by

Orangeville Gas Price Watch!

Lowest Gas Prices in Orangeville
Orangeville Gas Prices provided by