You have questions and we have the answers. If you’re getting ready to sell your home in Madison, read on.
1. Is one season better than another to sell a home in Madison?
I know – it seems like summer only just started and here we are on the cusp of autumn (it starts September 22). And, while we’re all trying to wring out every last drop of this glorious summer in Madison, I am starting to get what I call the “seasonal selling” questions from homeowners.
Long ago, “spring is the best time to sell a home” became the media’s mantra. And, to be fair, they’re partially correct. The media are also fond of telling us that winter is a terrible time to sell. There, they are wrong.
Home sales in November do tend to fall around 8 percent, nationwide. By January, the number of homes sold tumbles further, to 27 percent. But what the media gets wrong is the fact that so many homeowners choose not to sell their homes in the winter. With fewer homes on the market, naturally fewer homes will sell.
For my stat-freak friends, the official tally is that 40 percent of any year’s home sales will occur in May, June, July and August, according to statistics from the National Association of REALTORS. Here in Madison, our peak months start in May and our slowest months are typically from October to February.
These same numbers tell us, however, that homes put up for sale in the winter actually sell one week faster bring in more money and there is a 9 percent better chance that the home will sell than at any other time of year. And, lest you think this isn’t true for regions with Madison-like winters, think again. The numbers held, whether the home was located in Fairbanks, Alaska or in Lahaina, Maui.
According to the NAR, fall is the second-best home-selling season, and for good reason:
- The weather is still conducive for house hunting
- Folks who want to buy a home and are thinking of tax breaks will be incentivized to move now
- Many want to be in their new home before the winter holidays
If you think you may be putting your home on the market this fall or winter, let’s get some exterior photos of it now, while everything is still green and the sun is shining. Think how much your listing will stand out in the MLS, compared to those with brown trees or snow-covered lawns.
2. How will you determine what our price will be?
If there is one aspect of selling a home that confuses home sellers more than anything else it’s the evaluation process. It doesn’t help that there’s so much misinformation online, so I get the befuddlement.
In a nutshell, your home is worth what a buyer is willing to pay for it – known as “market value.” And, no, we don’t read minds to find out how much buyers are willing to pay. That amount is reflected in the prices they’ve paid (in the recent past) for homes similar to yours.
So, we’ll study recent sales in close proximity to your home, compare your home to each of these to come up with a list of what we call “comparables.” We’ll then analyze these homes – features, size, age and more – to determine if your home’s market value is more or less until we arrive at a figure that we believe represents the market value of your home.
Next, we’ll need to figure out a list price for your home. While the homeowner has the last word with regards to asking price, we will offer our expert opinion. By the way, we offer a free evaluation of your home’s current market value. No strings attached. . .no obligation.
3. How long will it take to sell my home in Madison?
While this question is common, because there are many variables to consider, it’s not one that has an easy answer.
The first of these variables is the current state of the local housing market. If we’re in a sellers’ market (when there are many buyers but few homes on the market), the home may sell quickly. In a buyers’ market, where there is a large inventory of homes for sale and few buyers competing for them, the home may take longer to sell.
Your list price will also affect how long your home sits on the market. Price it too high and you’ll have few people view it, thus lengthening the time it will take to sell. There is a very good chance that you will end up taking less for the home than you’d hoped.
The agent you choose can make or break the sale of your home and has a real impact on how long it’s on the market. A novice, or an agent who lacks a marketing budget, won’t be able to market your home in ways that will make buyers snatch it up. With a marketing-savvy agent, your home will spend less time on the market.
Finally, the offer to purchase will contain timelines that the buyer must meet for tasks such as loan approval, home inspections and others. These timelines, or contingencies as they are known, are negotiable, however, so you will have a say in how long the buyer has to complete them.
There are other variables to consider as well and we’re happy to discuss these with you. Feel free to reach out to us at (608) 628-9701.