Waiting Till Spring to Sell Your House is an Urban Legend

A long held “urban legend” is that if you want to sell your house you should wait until spring to put it on the market.  One of the reasons given is that the exterior of the house shows better.

So, every other house in your neighborhood will show better too.  No competitive advantage there!  Another reason is that buyers with school age children will not buy until it’s near the end of a school year.  For some folks, yes.  But what about the very large segment of the population who don’t have school age children?  Besides, relocating families – civilian and military especially – move at all times of the year.  Bottom line – the two major reasons for listing your property in the spring are, overall, not significant factors.


The real issue for not waiting for spring is how the real estate market worksReal estate is a commodity  – when inventory rises, prices go down.  Belief in the fallacy of waiting until spring causes an influx of homes on the market at one time.  With more inventory buyers have more choices and can open their bid with a lower price than when inventory was lower and choices were fewer.

As you study the graphs provided here:

you will notice in most areas that the number of new listings rises during the spring months and goes down in subsequent ones.  You will also see that houses going under contract rise to some degree in the spring (giving rise to the fallacy) but the difference between new listings and sales in those months is much wider than in other months.

That difference is the reason that homeowners who plan to sell – and who want the highest dollar possible – should put their house on the market NOW.

And for buyers, with the combination of incredibly low interest rates and government incentives – your time is NOW too.

If you want to know more about the realities of the Northern Virginia and Alexandria real estate markets, and not the urban legends, give me a call at 703.927.4554.

Thanks for stopping by,