Real NEastate: Waiting for Spring

Q: I am relocating because of work come January. I have to sell my house, but my family and friends have told me I should wait until spring because it is a better time to sell. The problem is I am actually leaving Philadelphia and I really don’t want to keep an empty house in the Northeast. But I don’t want to waste several months trying to sell it either. Are they right? Should I just move now and then wait until spring to sell my house?

A: Well-meaning family and friends with their personal experiences and two cents can sometimes hinder sensible buyer and seller decisions. Unless they work in the real estate industry, family or friends’ opinions mean very little. While spring is generally a good housing market in Philadelphia, there is no good reason for you to wait until then to try and sell, especially if you will be moving sooner.

I don’t see it as a waste of time if you put your house up for sale now. It is true that in the spring there are more homebuyers out house hunting. But there are people out right now looking for a home and the ones looking now may likely be more serious buyers. While they may be fewer, December buyers are not wasting your time. These buyers are involved in the difficult and stressful homebuying process at a time when everyone else is focusing on just getting through the holidays.

Any appointment you get to view your home between now and spring is a potential sale. If there are buyers out looking now, then maybe you can sell it sooner rather than waiting several months. Another positive is, even if you are not able to sell it before spring, you will know what potential buyers think of your home prior to the spring market and you can make any adjustments needed to the house or the price before then.

You’ve got nothing to lose and maybe a homebuyer to gain.

Stacey McCarthy is a real estate agent with the McCarthy Group of Keller Williams. Her Real NEastate column appears every Wednesday on NEastPhilly.com. See others here. Read other NEast Philly columns here.

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