October 2012 vs. February 2013

With Fall shadows growing and the thermostat dropping, many would-be Sellers are wrestling with a big decision:  whether to rush to get their home on the market now, or wait for Minnesota’s Spring market (note to non-Minnesotans:  the local “Spring” market actually kicks off in February, right after the Super Bowl).

While waiting can be tempting for Sellers faced with lots of home prep and decluttering, here are three arguments for forging ahead this Fall:

One.  Tight inventory. 

Many frustrated Twin Cities Buyers can’t find what they’re looking for now.

By contrast, inventory traditionally rises in the Spring.

The real estate corollary to “Buy low, sell high” is “sell when there’s less competition.”

Two.  Showing logistics.

Getting a home ready for a showing in the Fall isn’t a big deal.

In winter in Minnesota, it can be.

Sellers need to make sure their steps and walk have been shoveled and aren’t icy.

Inside, they have to worry about rude Buyers who track snow or slush into the home — or continually clean up after muddy kids before prospective Buyers show up.

Three.  Winter home maintenance.

Along with harsh winter conditions locally come special concerns for homeowners — especially ones who may be out-of-town periodically (or have already relocated elsewhere).

Like, the risk of the furnace dying in below-zero temp’s, and the pipes freezing.

Or, ice dams forming on the roof and creating havoc in the ceilings and walls underneath.

Assuming that the average home takes 60-90 days to sell, then another 4-6 weeks to close, listing in February guaranties that the homeowner will have to be vigilant about such issues.

By contrast, a homeowner who lists before Halloween and manages to close by the holidays likely avoids them.

Not to mention another 4+ months of house payments, insurance, and taxes (most relevant for Sellers who’ve already moved out).

See also, “Sell in Fall, or Wait for Spring?”

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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