Generally speaking, the summer months are usually the busiest time of year to sell real estate here in Austin, Texas. Does that mean it is the best time to sell? Well, yes and no. There are other factors that must be disected when attempting to make the determination. I am going to discuss a few factors to be considered whether you’re selling in the Kyle/Buda area or in a different market with similar climates.
One thing that is almost always a certainty is that the pool of buyers during the summer months will be larger. School is out, more people take time off of work, and the warm weather often motivates people to get out and about. Statistics show year after year that December is generally the slowest month in terms of new listings here in the Austin market. In both 2012 and 2011 there were just under 1,600 new listings that came on the market in December, whereas from March through June of both years the number of new listings in each respective month never dipped below 3,700.
What this means if you plan on selling during the warmer months is that you’re going to have much more competition. If you have equity and are motivated to sell, this could work to your advantage. Buyers are normally quicker to pull the trigger in these months because they know that a well priced home will sell in less time and will often want to avoid the multiple offer bidding war that can sometimes occur. When comparing days on the market in December of 2012 versus June of 2012, single family homes sold an average of 13 days quicker in June. This trend has continued for 2013.
Another factor to consider involves loan programs. With the recent population boom we are having in Kyle, Texas, the popular USDA loan may soon be coming to an end in certain areas because of the population restrictions associated with the loan. This program is so popular because it is one of the only programs where a buyer can put zero down and still buy a home. As a seller, it is important to work with a Realtor who remains versed on changing market factors. Knowing that a program like this might be ending before the busier months could be valuable in helping a seller decide whether they want to go ahead and try and take advantage of some of those buyers or wait. If you are in an area where a large portion of the sales are entry level homes, it might be wise to go ahead and try and tap into that market of buyers who will find the zero down option very helpful.
The final factor I would like to mention that sellers should consider is interest rates. Again, I would like to touch on the pool of buyers. At a given time, a seller will have a number of buyers who can qualify to buy his or her home. What happens when interest rates rise? There will be a smaller pool of buyers who will then qualify for that home, thus, lessening the odds of selling that particular home. If there is a consensus among the experts in the mortgage industry who expect increases in rates, a seller might consider an effort to jump into the market before the buyer pool evaporates, regardless of the time of year.
When it comes to selling real estate at the most opportune time, I mentioned that historical data provides a strong defense for selling during the summer months, however, there are several other factors that a seller should consider when determining the best time to put their house on the market. Remember to keep these things in mind and ask your Realtor for their input as well.