Best Time to Sell a House in Northeast Ohio... Cleveland & Akron Metro
Moving to Northeast Ohio Tips - 2021
Published February 2021
When is the best time to sell a house? This is a question that gets asked all the time and at all months of the year. What time do you think is the best time to sell a house?
The answer is very simple because there isn’t one. There is no single month that anyone could point out and say, “this is the absolute best time to sell a house”. The truth is that there are circumstances that help your chances to sell during certain months, especially here in the Cleveland and Akron area. Let’s go through all four seasons in the Cleveland real estate market. I think the best way to articulate when the best time is to sell a house is to go through the pros and cons of each season so that you can make that decision for yourself.
Is Spring The Best Time To Sell A House?
Selling in the Spring here in Ohio has it's perks. Let’s be honest, we all go through hibernation for previous 3-4 months and await for the flowers to begin blooming. Once Spring, or 50 degrees outside, spring time festivities are on the way, the sidewalk cafes are bustling, Erie's lakefront is invaded by runners and bikers, and the parks are filled with Ohioans.
But what does that mean with the real estate market here in Cleveland and Akron? Spring time is a busy season in the real estate market. In my career, Spring and Summer have always been the months we had the most closings. The chart below shows the number of homes sales in the Cleveland and Akron Real Estate market trailing back 5 years. March to August ALWAYS has the highest number of home sales.
Let's go through some of the pros for selling a house in the Spring time.
Many home buyers tend to put off their home search until the Spring time. In Ohio, many people want to be in their new home by summer because the thought of moving in the winter time is dreading.
A great advantage to listing your house for sale in the Spring time is that there tends to be more buyers in the market. The more potential buyers, the better chances of you selling your property for highest and best dollar. It’s a simple example of supply and demand. More qualified buyers in the market means more opportunities to get an offer, and the more opportunities you have, the greater chance your home will sell OVER list price.
Springtime is an ideal time to list your home for sale but there are also some cons to it as well. For the very same reasons I just mentioned above, there are many other people in your same shoes? This means that you may have more competition in a Spring market than you might in a winter market. Theoretically, you will also have more buyers... Also think about where you are going to move. If you are going to be buying a house you have to time it out correctly, then selling your home when there is more inventory on the market can make this transition much easier.
Is Summer the best time to sell a house?
Arguably, summer time is the best time to sell a house!!
I always see a little rush to find a new home in the earlier summer months. Many times it’s because a school year may be ending for the kids and a family wants to get into a house before the year begins (between May and August). In addition, many leases are expiring so you tend to see many first time buyers also come out of the woodworks. As far as showing your house, there probably is no better time than in summer. The quality of your pictures and videos will be far better than in the crappy, gloomy winter Ohio months.
There are a few cons of selling in the summer time, but not many. One of those are that the summer time tends to be a very busy time where people are enjoying their weekends, taking road trips, and not focused entirely on buying a house. The month of July is always the busiest in terms of “things to do” in Northeast Ohio. My closings in July have always been high because offers were written in the month of May. You will still have a similar level of competition as you do in the Springtime. However... We are currently in a inventory shortage, aka, WE NEED MORE HOMES ON THE MARKET!
Is The Best Time To Sell A House In The Fall?
The start of football is amongst us. Another Ohio summer is coming to an end and that only means one thing…. WINTER IS COMING (Game of Thrones voice).
Believe it or not, I see the fall months as some of the best in the real estate business.
Fall brings in a second “rush” of buyers in a normal market. It’s not odd for July to be slow and then everything picks up in August and September. Remember that many leases are expiring at this time, school starts, and people tend stop any procrastination since the harsh Ohio winter is coming. The fall real estate market is always pretty strong. Typically you can expect a good buying demand until the end of November. Once we hit the winter months things can slow down a bit.
There are not many cons of selling in the fall time. The only real con deals with the thought of the upcoming winter season. For showing reasons if you have a property that has a great amount of outdoor space, your landscaping starts to die and it doesn’t look as pretty. Also potential buyers might not be as motivated knowing that they are going to have to wait a year to use the rooftop deck with the cooler months just around the corner. When someone buys a house they want to move in right away and enjoy the benefits, those benefits can be postponed. Really it all comes down to the type of home that you have. If you have a gorgeous yard and great curb appeal, then spring and summer is your best bet. If you live in a condo or a "cookie cutter" community, then landscaping and weather may not effect the sales price.
Is The Best Time To Sell A House In The Winter?
What we all been waiting for…Ohio winters. There is no doubt that things tend to slow down in the Cleveland and Akron real estate market from around the beginning of December to the beginning of March. With the holidays and cold weather upon us, it is a time you can expect a slowdown in the real estate market, but that doesn’t mean its a bad time to sell and here's why.
Many people cancel their listings for sale during the holiday months, which can be a very good thing if you are trying to sell your property. With less inventory comes a higher demand and there are always buyers in the winter time. In my opinion, if you're looking to buy or sell in the winter, YOU'RE VERY SERIOUS, no "looky Loo's". The key to making your property stand out in a winter market is to properly position it for sale by having a full online marketing plan. If you can pull this out you might find that selling in the winter time was one of the best things you could do.
However if you are sitting around with no showings, it might be a good time to pull your listing and reposition it after the second half of the winter market. With such low inventory in today's market, if your house is move in ready, it will sell! Many people don’t realize that it’s just after the New Year when many resolutions become a reality. It’s still the winter market, but you have a chance of getting to the market before the Spring rush of sellers comes around.
The cons are the obvious for the challenging Ohio winter months. It’s dark and gloomy, which means pictures and videos for marketing your home might not be the best. When there is snow on the ground, potential buyers don’t get a very clear view of your surroundings (the biggest issue I see). You don’t get to see people walking down the street or how much real action a specific neighborhood might have since everyone is inside staying warm. Many home buyers who look in the winter months also expect a more "desperate seller". There is a general idea that a home seller in the winter months NEEDS to sell and you are more likely to get a low ball offer. The key is making sure you are priced correctly and keeping your market time down to a minimum to create that desire to take action on buying your house. Depending on the price point of your home, if you're on the market for 3 weeks with no accepted offers, buyers begin to question if the house is over priced or if something major is wrong with the house.
There is no right or wrong answer on when is the best time to sell a house because each situation has a variety of variables. The best thing you can do in any market is to make sure that your home is marketed correctly.
If you are looking to sell your home fast and for top dollar you need more than just another agent. You need a marketer! I promise you nothing but the best results or I’ll literally help you move.