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Ready to sell? Like comedy and business, timing is everything in real estate. If you’re able to take your time, it can be worth waiting for the best time to sell a house. But even if you have time constraints, you can likely still find the best time to sell within them.
Pick the Right Month
Zillow research confirms what many people have long suspected: The best time to sell a house is in the spring—specifically, the first half of May. You are likely to sell your home 18.5 days faster and for around 1 percent more during this time. This is true for the 25 largest metros in the country.
In most parts of the country, springtime offers favorable weather conditions for house hunting. But why May? Homebuyers who started shopping in early spring and have not landed a deal by May start becoming anxious. Parents want to be settled into a home before the next school year. This increased sense of urgency can translate into more dollars for sellers.
Pick the Right Day
You’ve done all the preparations are and ready to list your house—but it’s Monday. Should you? Your real estate agent will probably want you to wait until first thing Thursday morning (we’re talking as close to 12:01 a.m. as possible). Why? Since many people house hunt on the weekends, they typically start looking online on Thursday or Friday to prepare. If you list on Monday, buyers will still see your home, but it will be farther down the page—if your listing is still on the first page at all. To optimize views (which could turhttp://www.trulia.com into more showings), consider listing later in the week.
Sell Smart During the Off-Season
If you can’t sell during peak selling time in spring, don’t worry. Not everyone is looking to buy in May. If your home is in a warm-weather state, the off-season could be an advantage, as snowbirds might be in town, and there are likely fewer homes on the market.
If your home is in a challenging climate, you can still sell successfully during fall or winter. Make the most of the season by staging your home so that it’s warm, cozy, and inviting for homebuyers. Outside, rake those leaves or shovel that snow. There may be fewer buyers looking, but there will also be fewer sellers listing, making your tidy home stand out.
Factor in Your Own Timing
Of course, not everyone can choose when they move. Sometimes the best time to sell a house is simply as soon as possible. If you have to move across the country to start a new job in November, any financial benefit you may have gotten by waiting until May to sell will likely be erased by having to pay housing expenses on two properties for half a year.
Of course, the best time to sell a house doesn’t always come down to money, either. If you find the perfect next home for you in August, it might be the right decision to sell and buy at the same time. If you know you’ll never find another place so close to work or your sibling’s house or the best park in town, your lifestyle priorities might win out.
When it comes to buying real estate, you want to make sure the property you purchase is the right fit for your needs. For some buyers, purchasing a home that needs some work is the ideal situation. For others, getting a turnkey home that’s move-in ready is the only option they’ll consider. And for still others, both seem like reasonable options.
The question is: which is for you? There are pros and cons to both fixer uppers and move-in ready homes. The important thing is to recognize which is the best fit for you, your budget, and what you want out of a home.
Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of fixer uppers and move-in ready homes to help you determine which is the better fit for you:
Fixer uppers are, as the name implies, homes that need a bit of TLC – or fixing up – upon move in.
The major draw of fixer uppers is the price. Since they need work, you can typically get a fixer upper at a fraction of the cost of a move-in ready home of a similar size or in a similar location. So if you’re on the hunt for a bargain or you have a tight budget, a fixer upper is definitely going to be the least expensive home-buying option.
You can make the house your own
Since a fixer upper will need work and renovations, it does offer the opportunity to put your own stamp on the design and layout and really make the house your own. With a move-in ready home, the work has already been done and the home already designed. With a fixer upper, you get the opportunity to build your home from the ground up with everything from flooring and cabinetry to landscaping and windows.
It’s a project
For people who are interested in home renovation, there’s nothing better than a fixer upper. Taking on the challenge of completely transforming a home is a really exciting prospect for a lot of people, and if you’re in that camp, a fixer upper is a great opportunity to take on a worthwhile project.
It can get expensive
Even though the purchase price of a fixer upper is typically low, if there is a significant amount of problems with the property or changes that need to be made, it can definitely get expensive. Things like repairing electric, adding a new roof, tearing up and installing new flooring, and redoing a kitchen can get pricey, and if you’re not careful, you can find yourself way over budget, swimming in contractor bills with no end to your renovations in sight.
It takes time
Even if you’re a person who loves renovating homes, there’s no escaping the fact that it takes time. If you need to move into your home quickly, a fixer upper isn’t going to be the right fit.
Move-in ready homes are recently built, updated, or remodeled homes that need next to nothing in terms of renovations or improvements. You can comfortably move in without making a single change.
In terms of convenience, you can’t beat a move-in ready home. Moving can be a stressful process, and for many new homeowners, the last thing they want to do upon moving into their new home is start managing a bunch of renovations. With a move-in ready home, once you move in, you’re done. While you may want to make some cosmetic changes down the road (like painting the walls or changing the flooring), there’s nothing that needs to get done after you move.
Better energy efficiency
Newer, move-in ready homes tend to be more energy efficient, which is not only better for the environment, but also better for your utility costs. Energy efficient homes require less energy to heat the home during the winter and cool the home during the summer, which can end up saving you a significant amount of money in the long run.
Home prices are higher
When you buy a move-in ready home, you’re paying for the convenience. Move-in ready homes will always be significantly more expensive than fixer uppers in the same neighborhood and of the same size. If you have a tight budget, you might have to make some sacrifices to purchases a move-in ready home, like buying a smaller house or buying in a less popular neighborhood.
The “cookie cutter” effect
When you buy a move-in ready home, everything has already been done for you. Which is certainly convenient, but it can lack originality, charm, and the architectural and decor details you might want in a home. Newer homes sometimes feel more generic and “cookie cutter” than their older counterparts, so if charm and individuality are important for you, a move-in ready home might not feel like the best fit.
Fixer uppers and move-in ready homes both have unique benefits and challenges. Ultimately, you have to go with the choice that best aligns with your budget, your needs, and your long-term goals for your home.