Should We List in January, February, March or Later?

Should We ListIt seems that I get asked this question quite frequently at this time of year. Probably because people are starting to map out the things they’d like to do in the new year and they’d like to list at a time when they’ll have the best chance of getting the highest price. As I always say, it’s never too early to start planning when it comes to buying or selling a home in central Toronto.

There are two answers to this question. One is very simple and one is a little bit more involved.

The simple answer

If you’ve bought a new home with a closing date that’s not too far off, chances are you need to sell your current home to make the move. In this case, while you’d love to get the highest possible price, your closing date will dictate when you should list your current home. For example, if your closing date is in March, you should probably list your home in January. This may be a good time to list your home, but it may not be the best time to list when it comes to maximizing your price.

The not so simple answer

If you have the luxury of listing whenever you please and want to get the highest possible price, perhaps because you’re moving to a second home that you already own or because you’ll be renting instead of owning, here are a few things to keep in mind:

January: There will be buyers in central Toronto in January, many of whom will be ready to buy immediately since they’ve already been looking for a while, but haven’t been able to find what they want or got outbid. There won’t be as many sellers so you’ll have less competition. You should be able to sell for a good price. Keep your fingers crossed for no snowstorms when your home is on the market.

February: The market in February is similar to that of January, but there are usually more buyers because some buyers only start looking in the new year and there are also more sellers. Prices are usually good in February. Once again, keep your fingers crossed for no snowstorms when your home is on the market.

March: The market usually starts to heat up in March as Spring is around the corner. There are still buyers from the previous year who haven’t bought and the buyers who just started looking in January and February are now ready to buy. There are usually more homes on the market, but this is offset by the even larger number of buyers in the market. Prices often start trending upwards in March. And there’s less chance of a snowstorm.

April – May: This is the prime Spring market. The highest average sale price of the year usually occurs in one of these months. Even though there are more homes on the market, buyers are ready to jump and there’s almost no chance of a snowstorm. 

June: The market is still strong, especially during the first half of the month, but the Spring market starts to slow down as fewer homes come on the market. There’s no chance of a snowstorm (hope I didn’t just jinx us).

So what’s the best time of year to list if you want to get the highest price? It’s impossible to say because you could list your home in January and get a higher price than you’d get in May, but you’ll never know because you can’t sell your home twice. But if we look at the numbers, I’d say that April and May are the best months in which to list and I might even narrow that down to the second half of April and the first half of May, depending on what exactly is going on in the market at those times.

Keep in mind that these are just guidelines as every situation is different. Make sure to tailor your listing strategy to your own personal goals and circumstances. I’m always available if you need help.

And as always, if you know of anyone who’s looking for an honest realtor who really knows his stuff and doesn’t pressure his clients, Please Don’t Keep Me a Secret. I really appreciate your referrals. Thanks for reading and don’t be shy if you have any questions or comments!

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