Home Staging 101: The Best Time to Buy or Sell a Home

As a home stager, it’s your job to understand the real estate market. This understanding allows you to better serve your clients, whether that means homeowners, real estate agents, or both.

To that end, Time Magazine recently published an article discussing the “best times” and “worst times” to list a house or make an offer. This information will help keep you plugged in to the psychology of home buyers and sellers in your market:

The best month to make an offer on a house is January. Fewer buyers are willing to house-hunt during cold, nasty weather, so there’s less competition and few, if any, bidding wars. Sellers also tend to be more motivated than they will be in the spring, when there are more buyers. Why? They may have just received their credit card bills that reflect Christmas spending and may be feeling financially insecure. And their decision to try to sell their houses in the winter means they’re willing to risk listing during a time of the year when properties tend not show particularly well.

The best time of the year to sell a house is the spring. Buyers come out of the woodwork during the spring, and with tax refund checks in the bank, spring buyers more often pay full price. In fact, sales peak in the spring, helping to explain why about 60% of those who move do so in the summer. Tip within a tip: Don’t price your house with a zero at the end. Studies show that people perceive a precise price, such as $282,284, as lower than rounded ones, such as $280,000, even when the rounded prices are actually lower. Real-life sales show that one zero at the end of an asking price lowers the final sale price by .72% and two zeros lower it by .73%. That may not sound like much, but it can add up to thousands of dollars.

The best day of the week to list your house for sale is Thursday. This is more true during a seller’s market, but if you list your fully prepared house for sale on a Thursday, it will be available right away for weekend showings and by Saturday — the most important day of the real-estate week — your house will have shown only two days. That’s important because the fewer days on market, the better chance the home will attract a full-price offer. Even if your house doesn’t sell by the next Saturday, it will still show only nine days on market, benefiting from the psychological advantage of a single-digit number.

No matter when your client is listing a house, it’s your job to help him or her sell it. But having an understanding of the psychology both of the home seller and prospective buyers is important. It’s crucial that you have a finger on the “pulse” of your local real estate market so that you can deliver the results your clients are looking for. If you’d like to learn more, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me today!

   

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