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When do I list my home for sale? Most sellers make the mistake of waiting until after March 15 – why that’s a bad strategy:

How many times have you heard people talk about “the spring market” being the best time to sell a home? They aren’t wrong, because the most number of buyers active in the residential real estate market peaks in the spring. What most people don’t realize is that the process of buying a home is not an impulse decision for the vast majority of us. Yes, when we see a home we love, we might decide we want to buy it before even setting foot inside. However, most of us don’t or can’t buy a home on a whim. Instead, it’s a long process that requires research and deliberation. Most homebuyers look anywhere from 3-18 months before they purchase.

One time of year that most people aren’t looking at homes is during the end of year holidays. When the holidays are over and everyone settles back into work and school, online ​

shopping activity for residential real estate absolutely explodes according to data from the online appointment setting tool Showing Time. Historically, the date marker for the beginning of all this online activity is Jan. 15. Real estate interest increases faster between Jan. 15 and Feb. 15 than any other time of year and levels off by March to its highest level of the year.

The day when the greatest number of real estate listings expire is ​Dec. 31 and it makes sense – it’s the end of the year, and time for sellers to reassess why their home didn’t sell. On Dec. 31, 2019, the number of expired listings in the Charlotte MLS was nearly 2,000. That creates an enormous vacuum of homes on the market but very little competition for sellers who stick it out. The average time from when a home goes under contract to closing is anywhere from 30-60 days, so if a home goes under contract on Feb. 1 it’s closing in the spring when that “spring market” is in full swing. An analogy from another industry would be this; clothing stores don’t begin selling spring clothes in the spring – they begin selling them in winter.

The moral to the story here? If you are thinking about listing your home for sale in 2020, don’t wait until “the spring market.” The spring market arrives on Jan. 15. You will have less competition because other sellers will be waiting.​

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