Minnesota has a particular rhythm unlike other parts of the country because of our weather. It used to be that late spring, May and June were the busiest months. Because of low inventory of homes to sell, buyers are getting a jump on the spring market by starting earlier. Usually, the Super Bowl signals that we’re starting a spring market. We are already in multiple offers on well-priced and homes in market condition for spring 2019.
Although sales happen all year long, we have peaks and valleys. From the chart provided by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors you can see that the winter months are slower, spring and early summer are peak months. It takes about a month to process a loan, so the sale to closing date is usually 30 days.
In 2018, the spring whirled along until June 1. Then it seemed like everyone went to the beach and didn’t come back until September. Smart buyers start early, and came back in July and August when everyone else was on vacation. Buyers inquire about a home they love which inevitably is already sold, get disappointed that it didn’t wait for them, and then get hustling.
Homeowners who are both buying and selling want to secure their new digs before they get excited about cleaning closets and boxing up their goods. Sellers can write a contingent offer on their next home, but the seller of that home will want to know that house is either already on the market or will be in a day or two and is priced to sell. The competition is buyers who don’t have a home to sell and have a fixed closing date. Once you have an offer on your home, you would write an offer still contingent on the closing of that home, but is more secure than not having an offer.
If you are at all thinking about selling and buying this year, it’s best to have a strategy. You’ll want to plan the sale ahead of time, prep your home for top dollar in a peak buying season while scoping out your next step. It’s always scary not knowing exactly what will happen next, but I always put into a listing that the closing date is TBD upon seller finding home of choice.
The goal is to have a tidal wave of buyers vying for your home. Serious buyers are a little flexible, and understand that you’d rather not make two moves. Right now is the best time to get ready. If you find the next home you love, and your home is still weeks away from being ready, you may be disappointed. You will thank yourself tomorrow for what you packed up today.