Who lists their home for sale in mid-December?
People who have to sell, that’s who.
Otherwise they’d wait until the 2nd week in January, which is when the spring market starts and an influx of buyers begin (or resume) their hunt.
Sure, there are still some buyers out there looking in the middle of December. Not many though. And the ones that are looking are likely doing so half-assed, as they’re distracted with holiday obligations, etc.
Sellers in the Toronto real estate market don’t always have a choice though, when it comes to timing the sale of their home. Sometimes, listing in mid-December is their only option.
For example, let’s say you make a purchase at the end of November, with a 60 day closing. The good news here is that you go into the holiday season knowing that you’ve bought a house, and the stress of searching for a home is off your plate. But now you’ve got a home to sell, just as the market is about to slow down!
Some of you are thinking, “Well, don’t buy a home at the end of November then! Make your purchase in September or October instead.”
The reality is that buying a home in the Toronto real estate market can be tough; there’s a tonne of competition when it comes to good houses and if an opportunity presents itself you have to jump on it, whether or not it’s actually the best time of year to make a move.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing though.
If you have a great house in a great neighbourhood, and you’re able to get your act together quickly enough to list within that first week of December, then you’re likely going to be okay.
You might actually benefit from the fact that there won’t be many other listings to compete with, and you’ll appeal to those buyers who are seriously looking to lock down a purchase before the holiday season starts.
When To Wait
If it’s going to take a couple of weeks of prep time to get your home ready, then you need to consider putting off listing until the new year.
Or if you’ve got the kind of property that might take a little longer to sell (it ain’t the purdiest house on the block, and/or it’s in a less-than-desirable neighbourhood), you might want to avoid sitting on the market during the holiday season. A house like this is going to look staler than last year’s fruit cake by the time mid-January rolls around (zing!).
Not everyone has the stress tolerance to wait though.
Going back to the example above, if the home you purchased is closing on February 1st, then waiting until the new year to list only allows you a couple of weeks to get yourself a firm sale (this is assuming that bridge financing is going to be an option). A tight deadline like this is too stressful for some sellers, and they decide to swallow the risks of listing in mid-December.
Either way, there are pros and cons to each option that a seller has to accept.
My advice is to work with a realtor who has guided clients through this process before. You need someone in your corner who has a handle on all the angles, especially at a time of year when there's so much else to stress about!
If you're thinking of selling your home, and you want an agent who knows when the best time to list is, feel free to contact me for more info.