Should you sell your property in spring, summer, autumn or winter, and does it even matter? While your course of action should mainly depend on your personal or business circumstances (When do you need to sell? Can you afford to wait for months?), there are some practical and aesthetic aspects of the real estate market that you should take notice of.
If your property is located in a climate that suffers from harsh winters, offering it to the potential buyers in the middle of winter could reduce its chances of selling. First of all, the buyers might be less keen to take a trip to your property in a weather that might get them stranded somewhere on the road. Secondly, does your property look its best in these weather conditions? A small cottage in the country might look charming covered in snow (so that’s a bonus), but a beach house will look better bathed in the sun.
The similar logic can be applied to summer as well – extreme heats can be off putting, and a dry landscape might detract from the attractiveness of the property. However, this might also feature some exceptions, just like in the winter example.
So, does this mean that spring and autumn are the ideal seasons for the real estate market? Some argue yes, but there is no definite proof to confirm this. Those in favour of sales in spring or autumn place value in moderate weather, green colours of the spring or colourful leaves of an autumn.
The problem arises if everyone starts thinking the same way. What if the market becomes swamped with sale offers at the same time? The strong competition will likely lower the prices. So, in the end, there is no magic recipe that will tell you just when to sell.
The best course of action would be to observe the community. In the small town centred on a university, the top time to sell could be a month before the first semester begins. A property set in a good location within a large city will probably have great prospects whole year round. In the end, the best thing you can do is: keep your eyes on the community and the market, and you won’t do wrong!
Even in the current market, where uncertainty prevails, buying a property and renting it out, over a period of 10 or more years, is most likely to guarantee you a good rate of return. While the rental income each year will likely more than cover your mortgage and some, new landlords often neglect a couple of critical aspects of property maintenance which mean that they will not recoup the profit they initially desired upon selling the house.
With this in mind, landlords should remember these three principles if they wish to effectively maintain and maximise the long term value of their property.
- Invest in maintenance, little and often. When landlords buy a new house in great condition, there seems little reason to invest in its maintenance. After all, the landlord is not living in the house and as long as the tenants are happy then that’s all that matters. If your investment plan is to sell after 10 years, and you invest in little maintenance during this period, this is when problems can arise. Small investments along the way are insignificant when compared against the long term cost of a full renovation, which may be required in order to achieve full market value upon sale.
- Perform background checks on any prospective tenants. When purchasing a new investment property, it may be tempting to move tenants in as quickly as possible. It is important, however, to perform the relevant credit and background checks before allowing prospective tenants to move in. This avoids not only the issue of unpaid rent, but also avoids a situation of renting to tenants who have a track record of not treating properties with care.
- Communicate. Whether it’s with your property manager or tenant, we can’t stress enough the value of effective communication. Setting your standards early is important. If there is an issue, become a landlord with a reputation for quickly resolving any problems. By establishing this kind of relationship with you property manager and tenants, there is more chance that they will treat you, and your property, with the respect that is deserved, ultimately protecting the long term value of your property.