Listing in July or August - Good or Bad?

When it comes to selling your home, timing can be crucial. We’re not talking about split second micro-measurements like in the stock market, for example, where even a few minutes can make or break fortunes. But rather, when we consider the historical statistical results along with the actual activity we’ve personally experienced day in and day out for almost 2 decades, there are some patterns that seem to be repeated time and time again, that can impact the level of success you achieve in your sale. 

While some consider the summer months a prime time to sell, there are several compelling reasons why listing your home for sale in July and August may not be the wisest choice. Much of this can be summed up in just two words: 

“School’s Out!” 

Many people, which of course includes potential home buyers, turn their attention to enjoying recreation, leisure, and travel with friends and family during this time. In fact, it’s generally accepted that the last week of July and first week of August are among the busiest vacation weeks of the year, with only March Break and the couple of weeks around Christmas coming anywhere close in popularity. 

Consequently, listing your property in July and August may result in reduced buyer interest and less effective exposure in the market. With fewer potential buyers actively searching for homes, the competition between you and other sellers intensifies, making it harder (and likely more costly) to attract qualified buyers and successfully negotiate an offer. 

But there are other practical considerations that come into play and make the sale of your home more challenging. Potential buyers may be away on holiday which limits their availability for property viewings and negotiations. So while they may be genuinely interested in your home it’s hard to postpone, delay, or otherwise change summer vacation plans regardless of how great your home is. 

As a seller, it’s actually a good thing when you’re on vacation and away from the house as it’s much easier for potential buyers to schedule showings. However this benefit is usually offset by the inconvenience of trying to schedule showings just before or after your vacation. In the days leading up to your departure the packing and organizing tends to detract from the “show- readiness” condition of your home. The same goes for the few days after returning as piles of laundry are at various stages of progress and suitcases and other vacation equipment has yet to be put back where it goes. 

There is also the ongoing daily challenge of keeping the kids entertained during these months, especially since not all kids are in some sort of organized camp/program away from the home during the day. 

For potential buyers this presents a couple of challenges: their kids accompany them to a showing on your home, meaning their attention will not likely be completely on your home, or they have to arrange for a babysitter for when they are viewing your home. Either makes booking a showing on your home less than desirable. And as a seller, you’d prefer potential buyers are not distracted and are free to completely absorb how awesome your home is. 

Similarly, with kids around all day during the summer, you might find it extra challenging to keep your home in a state of cleanliness that helps showcase how wonderful your home is. Also, studies suggest that potential buyers are more comfortable, spend more time, and develop more interest, in homes where the seller is not home during their viewing. Accordingly then, while it is beneficial for you to leave your home for showings, you not only have to get yourself out of the home but you also have to herd the kids away too. 

Also somewhat counterintuitively the weather can actually work against you as a seller during the summer. Southern Ontario generally experiences relatively hot, humid summers, which may not be ideal for showcasing your home's best features. These high temperatures and humidity, along with frequent heavy thunderstorms, can deter potential buyers from spending time outdoors, which is less than ideal since you typically want them to get a really warm feeling about how your home’s great outdoor spaces can provide them with years of summer fun. Additionally, the lush foliage and blooming gardens common in East Gwillimbury during other seasons may not be as vibrant during the summer months, potentially diminishing the visual appeal of your home and surrounding neighbourhood. 

Now of course maybe much of the above does not matter to you, or there may be other more dominant factors that may make it necessary for you to choose to list in July or August. 

To be clear: that’s not wrong! 

Despite the headlines regarding the market in general, EG real estate continues to be a relatively healthy, in-demand, and increasingly active market. So if you choose to list your home for sale during the next couple of months, you’ll likely still achieve a successful outcome. 

However if you can delay putting your home on the market until the fall, you’ll no doubt reap the rewards of your patience. Either way, you now hopefully have a little more information on which to base your decision.