When Is the Right Time to List Your Home?
If you have a PCS move coming, you have a lot of decisions to make. Do you sell your home or rent it? What happens if you list now and sell early? What if you wait and don’t sell or rent the property until after you’ve already moved? Where do you begin?
Military relocation is saddled with a lot of details already. Add selling a home to your list, and the to-do list can seem overwhelming. There are a few things to keep in mind that will help ease the process of finding the ideal timing for listing your home.
Photo from iStock.com/Feverpitched
1) Research the market.
Understanding your housing market will help you have the right expectations for your home sale.
Know your competition.
Research comparable listings in your area. A real estate agent will already have this information, but if you choose a For Sale By Owner (FSBO), you’ll need to budget time to investigate.
Find out other homes' features, the listing price, and how long other properties sat on the market before they sold. The facts serve as a reality check to ensure you list your home at an appropriate asking price.
If you choose the FSBO route, allow yourself time to understand the process. Start with these resources:
Look at statistics.
Dig deep into the latest real estate trends near your property. Specifically, find the median price of homes and the amount of time similar homes in your area spent on the market. For example, in 2023, the median price of a home in San Diego, California, was $930,000, and homes sold in 13 days.
On the other hand, the median price of a home near Jacksonville, North Carolina, was $212,000 and sold after just nine days. Clearly, these numbers fluctuate by location, so it’s crucial to know what to expect in your area.
From this information, you can assume how long your property will sit before you find a buyer, which can help you decide how early to list your home prior to your expected move date.
Photo from iStock.com/AndreyPopov
2) Understand how home buyers house hunt.
Technology is continually advancing, changing how home buyers search for properties. The National Association of Realtors released their latest report on Real Estate in the Digital Age. It reveals helpful statistics about the average home buyer.
Here are a few takeaways:
- Most home buyers searched for eight weeks and viewed nine homes. Five of those were viewed only online.
- 97% of home buyers searched online for property.
- 76% of home buyers found their home on a mobile device.
- 41% of home buyers watched online property videos.
This data conveys the importance of the online marketing in today’s housing market. It affects how home buyers house hunt and the time it takes to sell a home. Since most buyers find their homes online, you’ll likely sell or rent faster when you invest time into an online and mobile-friendly listing, like the ones we offer here on MilitaryByOwner.
3) Know how to list your property.
The listing is your home's first impression, so make sure it includes great details and is placed strategically for maximum traffic.
Create a listing.
When you create a listing for your home, include features that stand out against your competition, like kitchen updates, large lot size, or smart home features. You’ll also want to mention the property’s location.
Boost the chances of selling or renting your home faster by highlighting nearby schools, thriving businesses, churches, and libraries in your listing. Finally, write a thorough description and include excellent-quality photos. It's important to remember that images are crucial for most home buyers during their searches.
Need help? Here’s how to How to Create an Unforgettable Home Listing.
Advertise your home.
You’ll also want to invest in an online advertisement. MilitaryByOwner’s focus on military installations and surrounding locations plus an easy-to-use website and mobile app combine to create a great resource to reach the military home buying and renting community.
The Home Tour Plus package is the best value for your money. Yet, when you take into account your current needs and location, you might discover that one of MilitaryByOwner's alternative advertisement packages works best for you. Click the image below to learn more.
4) The best time is now.
The best answer to the “When is the best time to list my home for sale?” question is now. With PCS orders in hand, you’re likely left with a few short months to sell or rent your home.
If you sell the house before you're ready to move, you can either negotiate to stay longer or sublease from someone until you're ready.
If your PCS schedule is flexible, spring is typically the best time of the year to list your home because it's the same time that other military families receive their orders to PCS. During these months, you’ll find an eager buying pool ready to negotiate and get to closing or contract signing day ASAP.
However, the best time to list is when you need to move! The military doesn’t wait for the real estate market to adjust in your favor. As soon as orders arrive, familiarize yourself with the housing market to maximize your for sale or rent listing. Then, determine how your property compares to the competition and submit your expertly written advertisement online for home buyers to see and investigate.
Main image from iStock.com/rickmartinez.
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