Hi Folks,

James Shannon with the Zimmerman Property Group, here to discuss when the best time to sell your home in the Chicago market. Whilst this is general advice in nature, I have not taken consideration for individual circumstances.  I will highlight a few key thoughts that may influence your decision to sell your home.

Chicago has notable seasonal fluctuations there is considerable demand around the warmer months with spring and summer months being consistently popular for property sales and leasing transactions.

Time to Sell

When is the best time to sell your home?

 

Spring

The anticipation that can be felt around the spring selling season in Chicago is unlike other cities in the US, with the city resembling an ant mound once the warm weather improves.  The spring market historically begins after the Super Bowl. There are few places around the world that come alive like Chicago. Patios are full, boats are on the lake again, the bike paths and sidewalks are brimming with people, farmers markets are back out and everyone is ready to find a new home before the next arctic blast. Most people believe that spring is the best time to sell as the weather is better, there is more energy in the market and better showing conditions, sellers aim to get their house on the market prior to the inventory peak, usually at the end of summer.

The Chicago spring market is traditionally the busy season for sellers, as the buyer pool is larger, this allows seller to be flexible with offer selections.  This also leaves some runway for changing selling tactics should the market fluctuate. Spring time allows for nature to assist in the sale process with landscaping and outdoor spaces contributing to the buyer experience.

Some things to consider around a larger buyer pool, means your house will need to stand out from the competition.  This allows buyers the ability to be strategic with opportunities, and presenting offers. This period however still allows the greatest time before the next winter to sell a property.

Summer

Those purchasers that waited out the hustle of the spring selling season will likely be eager to make a purchase during the summer selling period.  Coincidently, this is one of the best times to get photography taken as it highlights the outdoor spaces in full colour.

The buyer pool can be strong at the beginning of summer, you have people moving before schools go back, so they are motivated to get settled prior to the school year commencing, and the renters with leases expiring are motivated, they either need to find a new place and are potentially first time buyers.

With summer in full swing, a negative is that not only are you competing against the larger buyer pools, but you have an abundant number of summer activities which you are competing against across the Chicago entertainment calendar, from street festivals, sporting events, school holidays and family trips, this puts added pressure on the property transaction process.

Fall

The fall market approaches with a slight temperature drop, but you will start to notice the fantastic array of colours the city has to offer, fall still has an abundance of people still trying to relocate prior to the winters first snowfall.  You also get the benefits of the people that were away and maximising their vacation time during the warmer months now looking to lock down a property prior to winter. This adds emphasis for a prompt sale process, if the property is priced correctly and presents well it will likely transact quickly.

On the downside the change in season will have little benefit for your curb appeal, at this time as the landscaping and vegetation is no doubt setting itself up for the winter ahead..  There is also the reduced appetite from buyers who may be experiencing a house hunting hangover, following an aggressive spring and summer selling season.

Winter

Lower inventory in the market, provides opportunities for sellers as there will be less competition in the market.  This can lead to an exclusive buyer pool, with a strategic marketing and sale process this can represent opportunities for sellers to achieve a premium.  If you have photos from the summer/spring this contrast may be an added benefit during the marketing phase.

Winter represents a significant hurdle for selling property, for instance extra shovelling of snow to maintain your curb appeal, lack of engagement from showing off the reduced outdoor space. Winter photos might not demonstrate the best features of the property and the holiday periods can be time consuming.

 

Overall it depends on the individual circumstances, however there are a few key ideas to consider when selling your property.

  • List your property in isolation, as oppose to a competitive market in order to get more attention.  If you can avoid competing with the rest of the market you should achieve a more robust sale price.
  • Interest rate environment – borrows indicate that a 1% increase in the interest rate environment, can have up to a negative $50,000 impact to the purchasing price ability.
  • Marketing plan and strategy can have a huge implication on the price achieved, if you don’t create a competitive environment, the property can sit longer on the market, this loss of appeal, creates a stigma that there is something wrong with the house.
  • Pre listing marketing campaigns – allows a broker to promote your property to their unique buyer pool, prior to broadcasting it to the wider market, many brokers have specific purchasers that are pre-qualified and ready to pay market prices, in order to reduce the time wasted in running around looking at multiple properties that don’t meet their needs.
  • Time in the market – it’s not necessarily how long you have had your property listed on the market, it’s how long the buyer has been in the market, if the realtor is a bad negotiator, they may not recognise the buyer motivation levels.

 

Ultimately it’s the price expectation that is key in the sale process and will see the property sold no matter the season.

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