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Like many industries, real estate has good and bad seasons. While the economy influences a “buyer’s” or “seller’s” market, New York City often has its rules; that affect the best time to put your apartment on the market when it’s most likely to sell. Keeping your residence on the market for too long can harm the sale and affect the final sales price. Evaluating conditions and time of year before listing your home helps sell your home and a better price.
The Impact of SeasonalityThe Impact of Seasonality
New York City’s real estate and housing industry has its time of peaks and troughs, just like any cycle. Supply and demand will determine when and how frequently the period has an upward or downward swing. There is no perfect timing for those looking to buy; there are better seasons to buy and better seasons when selling.
High SeasonHigh Season
Between early spring and the beginning of fall generally see increased inventory and active buyers. With warmer weather, more extended daylight hours, and families with children wanting to move in before the next school year, these months are filled with many listings and open houses.
August is the only exception. Because of the extreme heat of the summer, New Yorkers often leave the city to vacation elsewhere. Due to the increased volume, buyers expect to pay more this season.
Low SeasonLow Season
The low season, also known as blackout time, typically falls during extreme weather and near holidays because of decreased buyer traffic and available inventory. There is, however, a positive change during these slower months. Due to reduced traffic, potential buyers may not have to fend off competitive buyers with bidding wars. As a result, the slow season can often present the opportunity of submitting a lowball offer.
The Worst Times To SellThe Worst Times To Sell
If you’re excited about selling your apartment, you don’t want to harm your momentum by listing it at the wrong time. When property listings are on the market for too long, they experience multiple price drops, become stale, and signal buyers that they may accept a lower offer. Consider these four factors before deciding to list your home for sale.
When you have competition in your buildingWhen you have competition in your building
Some experts might disagree and say that a comparable listing in your building doesn’t necessarily lower your chance of selling quickly and at your asking price. If your apartment is in better condition, has a better view, or is fully renovated, your listing price will also reflect this. A potential buyer will look at your apartment and your neighbor’s. Know that their budget and taste control the decision on which unit they’ll purchase if they purchase. It could come down to details; the paint colors, flooring condition, the brand of appliances, or which apartment is better overall. Any way you look, another unit for sale in the same line on a similar floor is competition, so your apartment might take longer to sell.
The Winter Holiday Season The Winter Holiday Season
Most potential buyers take the holiday season off from apartment hunting. The idea of moving during the busy holiday season turns many people off, and they decide to wait until the new year. Homebuyers stay active during the holiday season, just like the rest of us. With seasonal activities such as shopping, cooking, wrapping, spending time with family, and traveling, real estate is usually the final thought. We’re too busy getting lost in the magic of the lights and window decorations.
As a seller, you may also hate listing your apartment around the holidays unless you have to because this means no trees, stockings, or holiday lights, as you don’t want to deter potential buyers.
There is no need to move unless we choose; e.g., our landlord has raised the rent, and it’s cheaper to buy. The New Year is usually more appropriate for a new start, including shopping for a New York City co-op or condo.
The End Of Summer Into Early SeptemberThe End Of Summer Into Early September
If you plan to list your apartment, the end of summer into early September is not ideal, as most potential buyers are taking their final vacations and preparing for children to return to school. In New York City, elementary and middle school children are zoned for public schools, so most parents want to settle and enroll before August. An August or early September move date would disrupt a child’s education.
When There Is Construction In Your Building When There Is Construction In Your Building
Buyers don’t like the idea of loud noises and dust hindering a peaceful move. Your building might be under repair or construction if you live in New York City. However, some projects are worst than others and can deter buyers. For example, every building must comply with Local Law 11 to repair the building’s facade every five years. If your apartment has a beautiful balcony, it might be rendered unusable during this repair; for buyers, being unable to see the balcony could be a turn-off and stop them from making an offer. The same can be said for repairs to a hallway outside your apartment or any mandated internal construction, such as pipe replacement.
When Your Building Has Too Many Estate Sales When Your Building Has Too Many Estate Sales
Competition from an estate sale can affect the sale price of your unit. Some New Yorkers buy their apartment and live there for the rest of their lives. Sometimes, family members will try to sell the property upon their death quickly, regardless of price and home condition.
If you live in a co-op, around the time of your annual shareholder’s meeting, you’ll be able to see the past listing and sales prices for units similar to yours. If you see apartments with the same layout as yours, selling for far less than you expected to sell yours, wait before listing your apartment. Should the properties not be renovated, and yours is, you shouldn’t need to worry. That said, you don’t want your neighbor’s low sale price to affect the value of your apartment.
The Best Times To SellThe Best Times To Sell
If you want to sell your apartment quickly, you’ll want to list your home at the right time. Weather and similar apartments in your neighborhood selling for a high price will help you sell well.
Early SpringEarly Spring
People are excited to get out and explore when spring hits New York City. It includes seeing new apartments. Few people want to trek through the snow to open houses, so the warm weather creates an energetic buying environment. However, you’ll want to be one of the first people to list your apartment in the Spring overload. So it’s a good idea to start prepping your home in January and February for professional photos. Then, you’ll want your agent to post your listing in March.
A March listing gives your home about two months on the Spring market. May is an active month for homebuyers, as an early summer close date also offers buyers with young children time before school enrollment.
When Other Units Apartments in Building Selling WellWhen Other Units Apartments in Building Selling Well
Consider moving up your selling timeline if you’re considering moving in the next couple of years, but units in your building or zip code are selling well. Whether adding the Q train on the Upper East Side, a new private school, or an updated park, take advantage before the market turns if people are excited about your neighborhood and willing to pay the high price for it.
Record sales prices might motivate you to list your apartment. If you own a one-bedroom apartment with the same square footage and amenities in your zip code sold for a record price, that comp should be considered when you price your home. However, like apartments, your residence will need to appraise the contract price to close, especially if you entertain a mortgage contingency.
After You Have Lived There for At Least Two YearsAfter You Have Lived There for At Least Two Years
Unless you must move, it is recommended not to sell your property for at least two years. You wouldn’t have gained much value or paid off much of your mortgage; potential buyers may wonder if something is wrong with the apartment. Unless you renovated the apartment intending to flip it, hold on to the apartment for at least two years before listing. Unless the market has seen substantial gains, selling within two years likely means losing due to closing costs when buying and selling.
Your neighborhood is booming.Your neighborhood is booming.
There’s always the next “hot” neighborhood in New York, but if you happen to live in the new “it” spot where everyone else wants to live, you might consider selling. Usually, you’ll know this because of the trendy shops, restaurants, and cafes that have recently opened, not to mention new residents who might have moved in over the past year or two.
If you’ve dreamt of owning a country house, now might be the time to cash in on your NYC apartment to make another real estate dream a reality.
Final ThoughtsFinal Thoughts
While each year can have ups and downs, New York’s real estate industry is forever expanding. With a growing economy, diversified job opportunities, and low-interest rates, New York City; will continue to be one of the world’s most sought-after places to live.