When are the Best Times to Buy and Sell a Home in Madison?

Posted by Dan Miller, REALTOR on Sunday, November 8th, 2015 at 6:41am.

When is the best time to buy a home in Madison? Contrary to conventional wisdom, right now is actually an excellent time to buy a home in our market. To be a little more specific, November, December and the first half of January offer a nice window of opportunity for local home buyers. The graph below, which shows the number of Madison accepted offers by month, shows why. 

The Best Times to Buy a Home in Madison

best time of year to buy a home

November, December and January are the 3 slowest months in the Madison real estate market. During these 3 months fewer showings are scheduled, fewer offers are written, and fewer offers are accepted compared to any other month in the calendar year. Buyers have much less competition from other buyers during the cold weather months, which means fewer competing offers and fewer bidding wars for desirable properties. 

The mindset of many sellers also changes significantly this time of year. For many sellers this is a time of anxiety. Suddenly, many become truly motivated as they contemplate the odds of selling their home during the holiday season. This leads to price reductions and more flexibility during negotiations

Some will argue there are more listings to choose from in the Spring and Summer months. This is true, but there also more than twice as many buyers to contend with. Ask anyone who began their Madison home search this past Spring. They're bound to have stories of frenzied open houses, crazy bidding wars, and homes selling for way above the list. 

If you're looking to get a good price, the Late Fall and early Winter are great times to buy a home in our market. (In fact we're seeing many price reductions taking place right now). If you wait until Spring to buy your home, count on much more competition and a higher market price.

The Best Time to Sell a Home in Madison

 best time to list a home in Madison

The best time to sell a home in Madison is right around the corner. The months of February and March offer a great window of opportunity for sellers in our market. Buyer activity increases significantly during these months, and competition from other listings is low.  

Although now is not the best time to put your home up for sale, it is the perfect time to prepare for a successful listing. Below are seven steps you can take right now to prepare for a successful sale. 

7 Steps to Prepare for a Successful Listing

Work on these 7 steps right now, and you'll be rewarded with a killer listing when it's time sell in early 2016. 

  1. Interview REALTORs and hire the agent who's the best fit for you. 
  2. Obtain a professional market analysis and get an accurate assessment of your home's value in the open market. 
  3. On a nice sunny day, take photos of your yard and featured exterior spaces while the fall colors are still with us. Better yet, ask your listing agent to hire a professional photographer to take the exterior shots for you. These pictures will come in handy when it's time to list. 
  4. Consult with a professional home stager
  5. Implement the cosmetic changes recommended by your stager, and carry out your staging plan to completion. 
  6. Once your staging plan is complete, ask your REALTOR to coordinate your professional photo and video shoot. 
  7. Document all of the upgrades you've made to your home during your time of ownership. Include approximates dates, approximate costs, and professional contractors used. Your listing agent will incorporate your documentation into your marketing materials. 

For more information, check out our blog post on selling the many benefits of your home. This article offers some great examples of how you and your listing agent can work together to create a killer listing. Then call me at 608-852-7071 to arrange for a no obligation consultation. I'll be happy to meet with you, learn more about your goals, and outline an action plan that will help you prepare for a successful sale. 

This article is published courtesy of:
Dan Miller, REALTOR
Mad City Dream Homes & RE/MAX Preferred
610 Junction Road #205, Madison, WI, 53717

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