Realty Bites: Best Time to Put Your Property on The Market

I think all of us here in Montreal can agree, especially this year, that the months of January and February are brutally cold. Although it may not seem like a convenient time to put your property on the market, it absolutely is! Here are four reasons you should consider getting your real estate ball rolling during the most frigid season of the year.

1. Serious buyers.
Believe it or not, there are buyers out there who are not serious. I like to call them looky-loos. For such people, visiting homes is more recreational than anything. It is much easier and effortless for them to interrupt their Sunday walk and pop into an open house when it’s sunny out. We’ve all done it, right? …or at least our parents have? Now, imagine doing that in the winter for a second. Not as pleasant, that’s for sure!

The potential homebuyers who take the time to view homes when the climate is near artic are usually serious shoppers. They are ready to face the bloody cold, get into a sub-zero car, get out of it, walk into a home, remove the million layers of clothes and the heavy boots they are wearing, visit the property, put the layers and boots back on, head outside, start the car, warm it up and move on to the next property – only to start that annoying routine all over again. Wouldn’t it be more simple and hassle free to stay home and avoid such winter fuss? The answer is yes, thus the reason I call these buyers “serious.”

There may be fewer people viewing your property, but at least they are motivated and probably looking to buy sooner than later so they can move in the spring or on Quebec’s famous Moving Day.

 

2. Limited competition.
Selling real estate is not like dating; as a seller, you most certainly don’t want there to be a million fish in the sea. No one wants their property to be amongst a million others when it goes up for sale. Basically, that would mean a price war. Supply would be higher and ultimately a potential buyer would select the property listed at the lowest price. The ideal is for buyers to come across your home because it’s unique and one of the few on the market that meets their criteria to the T.

Typically, homeowners take their homes off the market before the holiday season or wait until spring to list them. This eliminates a lot of competition and limits the listings those prospective “serious” buyers have to choose from. Less competition may mean your place will sell for more money in a shorter amount of time. In turn, as an accomplished seller, becoming a buyer will be fun: you’ll have more dollars, more time and more options and less pressure when hunting for your next place.

3. Time is on your side.
As described above, listing early means that you can quickly become an accomplished seller and, by consequence, a better equipped buyer. A big chunk of uncertainty will be gone and the professionals involved in your next real estate transaction will be fully devoted to you.

Your real estate broker will be super motivated to get the show on the road. What better way for your realtor to start the year with some fresh and new listings?

Your mortgage professional will have more time to study your financial situation, give you your mortgage options and look to guarantee you the best rate. The Quebec market is particular in that most lenders will start offering rate guarantees in February up to July in order to deal with the “Quebec Moving Day” phenomenon. So locking in early protects you against any unforeseen rate hikes.

Your selection of qualified home inspectors and notaries will not be as limited. You won’t be knocking at their door at the eleventh hour and will therefore have some say as to the price and availability. Believe me: notaries are scarcely available on June 30th!

4. It’s a question of timing!
Who wants to deal with a big move when everyone else is? As mentioned earlier, most Quebecers move on July 1st, our province’s official Moving Day. Can you imagine the headache that comes with finding a moving company that won’t charge you an arm and a leg on that very day? By listing your property early on in the year, you’ll get a head start and hopefully will have sold, signed off and delivered your home to its new owners before or in the spring. Your July 1st will be celebrated as it should be… with a Molson in one hand and a Canadian flag in the other! 

For more information about real estate and about listing your property, contact me at kdoche@sothebysrealty.ca.

For mortgage information, contact Dimitri Rougas at dimitri.rougas@td.com.