Timing the Market

Timing the Market

This week, we had a conversation with a seller about the right time to sell.

It was a good question. He is someone in a fortunate position to own his home outright, so the carrying costs for hanging onto his house until a future point in time that might yield a higher price on the sale are low. So his debate is whether or not to list soon - in the fall market - or wait until spring.

Seeing as we are on the precipice of another season change, it’s the right time to ask…how do you decide if it’s the “right time” to jump?

We work with a hierarchical framework with our buyers and sellers - it’s a series of considerations and after walking through the following prompts, most clients know what’s best for them. We’re happy to share our guidance here:

  1. Is there a choice? For many clients, life circumstances have led them to consider a home sale or a home purchase. Whether it’s the anticipation of a new baby, a job change, or a new love…or harder milestones like the passing of a loved one, a divorce, or a desire to be near an ailing family member…if life has dealt you a hand of cards, sometimes you have no choice but to play. And for these clients, the decision is not whether or not to make the leap, but how do you optimize the present in buying or selling a home.


  2. What is your goal? We begin every engagement with this question. You might be surprised as to the variety of responses! We couldn’t fathom being the agents we are if we didn’t understand our clients’ “North Star” and adopt their dreams as our own. Some need to make a move quickly, others are waiting for “that perfect home”, and others still are designing their search in concert with multi-generational families so the objective is a community experience - not just one person’s vision. By clearly defining the goal, we can advise on the right path to achieve it.


  3. What’s happening in the market? There’s only so much we can control - how your home presents when you list it, the lender you choose and terms of your offer - and how the market is behaving is something we have little control over. Happily, we’ve thrived as agents in all kinds of markets (ahem, remember that Pandemic? Armageddon orange skies? We do!). Here are things to watch:

    • Understand that there is a natural seasonality to the calendar year, driven by hyperlocal school calendars, holidays, and vacation seasons. When you list does matter.

    • Know that interest rates of 7% are not forever…locking in a home and a mortgage now doesn’t mean you’re trapped. Most homeowners wait until the interest rates drop and then refinance. It’s a savvy approach for opening doors to the home you’ve always wanted.

    • A good Realtor will have one eye on regional economic trends, and also have one eye focused on the local up’s and down’s. There are week-to-week shifts that we are tracking, and we’ll guide a client based on both macro and micro events.


  4. What are the costs? There’s a cost and benefit to each decision. Sitting on the sidelines and waiting for a sign to buy or sell may mean that you’re choosing a less risky path, but the cost can be in the intangibles…the time spent in a home that doesn’t quite fit anymore, or holding on to a mortgage for several more months to chase a hypothetical bump in median prices. If you’re able to get clear on all the costs and benefits, the right path may reveal itself to you.


At the highest level, we encourage our clients to ask themselves the hard questions - what do you want in life? What do you want in a home? Think big, think ambitious, and don’t limit yourself unnecessarily. While life will naturally present its own limits (lack of inventory, the cost of borrowing money, etc.), don’t start your journey by imposing limits on yourself that may not exist otherwise.

If you want to talk through your own options, know that we are here for you. It’s ok to not have all the answers, our goal is to ask questions that bring the insight you seek. Call us when you’re ready.

Work With Us

You’ve got questions and we can’t wait to answer them.

Follow Us on Instagram