While “How Much is my Home Worth?” may be the #1 most asked question by home sellers “When is the Best Time to Sell a Home in Berks County?” is a close second. This article will focus on the latter.
Berks County is a very traditional community located in the northeastern part of the country. These two factors have greatly influenced our home buying habits for many decades. Our warm summers and cold winters create seasonal challenges. Many choose not to brave the elements to see a home and move during the winter months.
There is also a practicality that has a profound influence in Berks County and all over the nation. Many families with school age children choose not to move during the school year which is customarily from late August through early June. This leads to many listing their home for sale between March and August.
My experiences of the last three years have been that June & July are when home lookers turn into pending deals. This leads to August being a big settlement month. This tells me that the practical buyer market is stronger for two reasons. There is more home inventory during this time and it is more prudent to move when children and school teachers, which Berks County is rich in, are on vacation.
What you learn from living in Berks County is that habits do not change easily. Traditionally many do not list or remove their home from the market from October through February. Are they missing a good portion of the market? Maybe.
October through January are quality months for several reasons. The inventory is lower so there is less competition between homes, the end of the fiscal year tends to bring relocation business, many desire to be in a home prior to the holidays creating demand and, the biggest of all, the internet makes it so we do not have to go outside to shop for homes.
Our Berks County habits are changing. The internet has dramatically changed commerce and blurred the lines between home buying and selling seasons. When it is cold or damp outside my website views rise. Buyers tend to limit the homes they desire to see to their favorites when it is 20 degrees out. I have often said that when someone wants to see your home 2 days before Christmas they are serious.
There are other factors that account for when a home should be marketed. Some homes simply look better in the spring than they do in the winter. This may be true if you live on a private wooded lot that is not so private when the leaves are down. There are others that look better in the fall due to the colorful foliage. Is it wise to market a home with a steep driveway in the winter? Good question. I have had people not buy a home because the driveway was steep and they worried about it being icy in winter. It may have been better to show the home in winter with a clean driveway to remove the speculation.
The matter of fact is that every home and homeowner in Berks is uniquely different. The best time to sell a home in Berks County is when you are ready to do so. Arm yourself with a good real estate agent, marketing plan and price strategy and the job will get done. This is more important than any month of the year.
Now if we can just get the internet to move all your stuff to the new house we would really have something.
Jeffrey C. Hogue
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