The Timing of Real Estate: Why Summer is Best for Buyers and Fall is Best for Sellers

July 19, 2011



The real estate market is seasonal. The time of year makes a big difference for buyers and for sellers. In Chicagoland, the spring and summer are the busiest times for home buying and selling. In fact, the volume of home sales has been highest in June, July or August every year since 2000.

For Chicago neighborhoods like the Fulton River District and Wicker Park the timing trend holds true and summer is the best time for real estate transfers.


The Best Time to Buy

The best time of year for buyers is July and August, and December and January. Home prices usually retract during these months, which is good news for buyers. There are fewer other buyers to compete with because they have bought earlier, people are going on summer trips, or have committed themselves to some family time with holidays.

Real estate pricing follows mini cycles within the larger seasons. In March and September, prices tend to go up in anticipation of these prime selling seasons. Waiting a few weeks to buy can save you tens of thousands of dollars on the final sale price.


The Best Time to Sell

On the other hand, the best time to sell your property is the opposite of the best time for buyers. Late spring and summer are the best times to market your home because of the timing of buyer demand. It’s easier to tour homes when the sun is shining and the kids are out of school than when the snow is falling and schedules are booked up. Families with children are most actively looking at homes in the late spring and summer so they won’t have to uproot the kids in the middle of the school year and can use the summer to get used to the new neighborhood.


Life happens though and sometimes we can’t list our house at the perfect time. If you have to sell at an off time of year, you can still take advantage of the season. Maximize curb appeal by keeping the walk and driveway clear of snow and slush, or play up holiday decorations to highlight the best features of your home. On the plus side, there will be less competition during these off times. Buyers can also move very fast at this time and ask for a quick closing.


Knowing the details on your local market is the best way to gauge the right time to buy or sell. National trends have little bearing on what’s going on in your town or neighborhood. Be hyper-local and look at sales trends, including timing and prices, in your community, street and even your building.

Of course, price is the ultimate decider in real estate. Knowing the ins and outs of the real estate season can garner you the optimal price.

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About century21affiliatedchicago

Century 21 Affiliated-Chicago (“C21AC”) is a full service real estate brokerage firm located in Chicago with a focus on residential and commercial properties. Our agent base and management team includes a wide range of specialties serving customer needs across the ever changing real estate landscape, with expertise in many niches, including REO transactions, investment sales, bulk purchasers and sellers, commercial product and traditional residential transactions. C21AC is part of Century 21 Affiliated (“Affiliated”), a top 5 franchisee in the Century 21 system with over 30 locations across the Midwest and over 32 years of history. C21AC entered the Chicago market in February 2011 to re-launch the Century 21 brand in the downtown area and to bring a proven operating platform to the large and fragmented Chicago real estate market. At Century 21 Affiliated, the customer comes first. Our complete commitment to delivering top-notch customer service to our clients is what distinguishes us from our competitors and makes us such a powerful force in the real estate industry. Specialties Residential Sales, Commercial Sales, Short Sales, Bulk Sales, REO's, Leasing, Business Services

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