16 Jan 2019
When to Sell Your Home in 2019

When To Sell Your Home In 2019, Part 1

Posted by Andrew Dybenko

In a strong Sellers market, when you sell your home can matter, but typically if the market is continuing to improve, the longer you hold your investment the better. In quickly appreciating markets, selling your home in October instead of January (of the same year) will prove beneficial as you’ll see an extra 9 months worth of appreciation. For example, in 2016, Toronto Real Estate Boards HPI (Home Price Index) increased 19% from January to October. Those choosing to sell early in the year vs later may have missed out on some large gains. While the reverse was true in 2017. Sellers listing within the first 4 months of 2017 saw massive gains and avoided the impact of new regulations that were announced in April of that year. To help decide when to sell your home in 2019, I have identified the inventory cycles for the first half of the year and the pro and cons with listing in various months. For other tips on what to consider on choosing when to sell see this previous post.  

As of right now, we are not anticipating any new government announcements that could affect the market this year. However, the market will remain particularly sensitive to changes to interest rates and economic indicators. Putting a plan in place for when to sell your home in 2019 is a good idea, though being flexible and monitoring inventory for your housing type and neighbourhood should be the driving factor on when to list your home. Doing so will help you maximize your sale price and minimize the time it spends on the market.

When to Sell Your Home in 2019

January – February: Setting the Stage

January and February are months typical for low inventory. The market essentially reboots from zero after the holiday season and inventory is slow to build through January and into February. Seller’s that list at this time of year tend to set price expectations for the busier spring market.

5 Year Average Sales to New Listing Ratio (SNLR): January: 60%, February: 72%
5 Year Active Listings Average: January: 10,079, February: 11,295

Why Sell:

  • Buyers eager to make a purchase will be excited at the sight of any new inventory at this time of year and some Buyers end up paying more because of it.  
  • Buyers tend to overlook some of the details like landscaping and curb appeal.  So if your house doesn’t shine in those categories, the winter months might make sense.  
  • Condo Sellers and Sellers targeting Buyers without kids should give particular attention to selling early in the New Year. These Buyers typically have no reason to delay the purchase until the spring as the school year will not influence their closing timing.
  • Think the market is likely to decline further in 2019? Listing early in the year will help you avoid those price drops.

Why Not:

  • If your house is an absolute show stopper that isn’t worried about the competition, listing when there are more Buyers searching makes sense.
  • Buyers are showing more and more patience these days and if the inventory isn’t there many will wait and see what the spring has to offer.
  • Do you still have to purchase? If you sell in Jan/Feb and will be looking to Buy something, you are likely to have limited homes to choose from until the busier spring market arrives.
  • If you believe prices in your neighbourhood and price point are going to grow in 2019, you would want to hold off on listing to avoid missing out on gains in later months.

March and April:  Sweet Spot

March is a far busier month for sales than February and the market is typically just shy of full steam in April. In slower markets where Buyers feel less urgency to purchase, avoid listing your home on a holiday weekend. Many Sellers will wait for warmer weather and less holiday interference (Easter, March Break) to list their property. Sellers should remember that not every Buyer has kids and Buyers who have home shopping as a priority will be out looking in these months. Both March and April have traditionally had high SNLR ratios, which signal strong demand for the level of inventory.

5 Year SNLR: March: 71%, April: 69%
Active Listings: March: 13,561, April: 15,997

Why Sell:  

  • March and April has proven to be a sweet spot where the market has yet to be flooded with listings and there are more serious Buyers ready to pull the trigger, unlike those just getting their feet wet at the start of the year. 
  • Avoid getting piled in with the masses that are putting the last minute updates on their home.  Often those that list too late in the spring are forced to relist again in the fall to attract their desired price.   
  • You will be listing at a time that has shown consistently good SNLRs which typically leads to a higher sales price. 
  • Mortgage providers typically put out their most competitive rates for the start of spring in time for Buyers to take advantage as Banks jockey for business.

Why Not:

  • May is typically your highest month for sales and prices, so if the year starts off strong and you want to be on the market when the most transactions are taking place, May is your month.  
  • Holidays like March Break and Easter can lead to surges in listings before or after theses weekends.

May and June: Going Going Gone

The market is at full steam in these busy spring months and traditionally this time of year sees the highest number of sales take place. However, you also have the highest number of listings in these months. It’s not uncommon for Buyers to have more listings to choose from after the May long weekend.  

5 Year SNLR:  May: 65.4%, June: 70%
Active Listings 5 year average: May: 18,318, June: 18,302  

Why Sell:

  • If the market is showing some positive momentum listing later in the spring will prove beneficial over early in the year.  
  • May traditionally has the highest average sale price for the year often followed by June or April.  May and June are also usually the months with highest sales.
  • Selling in May and June typically ensures a summer move which avoids interfering with the school year.  It also allows you to show off your gardens and outdoor space.

Why Not:

  • Too much competition. If inventory is going to build it’s likely to happen towards the end of the spring vs the beginning, which leads to more competition for Sellers and more choice for Buyers. Listing earlier can avoid this.  
  • Carrying your listing in the summer months as Buyers head on holidays can be discouraging and likely means you are not going to get the same price you would have in the spring. Be prepared to re-list in the fall if you are set on a particular price point.  

We will release part 2 of of When To Sell In Your Home 2019 later this year. Contact me Andrew@RelativeRealty.com to discuss when might be the best time to sell your home in 2019.