It is commonly regarded that the best time to list a home for sale is in the spring since that is when most homes sell. While that is great advice for a homeowner living in a place where winter significantly slows the housing market (like the upper Midwest and parts of the Northeast), Charlotte’s mild (for the most part) climate means that home sales can and do occur all year long. So why would a homeowner consider selling a home in the fall instead of waiting until spring?
More Sales Occur in the Fall
In the last four months of 2013 (September through December), 9,910 homes closed in all of the Charlotte MLS. Compare that with the first four months of the same year with only 8,341 sales. Compare almost any first third of any year to the last third of the same year and you’ll inevitably get the same result. The fall is a popular time for Buyers to close so that they can claim tax deductions from the closing on their new home on the current year’s taxes. Also, many companies start paying bonuses in the fall and winter, and that’s money that buyers will use to purchase their new home.
Buyers Coming Off Leases and Relocating
In 2013, the Charlotte Observer reported that the Census Bureau found that 72 people a day are moving into Mecklenburg county alone. That’s more than what Time Warner Cable Arena can hold for a Charlotte Hornets basketball game, and many of those 26,280 new residents found homes in temporary rental properties. The fact remains that rental rates exploded over the last few years as the population grew and new complexes were built to accommodate the new residents. Large hedge funds and other investors continue to purchase homes to rent throughout the Charlotte area as the demand for rental properties remain strong. With so many prospective home buyers renting, their leases will, one day, come to an end.
After September, the number of homes for sale in inventory in the Charlotte area drops dramatically as homeowners start to withdraw their homes from the market, figuring that no one is interesting in purchasing and preparing the for upcoming holidays. In the spring, homeowners face competition from other owners as well as new home builders, which routinely build in the fall to deliver new spec homes in the spring. As a result, the home buyers mentioned above have fewer homes to choose from in the fall, which is a great thing for a motivated homeowner. Fewer homes on the market can often equate to a better selling price, which may mean a higher value.