Spring may be the most active time in the real estate market, but is it the best? For Realtors it is! But is it the best time for buyers and sellers? Actually, not really.

Let’s look at what makes the market “good”. The busy spring and fall markets are driven by external factors like weather and the academic year. But if you want to be in the strongest position as a buyer or seller it’s important to understand how the market changes through the seasons.

  • Winter
    • For Buyers: Highest Days on Market during this season means most sellers have been waiting for longer than any other time in the year, and are more likely to negotiate a deal.
    • For Sellers: Lowest Inventory of the year. Fewer buyers out, but those who are shopping generally have a higher sense of urgency. Less competition gives you some leverage with buyers who need to buy during this season.
  • Spring
    • For Buyers: Rising inventory, but also more competing buyers are coming on the scene.
    • For Sellers: Houses are selling faster, but lots of new competition is coming on the market at the same time.
  • Summer and Fall
    • For Buyers: Lots to choose from but it seems like every time you find something you like, it’s already under contract. Bidding wars can force prices up.
    • For Sellers: Things are selling pretty quickly, but listing competition is about as high as it will ever be. If you don’t put your best foot forward in terms of price and presentation it will be hard to catch up later.

If there are no external pressures on you in terms of timing, the best time to shop for a house on Cape Cod is November through February. There may be lower inventory, but if you find THE house, at offer time you’re most likely to have the greatest leverage. As for sellers, the busiest month for accepted offers is May, BUT buyers are choosing seasoned listings, with an average DOM of 140 days. So, best to list around the first of the year to be closed before Memorial Day.

For a more personalized evaluation of the best timing for your particular Cape Cod home sale or purchase, click here to send us an email, or call us at 508-737-1248.

(Data from Cape Cod & Islands MLS 2016)