You've probably heard that Spring is the best time to list your Birmingham home for sale. Most of America shares this opinion and mostly it is true. An argument can be made that Fall & Winter are a great time to sell as well but that's for a different post... which can be found here if you're curious. As for Spring home selling, here are three reasons you may already be late to the party. Now don't let these completely deter you from selling your home this Spring. You can still make it happen if you make some time in your schedule to call your REALTOR® as soon as possible and get the ball rolling
FINDING AN AGENT. To start, you gotta find a great Birmingham area agent. This can involve a few phone calls, a few in person meetings and some time to make your decision. Spring is a busy selling season and Summer is even busier so some of the greatest agents in the area may even be unavailable if you wait too late. Not all agents accept an unlimited number of listings and they're smart if they don't. A good agent knows he or she cannot deliver top-notch service when the work load is too much. Best case scenario, you can probably get the finding an agent part out of the way in about a week. Whatever you do, don't discount the power of finding a great real estate agent who knows your home's market, is a nice fit for your family and has an excellent plan for getting your home sold. If you get this part wrong, you could end up with a home that never sells, a home that sells for too little or just a really bad experience. I have to say... I'm partial to yours truly of course so don't hesitate to call ;).
PREPARATION TIME. Don't underestimate the amount of time it can take preparing your home to be shown to potential buyers. So you already spent at least a week finding an agent you love but now he or she has probably walked through your home and left you with a list of minor (or not so minor) improvements to complete before your home goes on the market. This is usually the biggest time suck. Lots of times this includes packing items, painting, cleaning (at a whole new level), landscaping, staging, cleaning, carpet cleaning and so many other possibilities. If you work a 9-5 like most folks, plan on this taking at least a month and possibly six weeks.
BEAT THE COMPETITION. So based on the previous two items you need to start this process about six weeks prior to the day you want your home to hit the market. Lastly I'll emphasize the importance of getting your home out there on the first day of March for Spring selling. No later than that very first day! Even a bit earlier is not a bad idea. Unlike your process which has steps that must be taken in a specific order, when homebuyers decide this is the year they're going to buy a house they immediately start searching for homes online even though home buying may be months away. It can take them a couple months to get pre-approved for their mortgage, give notice to their landlord if they're renters and maybe collect their tax refund to help with down payment which often results in a Spring purchase time. But all the while they've been shopping online no doubt. You want your home to be one they see and really liked and can't wait tour. Another point about getting your home on the market by March 1st is you want to get the sale before summer if you can. Summer can be a home selling madhouse. In some Birmingham areas, there are even more homes on the market during Summer than during Spring. And so although there may be many homebuyers still looking during the Summer, the benefit is lost with the addition of lots more sellers as well. With lots of competition during Summer, some of the more desperate sellers may list low or reduce their price in order to get the deal done before the Winter and holidays. You don't want to have to compete with those guys. You also probably don't want to still have your home on the market come Fall and Winter so get it out there early and that way if it takes six months instead of three months, you're still done August.