Do home prices generally rise in the spring months?

Q. Do home prices generally rise in the spring months? If so, when is the best time to sell if you are not in a rush?

It is an ‘ole real estate tale to say that there are some months better to sell than others. Maybe there was a time when predictability ruled the market place but not anymore. I have looked at the stats for the last 5 years, the last 3 years and here are the market realities that effect home sales:

1.) Homes sell – when there are a lot of homes on the market (inventory high).
2.) Homes sell – when interest rates are low and more when rates are low AND inventory is high
3.) Homes sell – when government incentives create demand (tax incentives)

In regards to “seasonality” and prices, we are not seeing a trend consistent enough in this market to target a selling period. I would look at your specific neighborhood and run the numbers to see if I could find a trend but speaking generally about the San Jose area, it is not the time of the year but the market dynamics and inventory being sold that is driving average sales prices up or down.

More than the month, the drivers for best price are:
1.) Move in ready – no deferred maintenance and no big ticket repairs
2.) School districts – not only for family demand but for re-sale
3.) Consistency in the neighborhood – pride of ownership throughout the area

Bonus points for:
1.) Updated baths and kitchens
2.) Hardwood floors
3.) Copper plumbing and dual paned windows
4.) Open Floor plan
5.) Shortest commute to tech hub
6.) Convenience to shopping, parks,…coffee

Usually, holidays are a slow time simply because only those who have to sell will interrupt family time for showings. However, this season could go either way. Inventory is climbing, and interest rates are low. On the other hand, the global economy is in “sky is falling” mode, loan limits have taken out 6-14% of the Silicon Valley buying pool (depending on who you talk to), and many believe we may see a third dip.

In my humble opinion, we have only certain things within our control. How the home presents, how the home is priced, and how the home is marketed.

Got a real estate question? Talk to CJ!

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