Updated: Jul 6, 2020
Home selling, more often than not, can be a very stressful process for many. After you have decided to sell your property, the stress usually starts off with these 2 questions. When is a good time to put my property on the market and how much time is needed to sell it off? There really aren’t any model answers for these golden questions as there are many factors affecting the answers.
First of all, let’s talk about the best time to put your property on the market. In our opinion, there is really NO best or opportune time to start marketing your property especially if your property is priced very attractively but there are certain months in a year when activities in the real estate industry drops. Usually from mid-November onward, we will start to see the trend of activities slowly edging down and this will continue all the way leading up to Chinese New Year. During this period when the festive and holiday period begins, we see sellers and buyers and even agents starting to travel for their well-deserved breaks and once they are back, they will start to prepare for school reopening and subsequently preparing for the Lunar New Year. There are still transactions happening but if you are someone who wishes to have a lightning sale, then probably it will be good to give this period a miss.
Transactions usually starts to peak starting from the second quarter of the year and the transactions will remain extremely healthy throughout the third quarter as well with the exception of one particular month and that is the Lunar Seventh Month also commonly known as the Hungry Ghost Festival. During this month, viewings will usually remain healthy but even if Chinese buyers are interested, they may hold back from giving you the cheque as many will avoid making house purchases during this period. However, over the years, we have seen different sets of thoughts from different buyers. Some will avoid making an offer altogether whilst some will say that it is ok to offer but they will want to exercise after the Hungry Ghost Festival. Add a couple of years, we start to hear that it is ok to offer and exercise during the lunar month but cannot complete the sale during the month. Turn the clock a bit more and buyers starts to say, everything is ok but just cannot renovate or move in during that month. The point is, as time goes by, more and more buyers are becoming more oblivious to this Hungry Ghosts Festival and transactions during the lunar month suffers only a slight dip. Nonetheless with all that is said, if we see a very attractively priced unit or a new project launch with very good per-square-foot pricing at any time in Singapore, then chances are, it will be snapped up.
There is really NO best or opportune time to start marketing your house....
Next, let’s look at the time needed to sell off the property. It is a norm nowadays that it takes up to 3 months to get a buyer to offer for the property and after that the legal process takes another 2-3 months based on a normal completion with no special terms. So, it will be good to start interviewing your property agents a month prior to all these. We also need to note that many factors can also affect this timeline ~ making it either shorter or longer. Often, we will see ads from property agents saying that the house is sold in a day or within a very short period of time and chances are, other than the good sales techniques, some factors of the house would have complemented this quick sale as well. One of the many factors will definitely be pricing. As mentioned earlier, if any property is attractively priced, then more often than not, it will be snapped up pretty fast.
In sales, all sellers want to sell high and all buyers want to buy low and this will not change for the many centuries ahead. But pricing it right is really important and it is always about price against value. If we are pricing our property much higher than our competitors, we will need our competitors to sell off their units first before it is our turn, granting the fact that the attributes of the competitors’ houses are similar to ours. This will increase the time needed. Seen advertisements where agents say, previous agents took X amount of years and months but the unit is still on the market but they only took such a short period? Chances are, the sellers themselves have gradually adjusted their prices down over the period of time and it has reached an acceptable level for the buyers.
In the event if we are doing the selling and buying concurrently, there are other points to consider into the timeline such as extension stay and stuff. If extension stay is needed then we can only sell our house to buyers who can accept our timeline as part of the terms and conditions for sale. Usually such cases, it might take a little longer but it will beneficial not to rush and be patient to wait for the buyer who can accede to our terms. The next factor will be the renovation state of the house. Strange as it may sound, but renovations really do affect. The reason being, if our house is renovated and well maintained, then the buyer will not need to do extensive renovations to the house and they may be more willing to grant the extension stay that we need. If the house requires an overhaul which usually takes 6-8 weeks minimum, then chances of the buyers granting the extension will be low and that will also mean that we will need to spend more time to search for that buyer who can be more flexible with their own timeline.
What we have shared in this article is based on normal cases and the timeline can still vary for other cases with more complicated requirements. If you have just started the process of selling your house like just a month or two, and you feel like changing your current property agent as you feel that the sale is not happening as fast as you think it should, we do hope this article changes your mind. Do give your agent more time as the sale does not happen so fast nowadays. If it is within your plans to sell your property in the near future, we hope this article can give you a better idea on when to start interviewing agents and also when to start marketing your property. In the event if you think that your case may not be like the norm or if you have any other queries, please feel free to contact us for a non-obligatory discussion and we will be glad to share more with you.
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