It’s conventional wisdom that the best time to put one’s house on the market in our area is in the spring. By many its considered the time when there are most buyers in the market are actively looking for homes. Real estate brokers, mortgage brokers, and real estate lawyers know that typically, June 30th is the busiest closing day of the year because often families with school-age children will try to schedule their closing date as soon as possible after the school year ends to allow as much time as possible to settle in to a new home before the start of the new school year. With mortgage-funded closings typically taking 60 days to get from under contract date to closing date, this means that a lot of of properties go under contract in late spring in an effort to close around June 30th.
With buyer activity in May and June driven by the school year calendar and mortgage timelines, one would think that by comparison, July and August are relatively quiet. However, what’s surprising is that a look at the actual numbers tells a different story. In May and June of 2015, 15 properties went under contract, but the exact same number of properties in Tewksbury went under contract in July and August of 2015.
There are a few reasons for the disconnect between our expectation and the statistical reality. First, our instinct is that foot traffic (agent showings and visitors to open houses) is correlated to the number of contracts but in reality, there’s not necessarily a correlation between the two, i.e., just because there is more foot traffic doesn’t mean that there are more contracts written. Second, buyers who haven’t found what they need in time for an early summer close are still motivated to buy in time to close before the start of the new school year (it’s particularly important for a family changing school districts who needs to be under contract or closed on the new home in time for registration in the new district). And of course, third is that at any time of year, there are buyers without a need to move on a date convenient to school schedules.
The take-away from this is that while late spring is a good time to be on the market, 2015 numbers in Tewksbury suggest that it is just as likely for a home to go under contract if it’s on the market in July and August.
For more information about statistics and trends in different sectors of our local real estate market, contact Leaf, Realtors® at 908-975-9756.