Real Estate Perspectives
February 02, 2016 | Suzanne Powers

6 Rules for a Successful House Sale - Timing is Everything!

Timing is everything in real estate and in Milwaukee the spring market begins January 1st of any given year.
6 Rules for a Successful House Sale - Timing is Everything!

6 Rules for a Successful House Sale - Timing is Everything!

When does the spring market start?

This is the most frequently asked question I get asked, and almost unanimously everyone gets this question wrong, unless they have met with me in previous years.


The house pictured was a July Listing Appointment in River Hills. I suggested the sellers wait until January 1, 2016, because of the sluggish summer market of 2015. They listened to my sage advice and sold their home in the first 4 hours of being listed January 3, 2016.

Most sellers believe the spring market begins in April and May, because that is when the first quarter results are closing and the sales are published in the media. The unfortunate thing about the published data is, it is NOT when the market is happening. The housing market is happening when offers are written, NOT when closings occur. If you wait till April or May you will have missed the best opportunity to list and sell your home when you will get the most money for your property.

So when is the right time to list and sell a property in Milwaukee?

  • Be on the market and ready to sell January 1 of any given year. When you are in church Christmas morning ...think spring housing market and be ready.
  • Plan B - no later than March 17th...ever. I have two clients who I have served for 14 years and they know this date by heart. If they miss this date, they can plan on a long hard sell and probably 10% less than if they had been ready January 1st. Really.
  • Wait. If you call me in July it is likely I will tell you to wait till January 1 if you do not HAVE to sell. Even my clients right now who have desired close dates of June and August are on the market NOW. Our first listing of the year has a full price accepted offer with a delayed closing for June. It can be done and is done well often to help sellers get their BEST price when the market is happening. You will be surprised how easily this can be done to get your best price.
  • It can take years to prepare a house for sale in the North Shore. Meet with a your Realtor years or at least months in advance of your sale. My own residence is a work in progress, every year I have three major projects all with a mind towards selling...one day. Remember paint goes along way think white and gray for 2016.
  • News Reports will mislead you. This is the most important fact about when to sell your home. The news reports closed sold transactions only. That is not when the market is happening. The market happens when offers are written and they are written in January, February, and March and close in April, May, and June. You will pick up your paper, ipad, phone in May and see that this spring market right NOW is hot...and you will think to yourself now (May) is a good time to sell my house, and you will be late to market. My face just drops when I am in these appointments as we rush to paint, stage and clean the property to get the home on the market for the last 30 days of the spring market, and almost always, we are too late and disappointment follows as the home takes longer to sell than the seller expected reading the media reports.
  • Drop dead date: June 15th! The market is over here in Milwaukee and won't return until August 20th or so...when fall begins and the kids head back to school, August marks the second wind. Milwaukeeans LOVE their summer and have no mind for house shopping until before or after the holidays.

These six rules have served my sellers very well this year, as our written offers to purchase in the first 30 days of 2016 have super ceded last year's transactions by 46%. It may be blowing and snowing, but we are surely in the thick of the 2016 spring selling market!

Experience a seamless home selling and buying process with Powers Realty, Milwaukee’s trusted local experts for over 2 decades. Our tailored approach ensures optimal results. Contact me today to discuss your home needs.

Recent Blog Posts on Real Estate Perspectives

Real Estate Perspectives

May 09, 2024 | Suzanne Powers

Compensation Changes in Real Estate: Insights from the NAR Settlement

Real Estate Perspectives

May 09, 2024 | Suzanne Powers

Whitefish Bay Top Real Estate Team | Powers Realty Group

Real Estate Perspectives

May 09, 2024 | Suzanne Powers

The New Norm for Buyer’s in Residential Real Estate

Powers Realty Group is a distinctive boutique real estate broker focused on the needs of customers delivering exceptional results. We are the trusted local experts. Call us at 414.870.7175 about buying or selling your home.