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WAIT! Timing is everything when listing your home

SOLD card on realty sign

It's June, and the housing market is HOT! All the real estate yard signs around town show "SOLD" or "Pending," so you may be thinking NOW is the best time to list your home for sale. WAIT!

The Milwaukee Real Estate market is VERY seasonal. There is so much conflicting information for Sellers about when to put their home on the market, which creates confusion and makes this decision process difficult.  And making a prediction on “when” to list your home is probably the most important decision of successfully selling your home.

So here’s a helpful Seller’s tip: The market is not hot when homes are closing. The market is hot when OFFERS ARE WRITTEN! Who knows when the offers are being written?  Your REALTOR@, not the news media. News reports of a robust July are the result of data for closed-sold offers written in May and closing in July. Reported housing data lags three months behind the actual market. So, the glowing housing reports in April are a direct result of the offers written in January! This is very important for Sellers, as well as new REALTORS@, to understand. Setting the record straight for Sellers leads to higher success rates for all of us.

So, the best time to list your Milwaukee home has traditionally been around January 1 through March 17.  Miss that window and your sale price may suffer. Why?  There is low inventory in January and high demand right after the December holidays. Wait until March and there will be more supply, giving Buyers more choice. And anxious RELOCATION Buyers are plentiful in January because many of Milwaukee's Corporate Relocations occur near the first of the year. 

Sellers who list their home in May are generally too late to the market. Sellers may think this is a good time to list their home, as reports of the Spring Market begin to flood the news in late April or May. Reports at this time of year are generally reporting sold-closed business from offers written and accepted in February and March. Sellers may believe May is the right time to list their home based on news reports, but historically, summer in Milwaukee is SLOW for selling residential real estate. Buyers are enjoying the weather and vacationing with their family. It's easy for Sellers to get very frustrated during this slowing market, and as a result, they will often pull their house off the market at the end of September or in October, missing the second best time of the year to list their home.

So why is fall the second best time to list a home in Milwaukee? It is all about RELOCATION. Corporate budgets including funds for staffing are often set in the Fourth Quarter of the year, and as a result, new Milwaukee job postings occur. RELOCATION to Milwaukee increases in November, December, January and February, and as inventory falls in the fall, the homes on the market and in the market, sell.

 So what is the optimal formula for selling your home?

  1. Sellers are wise to list their Milwaukee home as early as possible in the year before March 17 to realize the best price for the Spring Market.
  2. The Fall Market begins September 15 and can be very good for Sellers who missed the Spring Market if inventory is low. This market mellows as we slip into the holiday season and this has been radically true for December sales! Fight the instinct to pull your house OFF the market.
  3. Remember: It is a numbers game. If there are 130 listings in Whitefish Bay in May and historically there have been 80 in October, October may be a better market for Sellers. Ask your REALTOR@ about supply and demand historically in your area.
  4. Don’t be afraid to expire your listing and come out with a new MLS number at any time. Refreshing Your Listing can make sense if you are not getting results!

Predicting the Real Estate Market is tough in Milwaukee.  Your Real Estate sale is very dependent on the local economy and inventory rates.  The economic health of Johnson Controls, Northwestern Mutual, GE Healthcare, and the Medical College of Wisconsin will have a tremendous impact on a Seller’s ability to sell a home here in Milwaukee. Forecasting the Spring Market?  Look to Rockwell.  What is happening with the hiring process in their Fourth Quarter? How about Northwestern Mutual? That is how you and your REALTOR@ predict the spring market.  Happy Selling, Milwaukee!

Suzanne Powers is a licensed REALTOR and Broker for Powers Realty Group and ranks #1 in the State of Wisconsin as the Top Sales Agent.  Suzanne lists and sells homes and consults on all real estate matters for SE Wisconsin Real Estate.  You are welcome to reach out to Suzanne for a Consultation @ 414-870-7175 or Suzanne@powersrealty.com.

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 today about buying or selling your home.

Call Suzanne Powers