We don’t always get to choose when we have to buy or sell a big-ticket item. If our car breaks down completely in February, we probably can’t wait six months in hopes of getting a better deal at the car lot. If we have to move across the country in November, then we have to sell our house as soon as possible rather than wait and hope the housing market rebounds from a bad few months. But in less urgent situations, we have more power than we realize. If a vehicle or real estate transaction is in the not-too-distant future, it can’t hurt to do some research and look at the best and worst and time to either buy or sell.
A recent study from real estate website Zillow found that the first half of May is the best time to list a property. Those homes tend to sell faster and draw a higher asking price. That might be because of a slight shortage in the amount of homes on the market. It’s a basic principle of supply and demand. A bigger supply of houses on the market is better for people buying a home than people trying to sell one, and a shorter supply is better for the sellers than those looking to purchase. Of course, May isn’t the best time to sell in every part of the country. Late April to early May is best for residents on the West Coast, while people in the Pittsburgh area should have listed their homes in the latter half of March. Across all markets, though, there’s one day that’s seen as the best day to list your home. Not surprisingly, that day is Saturday.
Conversely, people who try to buy a home in spring are probably going to run into a lot of competition. The competition can be especially tough in housing markets that are already hot, like Seattle, Denver, and San Francisco. If you want to buy a high-end luxury house, though, you’re in luck, as that market is dealing with too much inventory year-round. It turns out most people want a semi-affordable house, not a mansion with fourteen bedrooms and sixteen bathrooms. Whenever you buy, make sure to find a premier real estate agency to see you through the process. Good real estate agents are more than worth their fee.
While the housing market really heats up when the weather improves, the opposite is true for the automobile market. Experts say the last three months of the year are usually when you’ll get the best deals. Why? Dealers are trying to clear out the lot to make room for the newer models. If you can’t wait that long, wait until the end of the month when your local Ford dealership might be more willing to negotiate. That’s because they have monthly sales quotas to meet.
What’s a bad time to buy? Spring isn’t great for a few reasons. For one, many people are trying to spend their tax refunds on new or used cars, and that means prices will probably be a bit higher across the board. It’s that whole supply and demand thing again. Also be wary of buying a brand new model right after its rolled off the assembly line. In many cases, a few relatively small upgrades won’t be worth the increased sticker price. Compare a 2019 model with a 2018 model and decide if being on the absolute cutting edge of car technology is really worth it.