You Should Never List Now, Unless...

By Dave Fratello | December 3rd, 2014

Let's be honest. No one would plan to list a property for sale after Thanksgiving.

Starting after Turkey Day? Why, you'll be all alone out there. You're just guaranteeing yourself 30-60 DOM. All the serious buyers are focused on other things.

Why, it'd be nearly suicidal to list now, between Thanksgiving and Christmas, even up maybe till the Super Bowl. Unless you have no choice.


Unless you've got something really great, and enjoy the prospect of having the whole field to yourself.

A couple of very nice properties defied the conventional wisdom and listed this week. We're thinking that they liked that "having the whole field to yourself" factor.

One is already in escrow. And we like the prospects for the other.

First to make a deal was 428 32nd (4br/4ba, 4120 sq. ft.), an 80s original up on the Plateau that got a very nice, modern makeover before its most recent sale in 2012.

The current (short-term) owners put some work in, customizing and upgrading the house further from where it was before they got it.

Acquisition in June 2012: $2.649M.

New list price on Dec. 1, 2014: $3.299M (+$650K/+25%).

Quickly, they had an offer and a deal.

Look, also, at 2001 Agnes (5br/4ba, 3470 sq. ft.).

It's a warm and somewhat upgraded 90s Spanish. Very pleasant and in a prime prime prime location, a quiet block in the Martyrs neighborhood.

There's always demand for that kind of house.

They're listing at $2.900M, which is basically the market (or close enough) after, for instance, the recent sale of a late-90s Cape Cod at 1812 Palm for $2.800M. Those are homes with similar specs, including their "A" locations.

So we will not bet against the pretty house in the great location, no matter what the calendar says.

Hey, we love to see people mix it up. Defying the conventional wisdom = Always fun.

Just to underscore the point, scanning around a bit, we found some internet-polished pearls of conventional wisdom over on, which would apply to listing new or even staying on the market around now:

Why Your Home Should Be Off the Market Over the Holidays

  • Buyers will think you are desperate.
  • It's inconvenient to always be ready to show at a moment's notice.
  • The offers you receive will likely be for less than list price.
  • You're appealing to a much smaller inventory of buyers who have very specific needs that your home might not match.
  • It's almost impossible to close a transaction in December if the offer is received mid-month. Buyers who want to close in January make offers in January.
  • If you remove your home from the market, it can go back as a new listing in January, thereby drawing more traffic because it's fresh.
  • Your agent might be on vacation in December and unavailable.

Oooh, we like to hear that people might care about agents' vacation schedules, but it's probably not something you'd give a moment's thought to if you believed that you could actually sell your house.

Like those punk-rock listings at Agnes and 32nd.

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