When Is the Best Time to Sell?

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Sellers usually do not think of January as the best time to put their home on the market–even in sunny Southern California, where weather is less an issue than in other parts of the country.  But some years we find the buyers are ready to buy long before the sellers are ready to list their homes.  This could be just such a year, and an opportune moment for sellers to showcase their homes before competing inventory comes on the market.  The year- end numbers confirmed what we all felt was happening.  The fourth quarter market lagged in the number of homes for sale in Manhattan Beach.  So much so, that I suspect that our sales numbers for the fourth quarter were lower than they could have been if buyers could have found the properties they wanted.  December invetories ended up down -26.4% lower than December, 2010.  Looking at a 5 year chart of inventory, 2011 ended at or near the bottom.  Nowhere is it more obvious than in the Tree Section which ended the year -39.1% lower than a year ago.  New listings coming out this month, are few and far between, but each is getting our full attention.  The lovely home at 759 27th St. was under contract in just 10 days.  As I write this, there are only 15 active listings in the Tree Section, and 12 properties that are already under contract!  That is clearly a huge opportunity for a seller who brings his home on the market now.