One of my favorite lines in real estate is “The best time to buy was 30 years ago, the second-
best time to buy is today”. In five or ten years from now we may say the best time to buy was in
2021. Selling on the other hand is a different story. Selling can be a lot more tricky, similar to
stocks, or crypto. “Should you buy more Bitcoin, or sell while it’s still high”, “What if it goes up to
six-figures by end-of-year?”.. Recently everyone has an opinion on the property market. While
some of the advice may be valid – based on your circumstances – most of the information
floating around regarding selling your property may not be backed by data or may not
necessarily apply to your current situation. True, the market is flaming hot, houses are selling for
more than a few years back. Does this mean you can make the most money? Very likely,
however there are more things to take into consideration when deciding to sell:
Your circumstances – family dynamics, finances, state of your property – will all influence the
outcome of the sale. If you are looking to downsize, you should consider the prices of the
homes you would want to buy - If you can sell for top dollar, you may need to fork top dollar to
buy as well. Same applies if you are looking to upsize. If however you are looking to retire or
move abroad, this changes the dynamic entirely.
Your Reason for Selling
Your reason for selling will also factor into whether you should list your house now or wait. If you
are selling to profit from the real estate market, you should work with a real estate agent to
accurately time the market. You can also monitor historical data to decide when to list.
In the event you're relocating, you should decide to sell when the value of your property is offset
by the value of the area you are moving to.
For homeowners who are downsizing, selling during a buyers’ market may be ideal. You are
likely to receive more offers even if they are not at the amounts they may be during a seller's
market. But, the swift transaction will make downsizing a breeze.
Your Neighborhood’s Property Market
Many advice articles focus on the entire US housing market. What’s unfortunate about this kind
of approach is that it doesn’t highlight what’s happening within a region. Areas like Texas may
be experiencing unheard of price growth due to the California migration, but other states may be
in a slump as COVID still overwhelms the region. The idea that the broad market data about
your state is relevant to your case isn’t ideal. You need data about your neighborhood, as this
will most accurately reflect the nature of your local property market.
Taking A Closer Look at Your Region
As a real estate broker in the Bergen County and NYC markets, my analysis of these two areas
creates a comprehensive picture that can help you make the right decision.
Selling A Home in Bergen County
Bergen County differs from NYC. Instead of the property market taking a sharp nosedive at the
beginning of the pandemic, the county saw an influx of buyers looking to move away from the
city. Homeowners from Manhattan – and similar neighborhoods – recognized the value offered
by the county. These buyers – spurred on by a remote working culture – enabled Bergen
County to achieve the highest average property price in the county's history, with an increase in
property value of 9.9% since last year.
This data highlights that the current housing market is the ideal time to sell. Homes are selling at
historically higher prices, and there's considerable buyer interest for homes in the region.
Selling A Home in NYC
COVID had a sudden effect on the city, causing the housing market to take a steep nosedive
during the height of the pandemic, the likes of which no real estate agent could expect. This
wasn’t all bad news; it enabled some keen buyers to purchase property in the area that allowed
the market to remain relatively stable. Now, the market is currently experiencing a strong
rebound. The city’s property prices have increased by 2.5% compared to the same period last
year, according to data from Zillow. This data reflects the experience that I – and other realtors
– have, who’ve seen both the price and sales volume increase and days on the market
The upcoming month or two will possibly be the best time to sell for savvy sellers, as there will
be less inventory to contend with since other sellers are hesitant to list.
While this analysis focuses on selling a house in NYC and Bergen County in NJ, if you don’t
reside in these areas, make your decision by analyzing historical data from the past six months
and cross-referencing with the experience of your local agents.