Of the top questions that I get asked is regarding when is the best time of the year to sell a condo in Ottawa. While the answer will vary depending on your specific situation, let’s dive deeper into the general answers.
Most people are aware that the busiest time of the year for real estate (when most transactions take place) is the spring, followed by the fall, summer, and then the winter. This is when most listings are typically active, and when most buyers are out looking.
However, that is generally based on the standard residential freehold buyer. Think traditional family with two kids and a dog buying a suburban home. This freehold buyer or seller is very different than the standard condominium buyer or seller in Ottawa. The freehold buyer and seller and thinking about timing the move with the kids' school year. Simply put… they want to move when it is easier for them and their family. While the majority of condominium buyers don’t have kids or even a partner to be concerned about - their lifestyle is very different. Even holidays and vacation - the condo buyer treats the holidays differently and goes on vacation differently, than the typical residential buyer. December is usually one of our busiest months with condo sales! We find that condo buyers are out with holiday parties, visiting friends/colleagues, and seeing the lifestyle that they don’t currently have. They are getting that itch to move, to upgrade.
I have a silly saying that there is “no snow in condo land”, which essentially means that condos are not affected by snow, unlike residential freehold homes. Many buyers would never buy a home in the winter - you can’t see the roof, can’t see the yard, who knows maybe there is a huge hole in the yard. While with condo’s that doesn’t affect you. Often the views in the winter are even more magical (especially at night when it is snowing).
Location can even play a heavy role in timing. For example, usually July and August can be absolutely crazy for condo-buying that is located within walking distance to Ottawa University, Carleton University, and Algonquin College, as parents are trying to find a condo for their kid. While the freehold market is on summer break and things are usually very quiet.
Often your situation will specify when you will need to sell. Depending on if you are up-sizing and have already purchased and need to align your moving dates. Maybe you are being transferred for work? Maybe your tenants just gave their notice, and you don’t really have the ability to sit with a vacant unit for four months trying to “time” the market. Maybe the tenants have kept the unit in very bad shape and you will need the unit vacant before listing it for sale.
Maybe you have the luxury of not needing to sell? Maybe it will depend on the market and if it is a seller's market or a buyers market? Right now in Ottawa, we are in a seller's market and for someone thinking of selling it can be prime to take advantage of the market.
When you are thinking of selling, we start by deciding who is most likely to be the purchaser of your condo. Investor? Owner-occupier? We break down the demographics for the building (age, income, sex, etc.) to help us craft possible options. A brand new 400sqft condo downtown will be a very different buyer than a 1200sqft condo that was built in 1970 located in Kanata. Not only does this help us when helping you decide when the best time to sell could be, but also how we market to that person (or groups if there could be more than one). It becomes more of a proven science than a shot in the dark without any idea of the target.
Want to chat about selling your Ottawa condo? Fill out the form at the bottom of the page.