When you’re getting ready to sell your home or buy a new one there are many things for you to start thinking about. From timing the market to locking down financing, arranging staging to planning showings, you might start to feel overwhelmed with all the different advice out there about how to get the most out of your investment.

However, the absolute most important factor in listing your home for sale or looking to buy a new one comes down to one thing: when YOU’RE ready.

None of the aspects of a hot market make any difference if you’re personally not in a good position to buy or sell. So, before you spend too much time figuring out whether the market is at an ideal position for you to get into, think about whether you are actually ready to get in there or not.

Several factors that affect the best time to sell or buy

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While you may have heard that there are certain seasons that are better for selling your home or buying a new one, the fact is that there are many other factors in play than just seasonality. You can look into whether summer or fall is the best time to sell, but when it comes down to it, it might not actually be the best time for you.

When you’re ready

Just because summer might be the best time to sell and winter might be the best time to buy according to statistics, if you’re not in a place where you’re ready to do either of those things it’s just not going to be the best time at all. Being completely ready to sell or buy is the most important step in the process of real estate.

When finances are lined up

Getting your financials lined up is another important step in the process. When you’re looking to get a mortgage or are lining up another form of lending or investment source it may not work on exactly the timeline that you’re hoping for.

Balancing where to live

In any real estate situation, you have to walk the line between where you’re living now and where you’re moving to. If you already own a home and want to sell in order to buy a new one, sometimes that relies on timing. You ideally want to find something to buy around the same time you sell your current home, and sometimes that adds a layer of complication to the process.

Market shifts

Though there is often a pattern to the highs and lows in the real estate market, sometimes there actually isn’t any kind of pattern. So, all those thoughts of timing the market and relying on seasonality could go out the winder anyways.

The market ebbs and flows

Regardless of when you decide to enter the real estate market it’s essential to keep in mind that the market has natural ebbs and flows. Whether those waves are the result of seasonality, financial market shifts or something else entirely, you shouldn’t spend too much time trying to time the market, especially if you are new to real estate or real estate investing.

Never a wrong time

There is never a bad time to get started in the real estate market (any downturn in market is only realized in hindsight, and never predicted well). Whether you’re looking to purchase a home for your own use or want to get started in real estate as an investment strategy there are many positives to get into the real estate market, regardless of the season. Seasonality can help you time the market, but as with many things in life there are no guarantees. So even if you spend a ton of time researching all of the best practices for buying or selling your home, it can end up not even making a difference when it comes down to it.

Bottom Line on Timing: Do what’s best for you

At the end of the day, you have to do what is best for you and your family when it comes to real estate. Seasonality in the market may help you to earn an extra few thousand or save the same, but if it’s not the right time for you to buy or sell, you could end up more disadvantaged than it’s worth.