The Real Estate Calendar


5 minute read

August 6, 2007

As we approach mid-August, the real estate market is two weeks ahead of the slowest time in the real estate calendar, and yet two weeks from perhaps the busiest time.

We are going to see a flurry of activity the first week after Labor Day.

When should you list your house?

When should you be looking to purchase?


As I sit here in the Bosley Real Estate office, you could hear a pin drop….if not for the constant chatter of the receptionists and administrators.  Just who is Brad Pitt dating these days anyway?

But the fact of the matter is, the support staff outnumber the agents on any given day in our office during August.

The real estate market is non-existent.

But two weeks from now, it will be like NFL pre-season in here, with agents getting ready for “the big fall market.”

We don’t make the market, the market makes us.  The market takes its own shape and form, and comes and goes when it wants.  But for the most part, the real estate calendar is the same:

August 20th: Realtors begin to prepare for the Fall Market, urging their prospective sellers to prepare their houses for sale—slight renovations, landscaping, all-purpose touch-ups, verify taxes and mortgage information, gather necessary paperwork, etc.  Realtors urge their buyers to obtain mortgage pre-approvals and prepare to be inundated with MLS emails on a daily basis.

September 5th: The week after Labor Day, the race begins.  The number of listings that hit the market daily begins to spread like a virus.  The first three weeks in September sets the tone for the Fall Market.  Summer is over, and so too are vacations and lackadaisical attitudes.  Children are back in school full-time, schedules are set, routines are back in place.  Order has been restored.  It’s the perfect time to start looking for a new home.  Remember back when you were in grade-seven, and the first day of school came around, it just had that “feeling.”  It seemed like it was a couple degrees colder, there was dew on your front lawn and that smokey fall smell in the air.  If felt as if a little energy had been sapped from every single person and that neighborhood buzz was just gone.  Everybody and everything knew summer was over.  It’s just like that in the real estate market.

October 31st: Halloween marks the beginning of the end of the Fall Market.  November sales don’t slow to a halt, but the convenient-buyers begin to drop out of the race.  By “convenient-buyers,” I am referring to those buyers that only look because it’s convenient.  It’s fashionable.  It’s nice to walk around the neighborhood on Saturdays & Sundays, push the baby carriage, drink the mocha-frappachinos, and pop into open houses—maybe run into John & Sally while you’re there and say “Hey you two!  I didn’t know you guys were looking.”  Looking, yes.  Buying, probably not.

November 1st – December 15th: The market is still alive but with not as many active participants.  Multiple offers and bidding wars still happen on the GREAT properties, even into December.  Those Realtors and those buyers who are active, aggressive, and relentless will be aware of everything that hits the market, and nothing gets by them.  Last December 6th, a semi-detached house in Leaside sold for 115% of asking price.  Who says the Fall Market is over?

December 25th: The market slows to a halt around December 15th, and once the kids get out of school for Christmas Break, who has time to think about real estate?  Plans are put on hold until the new year.

January 15th: How many people make it their New Years Goal to “Find my dream home?”  The New Years hangover lasts for a few weeks until mid-January, as again, Realtors prepare their buyers and sellers for the Spring Market.  Most people think the Spring Market happens when the grass is green, the birds are chirping, and the tulips are in full bloom.  Not true.

February 1st to March 15th: There is sort of a “pre-market” that happens in February before Spring Break.  Last year, from February 1st to March 15th, 16 of the 24 houses that sold in Davisville Village sold for above the asking price.  Three of those sold for 120% of the listing price or more.  Many buyers may not want to trek through snow and be looking for houses each night when it gets dark at 5:15PM, but those that do are often handsomely rewarded.

March 15th: Around this time, the schools are out for Spring Break, and Easter is just around the corner.  These are two massive roadblocks in the way of the real estate market, which seems to be moving full-steam-ahead.  February and the first half of March are for the early-birds, but once Easter is over, the true flurry begins.

April 1st: The real estate market is over.  Ha, no, April Fools Day joke.  Anyways, March 21st may be the official first day of Spring, but April 1st resonates in our minds.  From April 1st to Mid-June, most active buyers end up purchasing.  It truly is a great time to be out looking for a new home, and how can you not be excited?  Kids are playing jump-rope on the sidewalks while street-hockey games take place on the other side of the curb.  Retirees are working on their gardens, while crazy old men hand-pick individual leaves off their pristine lawns.  The birds are chirping, and the residents are smiling.  Patios are in full effect, be it lunch, coffee, or Baskin-Robbins ice-cream.  Neighborhoods come alive.  Garage sale season begins—as if we need MORE reason to be out and about on the weekend.  Simply put, this is the easiest and most exciting time to look for a house, so that is when most people do it.  And for that exact reason, this is when most sellers try to capitalize on these buyers’ momentum.

June 15th: School’s are letting out, parents have their hands full, and summer is just around the corner.  The cottages are opened up, and the plans for camping, vacationing, and all purpose stress-relief after a long year are being made up for the next two months in advance.  Once July hits, nobody wants to think about moving, or even entertaining the thought.  Now is the time to relax, enjoy the warm weather, and spend the most time with friends and family.  This is the time when the real estate market is the slowest.

And this brings us back to where we currently are…..August.

It’s the “chicken and the egg” philosophy.  If more sellers were selling, more buyers would be buying.  But if more buyers were buying, more sellers would be selling too!

Ever watch the 100-metre sprint in the Olympics?  Once the athletes get to the starting line, they stand there for five minutes, taking deep breaths, focusing, shuking & jiving, doing their pre-game shimimes.  Then they run for nine-point-eight seconds….or less if the steroids were half-decent…

The real estate market feels like that right now.  While it’s not non-existent, there is no buzz, and hasn’t been for over a month.  And we are still a full month from when the true rat-race begins.

But life and real estate are similar in one respect, if not many: once the Fall Market is in full swing, and we are busy, we’ll long for those slow summer days that we grew so tiresome of just a few weeks earlier…

Written By David Fleming

David Fleming is the author of Toronto Realty Blog, founded in 2007. He combined his passion for writing and real estate to create a space for honest information and two-way communication in a complex and dynamic market. David is a licensed Broker and the Broker of Record for Bosley – Toronto Realty Group

Find Out More About David Read More Posts

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