When is the Best Time to Sell Your House?

Factors to Consider

Understanding the seasonal trends in the real estate market is an important step in determining the best time to sell your home. But, the decision to move is often a personal one.

First, you have your own family’s needs to consider. You may want to time your move to coincide with the end of the school year, for which selling in the spring or summer makes sense. You should also take the local real-estate market into account and aim to list your property at a time that’s likely to give you the best sale price and appeal to a large number of prospective buyers.

It is important to take other factors into account like your financial situation, the current condition of your home if you plan to make any improvements, and whether or not local market conditions are in your favor.

Finding the peak time to sell really depends on where you live. For areas that experience all four seasons, Spring is often considered optimal, specific time is in May, but taking into consideration every other seller is thinking the same way.  So why not get an edge up on your competition get in March or April.   

Locally, homes that are listed at the end of spring and beginning of summer not only tend to sell faster but also for higher prices.  Houses tend to have more curb appeal in the spring when flowers are blooming and the grass is vibrant and green. Another good reason your house sells in the spring is that families with children generally prefer to move at a time when the school year won’t be disrupted, namely, summer. However, it usually takes 30 to 60 days or more from the time a home contract is signed to the time its actual closing date arrives. Therefore, families eager to move during the summer will need to find and make offers on their homes several months prior.

Selling in the summer often provides almost as much advantage as the spring. Typically, the days on market are still low and the sale-to-list ratios are near their highs well into August. The homes leftover from the spring likely will have been overpriced and will no longer be of interest to remaining buyers, which gives summer sellers a leg up, as long as they price their homes competitively. And given all the sales that have taken place during the spring, pricing is more straightforward. Summer provides more data that sellers can use to ensure their pricing is based on what buyers were actually willing to pay for comparable homes.

If there is one benefit to selling in the Fall, is a lack of competition. While some buyers may be eager to close before the holidays, others will remain in their homes until the weather warms up again. Interested buyers will be looking for deals.

Selling in the Winter tends to be the least popular because that’s when the weather is at its worst, but that can work to your advantage on the competition front.  If there are few homes on the market listing your home during this season will mean that yours is one of the few available. With the lower inventory, more buyers will see your listing come up in their searches. Some buyers may be more eager during this time because life changes like job relocation, will force them to purchase a new home quickly. Others may be looking to take advantage of tax breaks by closing before the end of the year.

So, take stock of your own situation when deciding whether to put your house on the market now or wait.  Check all these conditions, and the market where you’re selling a home and buying a home is working in your favor.