Selling your home is a big decision and most likely the single, largest transaction of your life. Most questions involved with home selling concentrate on the “Why?” or the “How much?” Those types of questions are quite valid and a ton of thought should go into addressing them.
But what about the “When?” As in, when is the best time to sell a home? That may seem like an obvious question; even real estate novices know that there is a “real estate season” and that it’s typically in the springtime.
Thanks to a wealth of technology and data, real estate industry bean counters can pinpoint two weeks in spring where listing your home is the optimal choice. However, does that mean selling your home at that exact time is the right choice for you, and your family, and your situation?
The Two Week Peak For Home Selling
Spring is the season to sell, according to statistics and real estate common sense. Listings spike in early April and continue well into the early summer months. It’s not rocket science folks; late spring and early summer bring out the buyers! Here are a few reasons why:|
- School: many families begin looking for new homes in spring, with the intent of closing right around the same time school ends. This way, kids get to finish in the same class and school they’ve been in all year. This timing also allows the family summer break to move and get settled, and then they can start a new school year fresh in the fall.
- Presentation: spring is all about blooming and rebirth. Homes simply look better in spring and summer. Green lawns, colorful flowers, better sunlight… it all adds up to better curb appeal, better showings, and better sales.
- Longer Days: more daylight translates to more eyeballs. Guided home tours and open houses don’t have to end at 5PM, which means more opportunities for more buyers to view your home.
- Weather: this one is kind of a no-brainer, but in many parts of the country, you simply can’t go house shopping in 2 feet of snow. Spring and summer are the only times to do many activities, including house shopping.
Basically, when the weather warms up, the real estate market heats up.
But what about those optimal two weeks we mentioned earlier? The sweet spot in the hot zone?
According to a study by Zillow, the absolute best time to sell your home is the first two weeks of May. Houses sold during May 1st through May 15th sell faster (18.5 days on average) and often for more than the listing price. Saturdays are also considered the best day of the week to list.
Here’s some more detailed information on spring home sales in major U.S. markets. The following chart was gathered from information provided by Zillow.
|City||Day of the week to list||Date range to list||Average sales premium||Days sold faster than average|
|New York||Saturday||April 16-30||$3,100||14|
|Los Angeles||Thursday||May 16-31||$8,100||9.5|
|Washington, DC||Thursday||May 1-15||$5,300||10.5|
|San Francisco||Thursday||April 16-30||$15,300||6|
The Best Time To Sell Is When You’re Ready
So if May 1st falls on a Saturday this year, you’re putting your house up for sale, right?! Not so fast.
There’s no doubt that if you are ready and in the position to sell your home, spring to early summer is the prime time. It’s when buyers are buying. Every stat and crunched number proves it true.
However, that doesn’t mean it’s automatically time for you to sell. Selling a home is a major life event and certainly not something to be rushed into. It has to make sense for you and your family, and your financial situation.
You Can Sell When Your Time Is Right
If you’re ready to sell in January and waiting until spring puts pressure and stress on your family, why wait?
If you get that promotion you’ve been working towards and have to move in October, don’t wait until spring to sell—do it then! Don’t let a few thousand dollars hold your sanity hostage.
Close to six million homes will sell this year and not all of them sell between April and June. Millions of homes are sold year round, don’t hesitate to list in March or August. Bottom line: if it makes sense for you, it makes sense.