Timing is everything when choosing to sell your home. It can take longer to sell your house during certain times of the year while listing at other times can offer a sizable seller premium. You want to get the best offer possible on your home sale, and you want it to sell when interest from potential buyers is highest.
The best time to sell a house is typically in May, but it can also depend on your local housing market and your selling goals, and having a bird’s eye view of housing market trends can help.
Real estate experts generally agree that the best time of year to sell a house is in the spring or summer. Demand tends to be higher in these months as families with children are motivated to move and settle in before the school year starts.
ATTOM, a curator of real estate data, conducts an annual analysis of the best days of the year to sell a home. Their 2022 findings reveal that this consensus is true: Homes that list in the late spring and early summer months of May, June, and July sell for 10% to 12.6% above estimated market average.
The same study even reveals there’s even a best day of the year to sell a house: May 23rd offers sellers an 18.3% premium above market value.
Targeting the day of the year that your home will sell is out of the control of most people, but aiming for May may be a more reachable target for homeowners thinking of selling.
All of the top five best days of the year to sell a house fall in May, each with double-digit seller premiums:
National trends offer some insight into the best time to sell a house, but finding the right time to sell may come down to location, location, location.
A recent study by Orchard found that when people search for homes varies market to market — people on the West Coast hit the listings earliest in the week, while those on the East Coast prefer the weekends.
To get a handle on local trends, consult a local real estate agent for historical market trends before you list. You can also look at recent and current listings on real estate websites, but a listing agent will have a better idea of specific times of the year when home sales peak in your neighborhood.
When you conduct your research, pay attention to properties similar to your home. Current trends are a good indicator of the length of time your home might stay on the market if you list now. For example, if you’re in a seller’s market, there are fewer homes for sale than buyers, so that competition may help your home get multiple offers or sell much faster. On the other hand, if there are more houses than there are buyers, it may take some seller concessions or extra time on the market to sell your home.
Keep an eye on mortgage rate trends, too. When rates are low, first-time home buyers tend to start house hunting, increasing your pool of potential buyers, making it an excellent time to sell a house. Conversely, when rates are high, there are fewer potential buyers.
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Weather plays a big role in your local real estate market, so selecting the season you list your home should be a strategic move. In areas with four seasons, demand tends to be higher in the spring and lower in the winter. On the other hand, regions that are always warm experience steady home sales throughout the year.
The best time to sell a house in Dallas, Texas, is not the same as Chicago, Illinois. Here’s what to know about seasonal home sale patterns:
If your home is in a warmer region, the winter months can still be a good time to sell. Some people want to flee cold weather during the winter, after all. However, winter also drives people indoors, meaning fewer homebuyers want to move through cold weather and short days.
Since there are fewer buyers on the hunt, there are fewer homes for sale, which may work to your advantage. In addition, buyers who choose to move in the winter may be up against strict deadlines, needing to downsize, get out of a lease, or relocate to a different state for work. Therefore, you could still sell on your timeline for a good price if you find the right buyer in a smaller pool of house hunters.
House hunting picks up in the springtime as more buyers venture into nice weather to explore open houses and neighborhoods. Many buyers want to time their move with the end of the school year, so they use the spring months to search with the aim of settling into a new home during summer. This pattern bodes well for home sellers, as does the nice weather sprucing up your home’s curb appeal.
Spring isn’t always ideal for listing your house, though. If buyers in your area aren’t serious about buying just yet, your home could sit on the market amidst significant competition.
Many potential home buyers get busy in the summer because they want to buy and settle into a new home before the school year starts. Plus, some house hunters have a lightened workload during the summer, giving them more time to search. If you live in a neighborhood with a good school district, late spring or early summer is a great time to list your home.
It’s a double-edged sword, however. If everyone in your neighborhood puts their home on the market during the summer, the competition makes it difficult to sell your home on your timeline. If you live in a scorching hot area, it’s not the best time to showcase how livable your region is. Finally, if you want to go on vacation, it can be hard to plan a break and get away for some rest when your home is on the market.
As the weather cools down in the fall, so does the market. But while you may worry you “missed out” on the hot summer market, there are benefits to selling your house in the fall. For example, homes listed this time of year may appeal to families without school-aged children who wanted to avoid the summer competitions. Also, home repairs and maintenance prices tend to be lower in the fall due to decreased demand, making it more affordable to prep your house for listing.
Regardless of the calendar, the best time to sell a house might be when it makes sense for your finances. Here are some signs that it’s not a good time for you to list your home:
If you fall into any of these categories, buying a new home might not be right for you yet. Waiting until you have more financial stability and buying power will help you get the best deal for your dream home.
You may be ready to sell your house if:
Crunch some numbers to figure out how much you stand to make from your home sale if it sells at market price, below market price, or above market price. That number will help you decide if it’s the right time to sell or if you should postpone until you build more home equity.
Curious how much you’d make from selling your house? Use our Home Sale Proceeds Calculator.
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