When is the Best Time of Year to Sell a House?

best time of year to sell a house

Ask anyone involved in real estate and they’ll tell you the same thing:

Some seasons are better than others to sell your home.

At first, this might seem obvious. The spring and summer months are warm and friendly, and the fall and winter months are cold and harsh. People are more productive when it’s nice out.

Well, yes and no. It’s a bit more complicated than that.

If you’re thinking of selling your home, you’ll need some basic knowledge of the market forces and other factors that play into the right season for real estate. And depending on when you’re reading this post, the best time of year to sell a house may be right now.

So don’t waste any time. Today, we’re going to figure out the best time of year to sell a house.

The Best Time of Year to Sell a House

Spring and Summer

best time of year to sell a house

In most markets in our economy, more inventory means lower prices. The housing market, however, works the opposite way. When the most homes are listed, the prices are the highest. And more homes are listed in the warmer months by far.

It’s true that buyers tend to come out of the woodwork in the spring and summer. The nasty coldness of the winter months is over, and more people are looking to move.

In fact, around 60 percent of moves take place during the months of June through October.

Your property even looks better during the warmer months. The flowers are in bloom, the sun is bright, and the days last longer – which means your house will be seen by more buyers every day.

Also, when your home undergoes appraisal in the spring and summer, the appraiser has better comparable data to look at as well. Instead of a rough estimate that could be lower than your home’s actual value, the appraiser will see what homes nearby and of similar value have sold for, which can get you a better price.

You might get really lucky and have multiple buyers engaged in a bidding war over your house. This means more money in your pocket and less work for you to worry about. You may even find a buyer who wants to pay in cash, which removes the stress of loan concerns from the equation altogether.

There is one drawback to the stronger markets of the warmer months, though. Because of the huge amount of homes on the market, buyers can afford to be pickier. If your home needs a little more work than the house next door, buyers might pass.

But you don’t have to worry too much – there are far more buyers just around the corner in the spring and summer. And that large amount of buyers means you can be picky as well and find the right fit for your home, which might be important to you if it has sentimental value.

Fall and Winter

best time of year to sell a house

If you have absolutely no choice but to sell your home in the “off-season,” you might end up feeling a bit unlucky. For a number of reasons, the colder months are rougher on real estate.

  1. Poor conditions. Fall and winter usually come with an uncomfortable mixture of weak lighting and bad weather. This makes buyers less likely to be out and about looking to move. Your job as a seller is more complicated because of the lack of buyers, and also more frustrating if you have to deal with frigid temperatures.
  2. Low curb appeal. Your home has way less curb appeal during the fall and winter than it does in spring and summer. You can pretty much say goodbye to your beautiful green lawn and pretty flowers. The property is also harder to keep clean because all those people coming in and out will keep tracking in that winter muck.
  3. Lower prices. Because most people involved in real estate are aware of the negative aspects of selling during fall and winter, prices are lower across the board. Buyers are also more sensitive to price and are intentionally buying during that time of year for that very reason. That means you could put in more work for less money.

There are some benefits to selling during the fall and winter, however.

  1. The buyers you come across may be more motivated to purchase your house because there are fewer properties available overall.
  2. You’ll have less upkeep of your landscaping because most of it will be dead or dying. (You’ll probably have to rake some leaves, though.)

In other words, try to avoid selling during these months if at all possible. You want to secure the best deal on your house you can – so try hibernating until spring instead.

The Perfect Month

Okay, so it’s pretty clear now that spring and summer are the best seasons to sell a house. But wouldn’t it be great to know exactly when to list your property?

According to a study by researchers at Zillow, there’s not only a perfect time of year for selling your house – there’s actually a perfect month!

Drum roll please!

The best time of year to sell a house is… early May.

The study found that homes listed between May 1 and May 15 sold around 18.5 days faster than homes listed during any other time. Homes sold during that period were even purchased for about 1 percent more money than the average listing.

So, if you want the best price as soon as possible, try listing your house in May.

Final Word

The verdict is in: the best time of year to sell a house is in the spring and summer. If you have the ability to wait to list your house until these months, I heavily recommend you do so.

But if you have no other choice but to sell during the fall and winter, don’t let this discourage you. Yes, May and the other warmer months may be the best time of year to sell a house, but I promise you can find buyers any time of the year.

With a proper strategy and the right real estate agent, anything is possible. Contact me today and we can work together to get your house sold, no matter the season!