“Selling Seasons” in Real Estate: When is the Best Time to Sell My Home?
Every once in a while, a client will ask me about the timing of their home sale… “When is the best time to sell my home?” I know why they’re asking — they want a “leg up” on the market. They want that extra little advantage that a well-timed offering will make so the most people possible will be looking at the time they sell. But do these “special times” exist? And if they do, when are they?
There are pros and cons of selling a home during each season. Let’s start off by looking at each one, individually…
Most people think that summer is the best time to sell because kids are out of school and families are more free to move. It can also be a time with strongly motivated buyers if their goal is to get into a certain school district before school begins in the fall. However, summer is also the time of year when many families go on vacation. If the timing is off, even if someone sees your home and falls in love, if they’ve purchased a trip to Cabo during the time they would be moving they likely will not make an offer.
In the spring and fall, many people are looking for homes and sellers are looking to move. Most people who are looking to sell want to put their home on the market during these seasons; unfortunately, if everyone has the same idea, it also means your home may suffer from an increase in competition in the marketplace.
Almost universally, no one wants to sell their home during the holidays. Inventory drops dramatically, and there are fewer transactions that happen during November and December. But the flip-side is this: if fewer homes are offered, your house has a greater chance of standing out. Also, if a prospective buyer is looking for a home during the holidays, they are likely very serious and a lot less likely to haggle.
By way of example, a few years ago we had a listing in September that was overpriced, outdated and not selling. It sat on the market for 45 days before we persuaded our seller to pull it off the market and do some renovating and staging. After 30 days, we put it back on the market. The price was the same as before, but the house was a lot more appealing. I was a little concerned because we were now putting it back on the market the weekend before Thanksgiving (at a time when a lot of people would agree is less than ideal). Incredibly, we received three offers in five days — our seller went into contract, accepting an offer that was greater than the asking price, the Saturday after Thanksgiving!
The truth is, in my experience, there’s no bad time of year to sell a house — only bad markets in which to sell. We always review the latest market statistics so you know what to expect. Even in a market that’s less-ideal, buyers will line up to buy a home they view favorably. We also help you match the look of property with your expected buyer to maximize your home’s appeal. We seldom worry about what time of year it is, or whether or not we should wait to put your home on the market. If it’s a market that favors sellers, we want to get your house on the market and maximize your equity!
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