Figuring out the right time to sell a house can be tricky. Real estate market trends differ heavily based on the time of year. So listing your house a few months earlier or later can make a difference of thousands of dollars. Read on to find out the best time to list a house, and ensure you’ll be making top dollar.
Spring is usually hailed as the best time of year to sell a house. After a long and cold winter, prospective home buyers will come out of their hibernation, and foot traffic to your house will increase. The average home buyer will be much more inclined to visit a property for sale and make their offers once the cold has subsided. Furthermore, families with school-aged children will be most likely to purchase during this time, since they’ll be eager to settle in before the new school year starts. These reasons, among others, usually make spring the best time to sell a house.
If you’re wondering about the best month to sell a house, your answer will usually be May. According to national statistics, the first half of May boasts quicker and more fruitful sales than the rest of the year. The average home sells two weeks more quickly, and at a whopping $2,500 extra! If you have the freedom to choose your timing, this is definitely the best time to sell a house fast.
Spring, however, isn’t automatically a great choice. The primary reason for its popularity is improvements in weather which spur consumers to get out after a long winter. But if you live in a region where the seasons don’t differ too much, then spring might not necessarily bring about more foot traffic than the rest of the year. Be sure to study up on the trends in your specific region to find out the best time to sell a house.
According to a study from Smartzip, Spring is the best time to sell a house in the following US states:
- Washington DC
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- West Virginia
Related: How to Sell Your House: A Complete Step-by-Step Guide
Spring’s momentum will still be going strong into the summer months. Homes will have a high curb appeal during this time when flowers are in full bloom. Summer could be the best time to sell a house if you live within a good school district. Families will be flocking to your region, and many will be in a rush to buy before the school year kicks off.
Here are the US states where summer is the best time of year to sell a house:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New York
- South Dakota
Although the peak season has passed, fall can still be a great time to sell a house. There will generally be much less competition in your path when selling a home, allowing your real estate listing to stand out much more. Although you’ll miss out on families with school-aged children, there are still many people out there searching for their new homes.
If you live or own a rental property in one of the following states, fall is a great time to sell your property:
The worst month to sell a house is December, hands down. In the dead of winter, not many individuals choose to go out and search for their future home. You can expect some individuals who are relocating for their work, or other familial circumstances to be on the lookout for homes. But in general, demand will be low, and this is definitely not the best time to sell a house.
In order to avoid the high competition which is entailed in the upcoming months, consider listing your house in February or March. These months tend to be more active than their cold predecessors, and tend to have much easier competition than the upcoming selling season. Putting your house on the market before competition sets in can sometimes be a good strategic move.
However, if you happen to own a property in one of the following states, winter can actually be the best time to sell:
- New Mexico
Buyer’s Market vs Seller’s Market
Seasons are not the only thing that can determine the optimal time to sell a house. Whether your real estate market is a seller’s market or buyer’s market plays a huge role as well.
What Is a Seller’s Market?
The term seller’s market is thrown around a lot in real estate. For example, the Tampa real estate market is currently a hot seller’s market. It essentially describes a situation wherein there is more demand for homes than there are homes for sale available. This usually allows sellers to ask for higher prices, and often allows you to close real estate deals more quickly. With limited supply, you may receive multiple offers for your home, and some might even bid higher than the asking price. The best time to sell a house is definitely when it’s a seller’s market.
What Is a Buyer’s Market?
Unlike a seller’s market, buyer’s markets are characterized by high supply and low demand. When there are more real estate listings available than people who want to buy them, prices start to go down, and listings will generally be on the market for longer. This is definitely not the best time to sell a house.
Related: Will the 2020 US Housing Market Be a Seller’s Market or a Buyer’s Market?
What Should I Do If I’m Selling in a Buyer’s Market?
Very often, homeowners can’t wait for the perfect time to sell their home. Whether you’re moving for a job or for a familial commitment, you might end up in a situation where you’re selling your home within a buyer’s market. But there’s still plenty of things you can do to ensure you sell your home within a reasonable amount of time and at a good price, even if its not the best time to sell a house.
Upgrade your house
When selling your home within a buyer’s market, consider making the necessary upgrades needed to stand out among the competition. There are a number of upgrades that have a high return on investment, which you should definitely consider. Applying a new coat of paint, landscaping your front yard, or making upgrades to kitchen appliances, for example, can go a long way to boosting your sale price. By keeping an eye on upgrades with a high return on investment, you’ll be sure to stay within a net positive.
Take great photos
If you intend to showcase your property on online listing websites, such as Mashvisor, high-quality photos can make or break your chances of making a good sale. When listing a house in a buyer’s market, proper advertising is crucial. High-quality photos, taken by a professional photographer, can set your listing apart from the heavy competition. Among hundreds of listings, your property can stand out if properly advertised.
Related: How Strategic Visuals Can Improve Property Marketing
Set the right price
If you’re facing high competition in your real estate market, you may need to make some considerations when pricing your property. You don’t want to go too low, as you may effectively be missing out on a substantial profit from the sale of your home. But be sure to study your real estate comps — properties with similar specifications to yours within a comparable location — in order to price strategically.
“Is now a good time to sell a house?” is a question that jumps into every seller’s mind during their journey. If you have the freedom to choose your timing, be sure to think about the season and how it may affect consumer behavior in your region. As well, study up on your local real estate market, and find out whether it favors sellers or buyers. Keeping these considerations in mind, you’re sure to find the best time to sell a house.