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When Is The Best Time To Sell A House?

Lee LaPlante  |  November 4, 2023

When Is The Best Time To Sell A House?

Selling a house is more than just a financial decision; it's an emotional journey filled with ups and downs. So, the question of when is the best time to sell your house is a critical one. According to ATTOM, you can sell your home for thousands of dollars more in the spring and early summer than in the winter. With that said, let's dive into a detailed exploration to help you make this significant decision.

Best months to sell

Whether you're just toying with the idea of selling or ready to list tomorrow, understanding which months yield the best financial results can give you a substantial leg-up. In fact, the median sale price and seller premiums vary significantly from month to month.

Here's a table filled with valuable data from 2011 to 2021, outlining when you might consider entering the real estate market to get top dollar for your property.

Median Sales Price
Median AVM
Seller Premium

Seasons and their influence on selling a house

Autumn home sales

Selling a house in the fall may not yield the highest price, but there are benefits. The housing market tends to slow down, which means less competition from other sellers. Moreover, potential buyers during this season are usually more serious about making a purchase. Be mindful that as the days get shorter with daylight savings time ending, you have less daylight to show your home, and you'll want to schedule home tours accordingly.

Putting your house on the market during winter

The winter months are generally considered slow seasons for home sales, mostly due to the busy holiday season and colder weather. However, there are winter buyers who are very motivated. These are the people who are willing to trudge through snow and attend showings during the busy holiday season. While you might have fewer showings, those who do come are often more motivated and serious buyers.

Springtime sales

Spring is a time when the flowers bloom, and so does the local housing market. As the weather warms up, many homeowners get ready to list their houses. It’s no wonder that homes sold during the early spring to late spring months fetch higher prices. It's a peak season where buyer demand is high and seller premiums are the most generous.

Selling during summer

Summer months are also a great time to sell, especially if you want to attract buyers shopping during school breaks. Though the market tends to get a little saturated, many buyers are looking to move before the new school year starts. Therefore, the summer season provides a unique window of opportunity, especially for families looking to buy.

Timing the market to your advantage

Entering a market favorable to buyers

Selling in a buyer's market can be challenging as there are more homes available than buyers. However, if you price your home correctly and present it in tip-top shape, you can still achieve a successful sale.

Opting for a seller-friendly market

When housing inventory is low and many buyers are seeking homes, it’s a seller's market. You'll likely get multiple offers, allowing you to negotiate an even higher price. This is the ideal time for home sellers looking for the best time to sell.

Making a move when mortgage rates dip

Sometimes external factors like a drop in mortgage rates can make it an opportune time to sell. Lower mortgage rates often spur a wave of buying activity, boosting the local housing market and allowing you to sell quickly for a favorable price.

Circumstantial considerations for selling your home

When lifestyle changes beckon

Life is full of surprises. Maybe you've received a job offer in another city, or perhaps you're expecting another child. Whatever the case, when a significant life change occurs, it might signal that it's the right time to sell your house.

After you’ve tackled all necessary repairs

Before you list your home, make sure it’s in top financial shape. Even minor maintenance issues can turn off prospective buyers. A home in excellent condition is more likely to sell quickly and for a higher price.

Preparing your finances

Before you make the leap, ensure you're financially prepared for the selling process and what comes after. This means understanding your home's market value, what you owe on your mortgage, and how the average selling price in your local housing market aligns with your financial goals.

Fast facts about selling your home

  • Cleanliness matters: A clean, uncluttered home can significantly add to your profit.
  • Correct pricing is key: Homes priced right from the start attract the most interested buyers and sell faster.
  • Selling is inconvenient: Expect disruptions to your normal schedules and prepare to handle them for a smoother selling process.
  • Fix repairs early: Unattended repairs can cause buyers to overestimate repair costs and undervalue your home.
  • Overpricing helps competitors: Overpriced homes don't attract the right buyers and may inadvertently help sell neighboring properties.
  • Buyers negotiate after inspection: Be prepared for negotiation over repair costs post-inspection.
  • Smelly homes sell for less: Eliminate unpleasant pet, smoke, or food odors to prevent deterring potential buyers.
  • Cash isn't always king: A well-presented offer from a financing buyer can compete with and even beat a cash offer.
  • Well-maintained homes sell for more: Buyers are willing to pay more for homes that have been well-kept.

Wrapping up

Choosing the best time to sell your house is a complex decision that hinges on a multitude of factors. It encompasses not only the preparation of your property to showcase its finest features but also the strategic timing to align with peak market conditions. Balancing these considerations allows you to maximize your property's appeal and value, ensuring a successful and potentially lucrative home-selling journey.

About Lee LaPlante

In her remarkable 25-year real estate career, Lee LaPlante shines in the top 1.49% of Realtors nationwide and the elite 3% of her global brokerage. If you're looking to buy or sell a home or have any questions about the California real estate market, contact Lee LaPlante today.

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