Best time to sell your house? This could be something you’ve been wondering and if the seasons affect your ability to attract the right buyer(s).
This said, if you guessed spring as the best time to sell your house, then you’d be right! It’s typically considered the best time to sell your house for several reasons.
Why It’s Better To Sell Your House In The Spring
Spring weather is more favourable for home buying, as the temperatures are mild and the outdoor environment is more appealing. Buyers are more likely to want to look at homes and go to open houses when the weather is nicer. This is one of the number one reasons why spring is the best time of year to sell your house.
INCREASED BUYER DEMAND
Spring is typically the busiest time of year for real estate activity, as many buyers are looking to purchase a new home before the start of the summer. This increased demand can lead to higher competition among buyers, which can benefit sellers in terms of the best time to sell your house.
IMPROVED CURB APPEAL
As the weather warms up, you can take advantage of the spring season to improve the curb appeal of your home. You can plant flowers, mow the lawn, and tidy up the exterior to make your home more attractive to potential buyers. Naturally, curb appeal is an important component in terms of the best time to sell your house.
Many families prefer to move during the summer months, as it allows them to settle into their new home before the start of the school year. If you sell your home in the spring, you can take advantage of this increased demand from families with school-aged children. Remember, just because you sell the house in the spring doesn’t mean you need to close in the spring. You can adjust the closing based on your needs or the needs of your buyer, if you can be flexible.
Spring is a time for renewal and many people take advantage of this to clean and declutter their homes. If you sell your home in the spring, you can take advantage of this natural inclination to get your home in top condition for potential buyers.
While selling your home during the spring season is typically advantageous, it is also important to consider other factors, such as local market conditions and your personal timeline, to determine the best time to sell.
If you want to drill right down, late spring — more specifically, May — is traditionally best time to sell a house. Statistics have shown that homes sold in May net a 12%+ premium (the amount above the home’s market value), based on an analysis of condo sales as well as single-family home sales throughout the past decade.
Now, to determine the premium or discount sellers realized on a given day, research compared the median sale price for homes with a purchase closing on that day with the median automated valuation model (AVM) for those same properties at the time of sale. Here’s how each month of the year ranked for the best time to sell a house.
The highest-earning months are, in ranking order, May, June, July and April. These four months saw the highest volume and dollar value compared to other months throughout the year.
June barely beats July for second place, with a 10.7% premium, up slightly from July’s 10%. March and April usher in prime homebuying season with returns of 8.9% and 9.2%, respectively. By September, seller premiums start tapering off, falling to 7.9%.
“In general, the best time to sell a house is the summer. Conversely, that’s usually the worst time to buy, due to high prices and more demand,” says Donovan Reynolds, a real estate agent with eXp Realty.
The Exceptions To The Rule
During the height of the pandemic, normal seasonal patterns all but disappeared from the housing market. There was so much demand for homes that any time was a good time to sell. In fact, in Ontario, January of 2021 and January of 2022 had record breaking sales which was far from the norm.
Since the market is settling down somewhat, timing is once again becoming an important consideration for home sellers.
Some patterns and trends usually do hold true throughout the year, and one is that late spring and early summer are the best times to sell. Sellers can net much more money if they sell during the peak months of May, June and July versus the two slowest months of the year, being October and December.
Typically, sellers list their homes in the spring and summer because the weather is good, especially for people in colder climates. In addition, families want to buy their next home before school starts.
Daylight savings time might also play a part in why the warmer months stimulate buying activity. One of the reasons buyers are more eager to view properties during spring and summer may be due to the longer days. By getting more exposure for your listing through more traffic, you increase the chances to receive more offers.”
Homebuyers on a deadline — for example, those who want to buy a new home prior to the start of the new school year should make sure they’re in top financial shape before spring. That means checking your credit score and debt to income ratio. This will help make sure you’re in a strong position to obtain your mortgage preapproval.
The best thing to do is shop around for a loan before you start looking for a house. This will give you a good idea of what you can qualify for.
Why Are Fall and Winter More Challenging Times To Sell?
Fall and winter are typically the worst seasons to sell
The decline in seller premiums typically begins in September, when the average premium drops to 7.9% — significantly less than the peak in May. By then, many buyers with school-aged kids have likely found a home, so the sharp drop is no surprise.
Combine the new school year with the start of the busy holiday season, and homebuying goes on the back burner during the latter part of the year. Just like in the warmer months, the weather plays a factor in the winter months, too. As the days get dark earlier and temperatures drop, people tend to stay close to home. This means less foot traffic for sellers which means this simply may not be the best time of year to sell your house.
October is the worst month to sell
The worst month of the year to sell a house is October, with a 5.2% seller premium. And those premiums stay pretty low in ensuing months. Homebuying activity typically comes to a near-standstill in December, when people tend to travel and are busy with holiday celebrations.
If you’re a buyer then the opposite of this is actually true. The cooler months can be a super great time for you to be house hunting because there is less competition. In addition, anxious / motivated sellers could be more willing to negotiate their list price or have other concessions.
The best day of the week to list your home
Want to get even more specific? If you really want to maximize your profits and sell quickly, consider listing your home on a Thursday. Data from both Redfin and Zillow suggest that Thursday is the sweet spot for new listings to appear on the market, as both house-hunters and real estate agents tend to plan their weekend showings toward the end of the week. Friday is a good bet as well.
If listing at the end of the week is best, then it’s common sense that avoiding listing at the beginning of the week is not ideal. This can be attributed to the likelihood that the listing will sit for a few days before most buyers are ready to look.
What If You’re Faced With A Recession?
As happened with the pandemic, the possibility of a recession might see established housing-market trends fly out the window. It goes without saying that a recession can be a tricky time to sell your home. When the economy contracts, unemployment rises and potential buyers may experience a decline in income, making it more difficult for them to be approved for a mortgage. In addition, selling a home requires paying real estate commissions and closing costs that could total tens of thousands of dollars.
So it’s only worth doing if you really need to. If you can afford to hold off until the economy stabilizes a bit, that could be the smarter financial option.
More tips for sellers when you’re trying to decide on the best time to sell your house.
- Real estate is very localized, so speak with a very experienced REALTOR® in your market who understands local sales trends. Local REALTOR®’s can give you neighborhood-specific sales information to help you make the most strategic decision about when to list your home.
- Keep the prep time to get your home ready to sell in mind also. Sellers should consider undertaking any repairs and renos to their homes in advance that will maximize their ROI, especially if they foresee a lengthy process. Even simple decluttering can be time-consuming, so plan accordingly and finish these projects before listing your home on the market.
- Make sure you get expert, professional-quality listing photos taken along with a video tour and 3D matterport tour. Almost all homebuyers search for homes online these days, about 96% or more according to the National Association of REALTOR®s. It goes without saying that it’s important to put your home’s best foot forward right from the beginning.
Are you thinking about selling your home? Let’s chat! I can be reached at 647-896-6584, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by filling out this simple contact form. For other great tips, make sure we’re connected on social @serenaholmesrealtor and you’ve subscribed to my YouTube channel.
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