A Comprehensive Guide on the Best Time of Year to Sell a House

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It’s no secret that the real estate market is on fire—and has been for quite some time. 

The median sale price for existing homes in February was $357,300, which represents a whopping 15% increase compared to the previous year. 

With experts predicting that interest rates will go up, you’re not alone if you’re looking to sell soon. But you may be wondering about the best time of year to sell a house before you put yours on the market. 

This article covers the various benefits and drawbacks of when to sell a house during every season of the year.  

What Is the Best Time of Year to Sell a House?

First, it’s important to remember that this is highly dependent on where you’re located.

If you’re in Minnesota, winter is a tough time to sell as buyers may hesitate to slog through snow and ice. Conversely, the sizzling hot summer in Arizona encourages potential buyers to stay at home in the air conditioning.

You may have personal reasons that outweigh any market considerations as well. For example, if you’re moving for a new job with a concrete start date, you’re going to have to put the home on the market regardless of the season. 

That said, nationwide the best time to sell a house is at the end of April or the beginning of May. Homes that hit the market in this period tend to sell faster and for higher prices.

Most of the country has nice weather at this time. Real estate agents will schedule open houses over a weekend to maximize the number of potential bidders. 

If you’re interested in selling a house fast and receiving cash offers, check out this helpful resource

Spring

When you choose to sell your home really does matter. Research has shown that the average home sold in April goes for 10% more compared to the beginning of the year. 

Listing during the spring means you have more potential buyers and less competition. You could fetch a higher price without the home being on the market for very long.

Beyond the better weather, there are other benefits to selling in the spring. There are more daylight hours and blooming gardens will increase your home’s curb appeal.

But there are cons to selling in the spring. If you wait, you risk falling into peak moving season, when it will be challenging to book moving companies.

There’s also higher demand for contractors, making it difficult to schedule repairs before you sell the home.

Summer

The peak of the real estate season is summer. If you want maximum buyer interest, this is the best season to choose in most of the country.

According to one study, June and July have some of the highest sales numbers. Sellers also charge a premium of more than 11% when the weather warms up. 

During the summer, people have an easier time taking time off work. Parents tend to look during the summer as they want a new address established before school begins in the fall. 

The downside to selling in the summer is that you’re going to face stiff competition. Depending on local conditions, you could face intensely warm weather and storms, which will make folks less likely to venture out.

If you have children, they’ll be home all summer, so it’s more difficult to keep your home organized and presentable. You’ll also have more yard work to contend with. 

Fall

Buyer demand begins to wane in the fall in most parts of the country. Kids are back in school. The weather has cooled off and people are breaking out their sweaters.

Sellers with homes that hit the market in the spring and summer but didn’t sell may lower their asking price to attract buyers.

However, there is evidence that homes tend to have higher sales prices, especially in October and November. Homebuyers typically want to be settled in before the holidays, so if you are looking to sell, getting the house on the market earlier is advisable.

If you’re in a part of the country where autumn colors will be on display, this can provide a nice backdrop for your home to give it a bit more curb appeal. (Of course, this will also mean you have an extra incentive to rake leaves off your lawn!)

There’s also less competition in the fall as home inventory begins to decrease. In recent years, home inventory has been a major concern as the cost of new construction has skyrocketed.

In 2021, costs for constructing a new house were 23% higher than in 2019, marking the biggest spike in the industry in 50 years. 

Winter

This is commonly considered to be the worst time of year to sell a home. Specifically, December is the worst month with sales prices dipping. 

Homebuying is usually dormant at this time as people are busy with the holidays. 

The combination of cold weather and less daylight doesn’t help either. It’s possible that your home could linger on the market for a while.

That said, if you live in a warm-weather location, there could be a significant upside to selling during the winter. A house for sale on the Florida coast in January will seem appealing to Bostonians and New Yorkers digging their cars out of the snow.  

Another potential advantage is that home inventory is low. Though you might not have many buyers, you’re not going to have much competition. Your home could stand out for someone who has to move quickly, such as those relocating for a new job.  

In the current market conditions, homes continued to sell quickly and for high sales prices even during the winter months. 

Time It Right and Sell Your Home for Top Dollar

The fact is that seasonality matters no matter where you are. Analyzing market conditions and finding the best time of year to sell a house in your area is a smart idea. 

If you enjoyed our article on the best approach for selling your house, read more of our real estate and home articles.

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