When is the Best Time to Sell a House?

Written By: Ashley Sutphin
Friday, January 29, 2021

When youre planning to sell your house, timing is important. You want the most people to see it and be interested, and you, of course, want it to go for the highest possible price. So when is the right timing? When is the worst time to sell a house, alternatively?

The Local Housing Market

We often think about seasonal trends when determining the best time to sell a house, and those are >

While there are national trends, real estate is often much more localized. For example, following the coronavirus pandemic, many big urban markets are dealing with stagnant or declining real estate sales. New York and San Francisco are examples. However, suburban markets are thriving.

You do need to think about the local condition where your home is, and also even more specific factors, such as what the appreciation for homes in your neighborhood looks like and how this compares to where youll buy.

Seasonal Trends

June tends to be the best time to sell a house. The summer months in general are often more favorable for sellers, from May to August. These months make up 40 of annual home sales volume according to the National Association of Realtors. With that being said, that then makes summer the worst time to buy. In the summer, theres a sellers premium, so you have to think about how that will balance out if youre planning to both buy and sell.

Summer is a popular time in real estate because of the good weather and daylight savings time and the longer days. Its somewhat simple when you think about itthere are more daylight hours, meaning more potential exposure for your home. A lot of families with children look in the summer months so they can get their kids enrolled in school by the fall.

December tends to be the worst month to sell a home. Theres not a lot of inventory, and buying activity is limited. Again, this is logical. People are thinking about the holidays and theyre traveling. Plus, the days are shorter and the weather isnt great.

Some general pros of selling a home in spring include:

Many people get their tax refunds in the early spring so they can make renovations or repairs as-needed during this time.
Theres more curb appeal when your lawn is in full bloom.
If you plan ahead during the spring, youre more likely to be well-timed for the summer rush.

The big con is that there will be more competition in spring and heading into summer, and buyers will have more choices.

Pros of selling in summer include:

Theres more flexibility for both you and potential buyers if school is out.
Buyers tend to feel an urgency to get their kids settled before school.
If buyers feel urgency, they may make a more competitive offer.

The cons are similar to selling in spring. Namely, theres more competition.

If you have to sell your home in the fall, theres typically less competition and inventory. Also, buyers may be more serious if theyre looking in fall because they may be up against a certain deadline, such as needing to >

If you need to make repairs, professionals are less likely to be busier and may be cheaper than they would be during the busy spring and summer.

Regional Seasonality

In the West and the South, temperatures stay milder in the winter, so there may be less of a dip in home buying and selling activity in the winter. In the Midwest and the northeast, where there are extreme winters, theres a more pronounced seasonal difference in the real estate market.

Theres no perfect time to sell a home, but there are considerations to keep in mind.

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Updated: Friday, March 05, 2021

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