Each season has its pros and cons for home sellers.
If you have school-age children, time your sale during the spring or summer months.
Winter sales could be tough in some cold regions, but not if you’re selling a vacation home.
If only real estate agents had the ability to point to a certain date on the calendar and find the perfect day to list your home. Unless your real estate agent is also a psychic, this is not a likely scenario. While it can be difficult to determine the right time to list your home, looking at the market from a seasonal perspective can help. Let’s take a look at each season to help you find the best time to sell your home.
Best Time of Year for Home Sales
According to a 2021 report from ATTOM Data Solutions, homes sell for higher prices in March through August when compared to sales in the winter months. May is the best month for sellers: In 2021, median sale prices rose 13.4% that month. However, keep in mind that home sales depend on many factors, including location, property condition, and the availability of comparable homes nearby.
Selling by Season: Which is the Best?
Believe it or not, the weather and the season can make an impact on your home listing. Read on to learn more about the pros and cons of selling during each season.
Listing Your Home in the Spring
Spring is traditionally known as the start of the real estate season, so it’s a great time to list your home. House hunters are coming out of hibernation after the long winter to look at homes in real life instead of scrolling through virtual tours. If you’re selling your home in the spring, it’s a great time to spruce up your curb appeal as gardens burst into bloom.
Another reason spring is a great time to sell is because families with school-age children are eager to wrap up a real estate transaction and get settled in a new home prior to the start of the next school year. Even if everyone in your household is out of school, it's a good idea to keep the academic calendar in mind when listing your home.
Listing Your Home in the Summer
School is indeed out for the summer, meaning that buyers will be motivated to move even more quickly as the new school year approaches. It indeed could be a tight timeline, especially if you’re trying to buy and sell a home at the same time. But here’s some good news: Since there are more hours of sunlight in the summer, which means the day is extended for in-person house tours.
Keep in mind that by June, July, and August, most of the spring listings will have sold, leaving less competition on the market for sellers. On the other hand, the end of peak buying and moving season may give buyers more leverage, which could encourage them to request additional perks like a closing cost credit.
Listing Your Home in the Fall
When the leaves start to fall, it can get tricky to list your home. For one, school is in session, so families may put off their search until the following year. But there are still some good reasons for listing your home in the fall.
For starters, if winter weather is harsh in your area, people will want to do their house tours while the weather is still relatively mild. Plus, the holidays are approaching. Buyers might want to put off the stress of buying a home until the new year, and perhaps you, too, would rather spend time celebrating one last holiday season in your current home.
If you list in the fall, you might have to stand your ground regarding price. If your resolution is to get a “sold” sign on your lawn by the end of the year, know that buyers are onto you—and they may come in with lower offers to wrap things up by the end of the year.
Listing Your Home in Winter
Winter weather is a moot point if you are lucky enough to live in an area where you don't have to deal with ice, snow, and other things that will destroy an open house schedule. However, virtual showings make it easy for real estate agents to show homes during the dead of winter.
If your home is marketed as a primary residence, you could experience a slowdown in the market as buyers wait until spring to start their search fresh. But what if you’re selling something that could serve as a vacation home? Then it makes sense to list it during the winter because people will be able to close on the home in time for a summer of celebration in their new residence.
When Not to Sell Your House
Finally, you may consider not listing your home at all. When deciding when to put your home on the market, it’s important to consider external factors and circumstances, like interest rate and housing market trends.
If interest rates are on the rise, listing your home means potentially giving up a low-rate mortgage in exchange for a much higher one. For example, the summer of 2022 is the worst time to buy a home in the last 15 years, so you may consider staying in place and remodeling instead of buying a home to get more space or nicer amenities.