Does Seasonality Dictate The Best Time Of Year To Sell A Home?

Real Estate Agent with Joe Manausa Real Estate 8508880888

Now that September has come and gone and October is midway through, all of us long-timers are wondering how home sales seasonality is going to impact the red hot Tallahassee real estate market.

When we reported on year over year home sales, July was up 25% over July of last year, and August was up 24% over August 2015. And this was following a June that was up 20%, so I would say we had a very strong Summer.

But seasonal changes are real and they typically follow a consistent pattern. Generally, people like to move in the Summer months, as it fits family schedules better than cooler month moves.

Yet with all that being said, would you be surprised to discover that it is actually easier to buy a house and sell a house when both the weather and the market have cooled off?

Home Sales Seasonality In Tallahassee

Home Sales Seasonality ImpactIf you are wondering what the impact of seasonality will be on the real estate market in Tallahassee over the next few months, you might find what follows to be both comforting and surprising.

First of all, it is true that history has shown that we should expect fewer buyers in the months from September through February.

This means that the industry slows down. Fewer mortgages are written. Fewer title insurance policies are written. And fewer real estate contracts are written.

But did you know that the number of listings on the market also is fewer during these months?

So it's not actually "harder" to sell a house during the "slower" months because there are fewer sellers competing for the reduced number of buyers.

In fact, you might argue that the best time to sell a house is during these "slower" months, as all service providers have more time and fewer other customers that are seeking their attention.

The Right Time Of Year To Sell A House

In order to determine if there is a best time of year to sell a house in terms of the percentage of the listing inventory which sells, I have compiled information from six years of home sales in the Tallahassee real estate market.

I examined all houses that were listed during that time and compared it with the contracts that eventually closed from each month. For example, if there were 2,000 listings in January 2010 and 200 closing eventually occurred from contracts written in January 2010, then I would record the fact that 10% of the inventory went under contract. This was done for each month from January 2009 through December 2014, and the median of these results were used to create the real estate graph below.

The Home Sales Seasonality Impact

In a sense, we can say the graph above shows a house seller the "odds of selling" each month of the year.

  • Two months stood out above all others, April and June, where more than 11% of the inventory sold each month.
  • Four months stood out below all others, January, February, September, and November, where only 7% to 8% of the inventory sold.
  • Six months spanning throughout the year showed a little more than 10% of the inventory selling.

I believe the impact of seasonality on a houseowners ability to sell a house is negligible at best.

The Property Search Tool You Use Really Does Matter

Somebody recently asked us to perform a scientific analysis to discover the best property search tool for Tallahassee. We have provided a short video of our findings here.


I hope our report on the impact of seasonality in real estate provided some insight on market timing (meaning buy or sell when it is most convenient for your family).


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Steffy Hristova
HomeSmart Elite Group Tempe AZ Tel: 480-966-9353 - Tempe, AZ
Tempe AZ Realtor - Your Home Close to Your Work!

Joe, I enjoyed looking the graphs and the animation. I was wondering about February - did you correct for the shorter month, and bank holidays? Looks like besides the summer months, October and December are pretty active months in Tallahassee.

Oct 19, 2015 10:47 PM #1
Rob Arnold
Sand Dollar Realty Group, Inc. - Altamonte Springs, FL
Metro Orlando Full Service - Investor Friendly & F

Nice graph.  I always think if you compare the housing supply ratio (inventory vs actual closings) month to month you can get a fairly good idea of when the best months to sell are.  

Oct 19, 2015 10:47 PM #2
Joe Manausa
Joe Manausa Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Tallahassee Real Estate

Thanks Steffy ... absolutely. I suspect different markets will have different results too.

Oct 19, 2015 10:49 PM #3
Joe Manausa
Joe Manausa Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Tallahassee Real Estate

Agreed Rob Arnold ... in my market, our supply dips when demand dips, that is why there's not much difference for 8 of the 12 months

Oct 19, 2015 10:50 PM #4
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County

With the current inventory issues here I think the intensity of competition among buyers may get greater as the holidays and early 2016 months approach. 

Oct 20, 2015 12:14 AM #5
Belinda Spillman
Aspen Lane Real Estate Colorful Colorado - Aurora, CO
Colorado Living!

Very nicely done.  I feel that anytime is a good time to sell your home.  The winter months do bring less competition from other sellers.  There are still buyers looking for the perfect home at all times of year.  Why wait?

Oct 20, 2015 03:30 AM #6
Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ
Arizona's Top Banana!

Joe that is a very well done graph showing the seasonality of sales. I would imagine your market is somewhat like our market in that we don't have a winter season so it doesn't really slow down that much.

Oct 20, 2015 09:56 AM #7
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