As summer approaches and peak home-selling season comes to a close, homeowners looking to sell should think about listing soon. In most areas, the best time to sell your house starts in March and continues through June, when the weather is nicer and offers more hours of daylight, making buyers more willing to head out for hours at a time to view homes. Also, many parents are looking to relocate before the beginning of the next school year.
However, the best time of year for selling also depends on where you live. For example, warmer climates in states such as California may encourage locals to look for homes throughout the year. According to research done by Zillow, May is the optimal time to list a home nationally, with some popular cities like Los Angeles and St. Louis peaking later in the month into early June. Doing research on home sales in your area and contacting an experienced real estate agent will help you determine the best time to sell your home for its maximum value.
What Factors Determine the Best Time to Sell?
When looking to put your house on the market, there are several crucial factors you should evaluate before taking the plunge. These include:
- Increased demand: If there aren’t many homes for sale in your local area, you can safely assume that you'll have a higher chance of receiving multiple offers. It could also mean that buyers may not make too many demands—such as contingent offers or repair requests. In an ideal situation, you could find a cash buyer who wants to close fast.
- More housing options: It'll be easier to find your next home during peak months, when there are more homes on the market and more buyers looking for homes. Also, selling your old house during this time will likely be a much faster process, which means you may not need to put in any contingent offers or take out a bridge loan to help cover the costs of your new mortgage. However, keep in mind that the bigger price tags in a seller's market apply to you as well.
- Stronger appraisals: Selling during peak seasons means that your appraiser will be able to base your home value on a lot of recent sales data for your neighborhood, leading to a more accurate home appraisal. If you sell your home during the winter or off-peak seasons, the appraiser may only have comparable data for homes sold below market value, possibly hurting your listing.
What's the Housing Market Like Today?
So far this spring, there has been a shortage of homes for sale, meaning that buyers are lingering later into the season and may even spend more on a home than they intended. But with mortgage rates on the rise, companies are seeing fewer mortgage applications, which may affect your ability to sell your home. However, even with the lack of homes, buyers are still looking to purchase, especially in these strong economic conditions.
Peak seasons in the housing market aren't automatically the best time for you to sell; you must evaluate the factors above and the status of housing in the country before putting your house on the market. Another good way to find out when to list your home for sale is to contact an experienced real estate agent who has sold homes this season to inform you on the current housing trends in your area.