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Best Time to Sell a House | The Ideal Time to List

Best Time to Sell a House | The Ideal Time to List

Selling a house is one of the most biggest financial decisions you’ll face. Knowing how different seasons affect the listing price will help you understand the best time to sell a house. Read on to learn more.


Disclaimer: The information included in this post is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as legal, financial, or DIY advice. We highly suggest consulting a professional before attempting any DIY home improvements or repairs.


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Best Time to Sell a House

Studies show that the seasons with the highest sales are the spring and summer seasons. But you can still sell your home during winter or autumn. However, you’ll likely not get as much than you would in the first half of the year.

How Seasons Affect the Sale

When selling a house, the home’s location determines the best time to sell it. Different seasons have buyers of various characteristics. These include:

1. Spring Season

For a piece on the best time to sell a house, a for sale sign in the yard of a suburban home in the Spring

Karamysh/Shutterstock

In most locations, the spring season is the best time to sell your house. The weather is favorable, which allows buyers to look for a new home and move. 

Most people have tax refunds in their pockets during spring, and kids’ summer break is coming up, making it easier to relocate. When selling your house in the spring, you’re likely to make a faster and better sale. Typically, the best time to list is during the first two weeks of May.

Pros

  • The most favorable time of the year to move is approaching
  • The weather is clear to allow more time for buyers to see the house
  • Tax refunds are available, meaning you’ll have enough money for repairs and refunds
  • There’s better curb appeal for both the interior and exterior

Cons

  • Competition is at its highest, meaning potential buyers have more options
  • Buyers may have to pull their kids out of school if the home sells faster than expected
  • The weather in some locations may still be muddy, snowy, or rainy

2. Summer Season

Summer, one of the best times to sell a home, with a big blue Northwestern home for sale

Artazum/Shutterstock

Summer is the next best time of the year to sell your house. Most of the reasons for high sales in summer are similar to those of spring, such as warm weather and school breaks. 

However, in places like Arizona and Florida, the weather is too hot during summer, making it hard to shop for a house. This period is also when most people are out for vacations, which may reduce the number of showings.

Pros

  • Buyers need to settle their school children faster, meaning that they need to make a fast sale
  • Predictable weather gives more time for showings
  • Both you and potential buyers have more after-work hours
  • Buyers are likely to make a more competitive offer since their buying time is almost over

Cons

  • The weather in some locations may be too hot to go house hunting
  • It’s vacation time, meaning that fewer potential buyers are in town
  • The home selling competition is high, meaning your home needs to be in tip-top shape

3. Fall Season

Illustration of the best time to sell a house with a couple standing in front of a sold sign in the Fall

Andy Dean Photography/Shutterstock

The ease of selling a house during the fall depends on your location. If you live in areas with hot summer weather, this is the best season for you to make a sale, as buyers will begin moving back as the temperatures cool off.

Pros

  • Less competition from other home sellers
  • The fall décor and foliage can make your listing images more appealing to the buyer
  • Most of the buyers who you will come across during this time are serious buyers, thus faster closing time

Cons

  • Potentially cold weather makes it an inconvenient time to sell
  • Less competition from buyers can make them more demanding
  • Some locations have a less appealing curb appeal as grass grows browner, trees lose leaves, and flowers die
  • Keeping the house warm during showing hours increases the heating costs

4. Winter Season

Post on best time to sell a house with a big colonial style home with a for sale sign in the yard

Andy Dean Photography/Shutterstock

Traditionally, winter is the slowest season of the year to sell your house. But it’s not entirely impossible. In tropical or snow bird destinations like Florida or Arizona, the seasons are flipped, meaning there’s actually more demand than in the spring and summer.

Pros

  • Most of the buyers during this time are highly motivated
  • Snow can cover some of the ugly parts of the home, which could bring in potential buyers
  • There’s limited buyer competition
  • Buyers are likely to close the deal faster

Cons

  • The weather is least favorable for both buyers and sellers
  • It’s inconvenient to prepare your home for showing during the winter
  • Days are shorter, meaning less showing time
  • Fewer potential buyers are looking for a house
  • Moving out of the home you sell during winter can be cold
  • There is an unpleasant curb appeal that could cause you to lose potential buyers

Things to Consider

Couple packed up moving boxes and took our advice on the best time to sell a house, now their contents are packed up in a front room with arched windows overlooking a suburban neighborhood

vtwinpixel/Shutterstock

Although seasons highly affect the best time of the year to make a sale, they are not the only considerations. Other considerations include the following. 

Is Your Home in Good Selling Shape?

If your home is unappealing to the buyer, it is hard to make a sale, even during the high season. No buyer wants to buy a house if it’s in poor shape. As you wait for the peak season to sell, make necessary renovations to make the home more appealing to potential buyers.

Consider The Local Housing Market

The local housing market changes from time to time. Determine how fast homes are selling and whether this trend will continue. Then compare it to the area where you intend to buy. You can ask a real estate agent to help you understand this and other trends in your local housing market.

Can You Afford to Sell Your Home?

Unless you’re selling your home to cash buyers who buy the house as-is, you’ll need to get the house ready for sale. Readying your home means setting aside money that you’ll use to renovate, repair, or make other necessary preparations for selling the home. 

If you don’t have any liquid funds, wait until you’re financially ready to make a sale. Otherwise, you risk selling the house for a price below what it’s worth.

So, What’s the Best Time to Sell a House?

In most locations, the spring and summer seasons are the peak seasons for selling a house. But regardless of the season, you’ll want to present the home to potential buyers in the best condition possible to maximize your total sales price. Be sure to check out our curb appeal ideas to quickly (and cheaply) spruce up the overall look of your home.

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