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Best Time to Sell a House Nationwide
Nationally, May is the best month to sell a house in many states across the country. According to Zillow, houses sold between May 1st and May 15th sell approximately 6 days faster. Also, houses sold during this period tend to fetch $1,600 more than those sold during the other times of the year.
Most realtors often rush to have their listings up by the onset of May - preferably on a Friday or Saturday. When listed during this period, the agent will have ample time to stage the house while maximizing the peak season.
The spring season, which is between April and June is also a great time to list your house. However, you should note that different markets have different selling peaks. Therefore, the best month to sell a house will depend on the local climate and other market forces.
Best Time to Sell a House in your Area
Determining the best month to sell a house will also depend on your locality. For instance, if you live in an area that experiences all 4 seasons, then spring will be the best time to sell a house.
But as noted above, different areas follow different timetables. For example, if the house you are selling is located in Florida, then November and December will be the best months to sell it since most people tend to flock to these areas during winter.
If your house is located in any of the ski towns like North Conway NH, Crested Butte CO, Taos NM, Ogden UT, Bellingham WA, Bend OR, Telluride CO, Stowe VT, Durango CO, Killington VM, Aspen CO and Whitefish MT, then the best time to sell will be during the winter months when these towns experience an influx of potential visitors.
As for beach houses, the best time to list them for sale will be right before summer kicks in, when potential buyers are about to go for their summer holidays.
So, your local climate as well as how your target buyer will utilize the house will help you to determine when is the best time to sell it.
Selling a House in the Different Seasons
Most realtors will tell you that spring is the best season to sell your house. However, spring may not be ideal for everyone, due to various reasons and circumstances.
Furthermore, each season comes with its fair share of pros and cons. Therefore, you need to consider the pros and cons of each season and weigh them against your situation.
With that said, let's take a closer look at what selling during the different seasons entails.
Most real estate agents will tell you that spring is the best time to sell a house. So, what makes spring the peak house-selling season? Well, after the cold and gloomy winter months, potential homebuyers are now willing to go house hunting. And as you may expect, foot traffic in your house will increase and chances of closing the sale will also be high.
Second, families that have school-going children are also highly likely to buy a house during this time of the year and settle down as soon as possible - before the new school year begins.
Third, blooming plants, trees and flowers will increase your home's curb appeal, while the bright sunshine will bathe your living spaces with natural sunlight. Hence, your house will look more appealing and welcoming during the spring season, further increasing the chances of closing a sale.
Homes sold during winter stay fewer days on the market and tend to fetch higher prices, compared to those sold during the cold winter months. So, if conditions are perfect for you and you have the freedom to choose when to sell your house, then Spring will be the best month.
However, spring is not always the best choice for every person. As noted above, house sales in Spring are high due to favorable weather conditions. So, if you live in an area where the weather conditions remain fairly constant throughout the year, then foot traffic will also remain constant. And in such a situation, you need to study and analyze market trends in your area and then figure out the best month to sell a house.
Furthermore, you will have to compete with numerous other sellers during the spring season, meaning that you need a better understanding of market trends. Also, buyers have lots of options to choose from, meaning that your house should be in top shape to compete with others.
By the time summer comes around, most of the houses that had been listed in May have been sold already. Therefore, you will encounter a lesser competition if you decided to sell your house in June or July. Also, your house will still have a high curb appeal.
Furthermore, if your house is located in a school district, summer will still be a good season to sell your house. Families that never managed to buy a house in May are now rushing to buy one as fast as possible - before the school year starts.
On the other hand, summer comes with intense, unbearable heat, which may reduce foot traffic to your house. Another drawback of listing your house during the summer months is that you may be required to spend some more resources trying to prime it for a potential sale.
The main drawback of selling a house during the summer is that buyers have greater negotiating power, and they may request more concessions such as asking you to pay for closing costs, among others.
While demand will fall considerably during this time of the year, you can still sell your house in the fall. During fall, competition has reduced significantly, thus helping your listing to stand out more. If your house is located in Iowa or Indian, then fall can be a great time to sell it. However, you may be forced to list your home below its current market value or offer more seller concessions to close a sale during the fall - due to the reduced demand.
Without a doubt, winter is the worst month to sell a house. As you may expect, most people will not be willing to leave the comfort of their homes and go house hunting.
Furthermore, most people involved in real estate transactions like mortgage brokers and real estate agents are already on holiday.
So, getting them together and closing a transaction will be a tough call. Another reason that makes winter a bad time to sell a house is that pipes can burst or other unexpected problems may reveal themselves, making it expensive and challenging to repair the house.
In short, you will be required to spend more money to prepare your house for staging than you would in the other months.
Unless you land someone who is relocating for a job or other emergencies, finding a decent house buyer during the winter months will be a challenge. So, if you can avoid it, then don't list your house during winter.
Determining the Right Time to Sell a House
As much as the season can determine how many offers you receive, how long your house stays on the market as well as how much you sell it, seasonality shouldn't be your sole consideration.
As earlier noted, selling a house is something personal. Therefore, the best timing will depend on your particular situation. Some of the personal factors that may determine the best time to sell a house include:
- Urgent relocation: Sometimes you may find yourself in a situation where you have to relocate urgently, for various factors such as a great job opportunity. In such a situation, you don't have the luxury of waiting for the best time to sell your house. You just have to sell it then and relocate.
- Costly maintenance: If you can no longer afford to keep up with the costs associated with owning and maintaining your current home, selling it as soon as possible will be the best move, as opposed to waiting for the peak selling seasons.
While May, June and July are traditionally the best months to sell a house, that doesn't mean that you are stuck with those months or you are out of options.
So, if you are looking to sell your house fast but seasonality is working against you, then you can just sell your house to cash buyers.
With cash offers, you can sell your house easily and fast, regardless of its condition or the time of the year.