If you want to sell your home quickly for the most money, when you list it is important. Traditionally, listing your house for sale is best in the spring. Zillow.com reports that generally, homes listed from May 1 to 15 each year sell nine days faster and for 1% more than the typical listing. Sellers who list their homes in early May might see up to a 2% increase in more competitive areas such as Denver and Seattle. These are hot markets and buyers in those areas may have to look at many homes and make several offers. But is it always the best to list in the spring?
Let’s take a closer look at this question below.
Competition is intense in the spring
The thing about conventional wisdom is that a lot of people buy into it. This means for home sellers there will be a TON of homes going on the market in spring time. This may not be a problem in more in demand parts of the country, but if you are in an area with a lot of homes on the market at once, you could find that it takes longer to sell your home than you may have thought.
This is confirmed by data. The National Association of Realtors or NAR reports the supply of homes on the market increases dramatically each spring. Across the country in 2017, there were 1.68 million homes for sale in January and 1.97 million for sale in May.
Depending upon the part of the country you are in, you may want to list your home earlier or possibly later than when many other people are listing theirs.
Weather is a major factor
One of the biggest reasons the conventional wisdom is to list in the spring is that is when winter is over and the weather improves. The better the weather, the more likely people are to look at homes. Also, as summer approaches, those with children may want to get ready to move so they do not have to pull their kids out of school in the middle of the year.
But not every part of the country has cold winters. Sellers in Texas, Florida and California may be able to list their homes just as effectively at other times of the year. The weather in these areas is mild in winter and you may have just as much success selling your home in January as May.
Some home sellers also may find that selling in the summer works just as well as selling in the spring. There is warm weather, summer vacation from school and more hours of sunshine for people to look at open houses and make offers.
Some cities have different best times to list your home for sale. For example, most cities in the north find the best time to list is from May 1 to May 15. But in San Francisco and Chicago, the best time to list according to Zillow is April 16-30.
Other factors to consider
The time of year is not the only factor to consider when you list your home. Much of what goes into the best time to list may depend upon other things:
- Interest rates: As of April 2018, we are in a rising interest rate environment. Home mortgage rates are up nearly a point from less than a year ago. There is an expectation in the market that rates will possibly hit 5% this year, so now could be a good time to list because rates for 30 year fixed mortgages are still in the mid 4s but rising.
- Job growth: What is going on in the job market in your city? If there is strong economic growth this year, you may want to get your home listed sooner than later. When people find good jobs, there is more demand for homes.
- Time zone: Realtors sometimes say that people in different time zones may have better times to list their homes than others. In the central time zone in Texas, late spring and early winter are the best times to list. In the eastern time zone, May was often the best time to list. Generally speaking early winter in November and December are the worst times to list. People are less interested in moving during the holidays and are not as focused on buying homes.
The bottom line is there are many factors involved in when the best time to list and sell your property is. If you want more specific information about your area, you should talk to your realtor about the best time to list for your specific location. Some specific neighborhoods in a city might have their own best time to list as well.