When Should You Sell Your Home?

Is there a season that’s better than the rest for selling a home? Traditional wisdom says that spring is the best time for selling a home – more buyers are on the lookout for a new home so they can move over the summer. However, spring may not be the best time for selling a home.

Home sales pick up in January each year and peak in April. Most moves take place over the summer, so people start hunting for a home in the spring. However, since there are more people looking to buy a home, the closing process can take weeks.

Sales stay strong throughout the summer, then drop in August – just in time for the school year to start. Although a brief resurgence usually occurs each fall, the housing market dips as winter snow starts hitting the ground.

If you’re thinking about selling a home this spring, you may want to think about a few things before you put it on the market:

  • People are wary of a home that sits on the market. It’s to your advantage to try and move your home quickly. If it sits on the market too long, people will assume that the price is too high or that something is wrong with the house.
  • Winter can bring unexpected sales. Because so many people try to close before the New Year, listing your home in the late fall or winter may be beneficial. You’re likely to see a speedy sale if you list in the winter.
  • Consider the climate. If you live in a warmer locale, such as southern California or Florida, then seasonal rules may not apply to you. People will likely be house hunting all year, so keep your home in good condition for potential buyers.
  • Local markets may vary. In addition to the climate, your neighborhood may follow a different pattern. Perhaps the schools in your area follow a different calendar, or you’re in a hot neighborhood and people are snapping up homes. Consider the local market before deciding to sell your home.

Overall, homes tend to sell for about 4% more during the spring than in any other season. However, an increase in the number of sellers (and buyers) may cause your home to sit on the market – or cause it to sell right away. Although “spring selling season” is a good guideline, you’ll have to take your own individual needs into consideration when determining when to sell your home.