The Best Time To Sell Your Home: Unlocking Maximum Value

Are you planning to sell your home? Well, here's a secret that savvy homeowners know: timing is everything. There are certain times of the year when you can maximize your home's value and attract more...

Are you planning to sell your home? Well, here's a secret that savvy homeowners know: timing is everything. There are certain times of the year when you can maximize your home's value and attract more potential buyers. On the flip side, there are also times when selling might not be as favorable. By understanding the patterns and trends in the real estate market, you can make smarter decisions and ensure you get the best possible price for your home.

Bottom Line: The Best and Worst Month To Sell a Home

If you want to sell your house and get the highest price possible, you should aim to list it in June. This is when the market is most active, and buyers are actively searching for their dream homes. With the school year ending and summer in full swing, many families are looking to move before the new academic year begins. Plus, the overall demand for housing is higher during this time.

best time to sell a house

On the other hand, if you're considering selling in January, you might want to think again. January is typically the worst month to sell a house. After the holiday season, people are settling back into their routines and aren't actively looking for new homes. Additionally, winter weather tends to make everything look less appealing, including houses. As a result, January has the lowest sale prices and the fewest total sales. February isn't much better either.

By Month: Which Is Best To Sell Your House?

To determine the best and worst months to sell a house, real estate data curator ATTOM analyzed years of sales data from 2011 to 2021. The results are compelling. Here's a breakdown of the months with the most sales, highest median sales prices, and seller premiums:

Month Number of Sales Median Sales Price Seller Premium
June Highest Highest Highest
May High Highest High
July High High High
August High High High
September High High High
April Moderate High Moderate
March Moderate High Moderate
October Moderate High Moderate
November Moderate High Moderate
December Moderate High Moderate
January Lowest Lowest Lowest
February Low Lowest Low

As you can see, June is the clear winner, with the highest number of sales, highest median sales price, and highest seller premium. May, July, and August also perform well. On the other hand, January and February are the months with the lowest sales, lowest prices, and lowest premiums.

By Region: Do the Best Times To Sell Vary?

Regional variations can significantly impact the best time to sell your home. Factors such as weather conditions and construction activity influence buyer preferences and market dynamics.

In general, winter has a more substantial impact on housing markets in colder regions. The Northeast and Midwest experience a significant slowdown in the winter due to icy roads and harsh weather conditions. In contrast, the Sun Belt regions, like San Diego and Miami, maintain more consistent demand throughout the year.

According to the National Association of REALTORS®, the South and Southwest regions experience a seasonality effect during the slow season. Sales activity during the winter months in these regions is around 71% of peak-season activity. In the Midwest and Northeast, slow-season activity drops to 60% to 66% of peak-season activity.

Big Neutral House

Looking at the median selling prices in different regions during the four quarters of 2019, summer proves to be the best season to sell a house in the Northeast and Midwest. Meanwhile, in the South and West, where temperatures can be scorching, the slightly cooler months of spring and fall are more favorable for selling.

How To Sell Your Home During Different Seasons

Now that you know the best times to sell your home, let's dive into how you can make the most of each season to attract buyers and maximize your home's appeal.

Spring

Spring is undeniably the most popular season for selling a house. The warmer weather and blooming flowers create a sense of hope and renewal, which resonates with buyers. Here are some tips to make your home shine in spring:

  • Clean up the outdoors: Power wash your driveway, walkway, and siding to remove any dirt deposits. Shape your bushes and trees, and clear away any debris.
  • Prepare your landscaping: Fill in bare patches in your lawn and add brightly colored flowers that bloom at different times. You want to create an inviting and vibrant outdoor space.
  • Spring-clean everything: A sparkling clean home is enticing to potential buyers. Consider hiring a professional cleaner for a thorough top-to-bottom cleaning.
  • Decorate with bright colors: Swap out winter linens for lighter and more colorful ones. Bring some fresh flowers inside, but don't go overboard with the scent.

Summer

Early summer is an excellent time to sell, but as the season progresses, buyer activity tends to slow down. To avoid the summer slump, list your home as early as possible and focus on highlighting your outdoor space. Here's what you can do:

  • Stage the yard: Set up outdoor seating and a barbecue to help buyers visualize themselves enjoying summer in the backyard. If you have a large yard, make sure it's well-maintained for kids and pets.
  • Keep up with landscaping: Mow your lawn regularly and water your plants. As the temperature rises, ensure your yard stays green and inviting. Indoors, add some potted plants for a touch of color.
  • Turn on the air conditioning: If you have central air, great! If not, consider installing it before you sell. On hot days, having air conditioning can be a significant selling point.
  • Offer refreshments: Leave a pitcher of lemonade or iced tea in the fridge with some glasses on a table. Ask your realtor to serve it to potential buyers when they arrive. It's a small gesture that can make a big impression.

Autumn

Fall is often referred to as the balanced season for selling homes. Prices are in the middle range, and buyers are thinking about settling in before the holiday season. While families with children might be less enthusiastic about moving during the school year, there are still opportunities to make your home stand out:

  • Update your yard: Keep your lawn well-maintained, even as fall sets in. Add some autumn flowers in seasonal colors to breathe life into your outdoor space.
  • Decorate for the season: Embrace the fall spirit by adding tasteful decorations like pumpkins and towels in autumnal colors. Highlight the beauty of your region's fall foliage.
  • Upgrade outdoor lighting: With shorter days, it's essential to have proper outdoor lighting. Make sure your fixtures are working and up-to-date.
  • Stage your home for adults: Since fewer families shop in the fall, focus on showcasing the more sophisticated aspects of your home. Create a cozy sitting area outside and set up a wine rack indoors.

Winter

While winter may be the slowest season for real estate, it doesn't mean you can't sell your home. Serious buyers are still active during this time, and there is less competition. Here's how you can make your home more appealing in winter:

  • Keep snow cleared and use ice melt: Ensure your paths are clear and safe for potential buyers. A well-maintained yard during winter demonstrates your attention to detail.
  • Add garlands and winter decor outside: Use pine garlands and holly berries to create a cozy winter ambiance even after the holidays.
  • Update features and paint jobs: Consider making small upgrades, like replacing knobs, drawer pulls, and bathroom hardware. A fresh coat of paint can also make a big difference.
  • Incorporate cozy touches: Artificial candles and neatly folded throw blankets can help viewers imagine a warm and inviting winter indoors.

Best Day of the Week To List a House

Believe it or not, the day of the week you list your house can impact your sale. According to a study, Thursday is the best day to list a house. Thursday listings tend to sell faster and for higher prices compared to other days of the week. On the other hand, Sunday is considered the worst day to list a house, with properties staying on the market longer and less likely to close above the asking price.

Other Factors To Consider When Choosing a Time To Sell Your Home

While timing is crucial, there are a few other factors to keep in mind when deciding the best time to sell your home.

Selling in a Buyer's vs. Seller's Market

The current state of the real estate market can significantly impact your selling experience. In a buyer's market, there is an abundance of inventory, leading to decreased prices and longer days on the market. In a seller's market, inventory is scarce, resulting in rising prices and quick sales. Pay attention to the market trends in your area to determine whether it's a favorable time for sellers.

How Long You've Lived There

Experts generally recommend living in your home for at least five years before selling to build equity. By reducing your mortgage balance over time, you increase your equity, which can help cover selling costs. However, everyone's situation is unique, and changes in home values can influence your decision. Consult with a financial professional to assess your equity before selling.

Costs and Benefits of Repairs

Consider the repairs or upgrades your home may need before listing it. Some projects, like replacing the floors with hardwood, can significantly increase your home's value and recoup the costs. Bathroom and kitchen renovations can also have a positive impact. Evaluate whether it's worth waiting to complete these projects or selling during a top-earning season.

Wrapping Up: When To Put Your House on the Market

Selling your home is a personal decision that depends on various factors, including your timeline, market conditions, and home's condition. While there are optimal times to sell, it's essential to weigh your options and seek guidance from a local real estate agent. They can provide valuable insights into your specific market and help you make the best decisions to maximize your home's value. Ultimately, by choosing the right time to sell and strategically preparing your home, you can increase your chances of a successful and profitable sale.

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