Putting your house up for sale requires careful planning so you can find the right buyer for the best price—and that includes knowing the best time to sell your home.
But it’s not always as simple as choosing a specific month of the year to list your house. You’ll want to consider a range of factors, such as:
- The region of the country you live in
- Your specific goals for your home sale
- How fast you must sell vs. how long you can afford to wait
Here’s a closer look at these factors to help you make the right decision on timing as you prepare to list your property for sale.
Timing Your Home’s Sale Seasonally
Property transactions are often seen as a seasonal activity. But that doesn’t mean you can’t sell your home during certain seasons; you just need to know what to expect.
Here’s an overview:
After a long, cold winter, people want to get outside and experience new things. So, it’s no wonder home buyers are inspired to check out property listings.
- Spring home buyers are highly motivated to close, so you’ll get more serious offers and higher bids.
- Parents look for homes in early spring so they can complete their move over the summer, before children begin the school year.
- You’ll have more competition, as other homeowners will also be trying to capitalize on the spring seller’s market.
Summer’s warm, bright, sunny days provide an appealing opportunity for buyers to tour houses, making it a good time to list.
- Summer gives buyers time to make their move before cold winter weather sets in.
- Many houses that went on the market in spring will have sold, so you may have less competition.
- Summer is vacation time, so there will be fewer buyers than in spring. You may need to consider accepting a lower bid.
- You’ll invest more in costs such as air-conditioning and landscape maintenance to show your property in the best light.
Fall can present a few challenges to keep in mind if you’re putting your property up for sale, but it also has promise.
- You may attract older buyers, who may have more capital to spend, as well as greater freedom than parents of school-aged kids.
- Be prepared for fewer sellers overall, and expect to possibly make some concessions on your asking price.
Ski towns and winter playgrounds are great places to sell a home in winter. Otherwise, it’s a tough season for sellers, so be prepared to be flexible.
- There are fewer available homes listed during winter than other seasons, so you’ll have less competition.
- Some buyers will be under pressure to move fast, which can work to your advantage.
- Many buyers will be “bargain hunting,” so you’ll be navigating lowball bids and requests for big concessions.
- The cold weather means more costs related to home showings, including higher heating bills.
How Location Influences the Timing of a Home Sale
Generally speaking, the best time to sell nationwide occurs in spring, from March through June.
If you list during this season, be prepared to move fast. Begin the listing on Thursday, and schedule an open house that same weekend to capture potential buyers.
Your Specific Region’s Trends
The beginning of your region’s most popular season is the best time to list your property.
Tip: For northeastern Oklahoma and Arkansas, spring and early summer are great times to place lake houses on the market.
Timing Your Home Sale According to Your Needs
Every homeowner has a unique set of reasons why they want to sell their property. So, be sure to discuss your needs and goals with your REALTOR. We’ll help you choose the right moves to get the results most important to you as you sell your home.
Here’s what to consider:
Personal Deadlines You Want to Meet
Are you moving for a new job? Do you need to be living in a specific school district before your child begins the new academic year? You’ll want to list your home a few months before the deadline.
Your House’s Current Condition
Have you made valuable upgrades recently, such as a new roof? It can be worthwhile to list your home after major updates, so you can set a higher asking price.
Your Specific Financial Needs
Mortgage payments, property taxes, insurance and maintenance can all add up to great expenses. If circumstances such as a job change or retirement are making it hard to maintain your house, it’s beneficial to sell it sooner rather than later.
Your Lifestyle Needs
If you’re an empty nester or are about to add a baby to your young family, your current house may be too big or too small for your needs.
Other lifestyle issues can include:
- Amenities you desire but don’t yet have
- Amenities you have but no longer wish to maintain
- A desire to downsize so you can pursue other interests, such as traveling more
Successful Home Sales Begin with Smart Moves
When you’re contemplating placing your home on the market, know that the right REALTOR can make all the difference. At McGraw REALTORS, our team provides expert guidance to successfully navigate you to the right buyer at the best price.
Learn more about how we can make your home sale a delightful, profitable experience.