One of the most surprising outcomes of the coronavirus pandemic was the effect it had on the housing market in the U.S. With low inventory and low-interest rates coupled with people increasingly being able to work from home, houses were selling at record prices and at record speed.
According to CNN, the housing market is finally starting to cool off a little bit. The availability of homes has been increasing and the intensity surrounding homes getting multiple offers and bidding wars breaking out has lessened a bit.
That being said, it is fair to say that many markets are still in a seller's market.
Are you thinking about whether or not to sell your home but are not sure the right time of year? Are you wondering how to weigh the time of year with other factors? Let us take a look at what you need to know.
When to Sell Your Home: The Best Month to Sell Your Home According to the Data
Very few things have been normal about 2020 and 2021, so looking at the data from 2019 and earlier can actually be more helpful when trying to determine the best month to list your home.
If you are selling your home in the U.S. and your goal is to sell it as fast as possible, the best weeks according to the data are those of March 11 and March 18. If your biggest concern is making the most profit, the week of April 22 is the best time to list.
All this being said, there are so many factors that can impact when the best time to sell your home is. For example, there is likely a different ideal date for listing for your home in Maine than your home in coastal Florida. Nevertheless, it is fair to say that the real estate season generally runs from the beginning of spring to the end of fall, with there being a lull in the winter season.
What Is the Best Day of the Week to List Your House?
Is there really a best day of the week to list your home? Actually, the answer is yes.
It is common for houses that were listed on a Thursday to go under contract faster than those that are listed on any other day of the week. This is going to be much more relevant in a market where houses are selling faster than in markets where properties typically sit on the market for a while.
Guide to Selling Your Home: How to Factor in Location When Deciding When to List
The location of your house is going to have a big impact on when would be the best time of year to sell. Most people assume that spring is the best time to list their home, but that is only true in certain parts of the country and markets.
For example, listing in early March in northern Vermont might mean that it is practically still winter and the roads are more mud than dirt. On the flip side, listing in late spring in Florida or Texas might mean that the weather is too unbearably hot for prospective buyers to be happily shopping.
On top of that, if your home is located in a vacation destination you will want to consider what draws people to your spot. If you are selling a ski-in, ski-out cabin in a place that is best known for winter sports, listing your home during the winter might be the best time of year indeed.
Seasonality: When Is the Best Time to Sell Your Home?
In many locations across the country, spring is a good bet when it comes to listing your home. This is when buyers typically leave the hibernation of winter and start wandering around the market looking for their new home. That being said, nothing has been normal when it comes to the housing market in the time of the coronavirus pandemic, meaning that it is unclear when or if patterns will start to return to normal.
It is very common for people to start shopping around for their new home when the weather starts to warm up and nature starts to bloom again. This means that it can be ideal to prep your home in the fall and the winter so that it is ready to be listed as spring hits.
There are a lot of reasons why spring is a popular time for house hunting. For one, the weather is nicer for moving. On top of that, school kids are approaching summer vacation which can be the perfect time for relocating.
Tax refunds also fill up people's pockets during this time, helping them come up with the cash for a down payment and closing costs.
There are a lot of similar reasons why people shop for homes during the summer as the ones listed above for the fall. The summer also boasts longer days with more sunshine, too, which means that people can spend more time going to showings and open houses.
However, the summer season can also slow down a bit as people go on vacation and take a break from the hustle and bustle of daily life. In other parts of the country, the summers are too hot for comfortable home shopping to really occur.
People who are looking to buy homes in the fall are often trying to find a house and get settled in before the weather turns cold or before the school year begins. Other off-season buyers might be moving because of a family issue, short sale, layoff, or job transfer. For this reason, sometimes these buyers can be more sensitive when it comes to price considerations.
In many locations, winter is the slowest season when it comes to home sales. That being said, places that are warm year-round might actually find that winter is the best month for selling a house. This includes places like the southwest and Florida.
(If you are trying to sell your house fast, one of the most important things is to make sure you have high-quality photos with your listing. Check out this article to learn why it is important to hire a professional real estate photographer.)
What to Know About Market Conditions Before Listing
There are a lot of factors to keep in mind when you are thinking about the best time to list your house. While seasonality is one of them, you will also want to keep an eye on the state of the market both at a national and local level.
If you are selling in a buyer's market, it means that there are more properties for sale than there are people looking to buy them. This puts buyers in the power position, as they have their pick of the litter when it comes to homes. If you choose to list your home during a buyers market, you can expect that you might have to sell it for less than you list it for and it might stay on the market longer than in a seller's market.
In a seller's market, on the other hand, there are more buyers than sellers. That means that buyers are competing for available houses, which can drive prices up. If you are thinking about selling your house, this is the ideal type of market to list in.
Depending on where you are located, your home might sell for full price or more and might even receive multiple offers.
It is also worth understanding the way that mortgage interest rates impact the price of houses. In the last four years, interest rates have been at historic lows.
When interest rates are high, it means that more of a buyer's budget is being taken up by the interest they will be paying. This can work to keep sale prices low. On the flip side, though, buyers are motivated to purchase houses while interest rates are low and are able to pay a higher asking price at the same time.
Are You Wondering How Much Your Home Is Worth?
As you can see, there are a lot of different factors that influence the best time to sell your home. That being said, you also have to factor in your needs and wants as well. If your life circumstances are pushing you to move even if it is not technically the ideal month or day to list your home, that certainly does not necessarily mean that you should put your life on hold to wait for a better time.
If you are thinking about the best time to sell your house, you are probably also wondering how much your home is worth. Check out our true market value estimator here.