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When Is the Best Time to Sell a House?

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When Is the Best Time to Sell a House?


Thinking about a move in the near future? You are not alone.

Hundreds of thousands of Americans packed up and moved in the past two years, ushered on by the COVID-19 pandemic and changes in the nature of work. If you are on the fence about starting over somewhere new, now certainly seems to be the time to make such a move. 

Of course, you will want to pay attention to the ebbs and flows of the market as well. Putting your home on the market at the right time can help the speed of your sale as well as how much money you will take home. When is the best time to sell a house? 

Getting familiar with the seasonal changes in the housing market can help you to better time your sale and get the maximum results. What do you need to know or get familiar with? Read on.

Location and Climate Matters

When is the best time to put a home on the market? The answer, it turns out, actually has to do a lot more with where the home you are selling is located than anything else. 

The prime time in one area might not be the same as the ideal time in another. 

That being said, there is a commonality shared between many cities in the United States. Most traditionally, the ideal season for putting a home on the market starts in the spring and runs through much of the summer and early fall. It coincides with warmer weather and falls away once temperatures start to cool. 

This is easy to remember: as the world around you heats up, so does the market. The hottest time for the market is also the hottest time outside: smack dab in the middle of the summer, usually in June and July. Houses sell for high prices and can sell quicker during this time. 

By contrast, the more frigid months mean the market really cools off too. January and February typically are not ideal for the housing market, with homes selling at their lowest prices during these few weeks.

People view the wintertime as a period in which to stay in, cozy up, and hibernate, in a sense. So it makes sense that there are fewer people out looking to switch up their living arrangements during this time. 

Exceptions to the Rule

However, as we said, this is only a general truth.

There are plenty of areas within the United States where the swings of the market operate a bit differently. You will need to do some research about your local housing market before making any assumptions about when might be best to put your house on the market.

The best time of the year to sell a house in North Carolina, for example, happens to be in December. Orlando, Florida? Believe it or not, the homes typically go for the highest prices here in December, and the same can be said for the other warm-climate locales of Las Vegas and Phoenix. 

This follows some logical thread as well. If people are making a move to a warmer climate, they might be looking to do so at a time that would allow them to escape the winter.

The bottom line is that if you really want to know the best season to sell a house, you will want to think locally. Look at prices, sale times, and other factors at a local level and you should be able to confirm or deny if you're with the general swing of the rest of the country. 

Other Factors to Consider

Of course, there is more to the timing of selling a home than just the season. There are other factors you will want to look into that may impact how ready the market is to take your home. 

Keeping an eye on these factors can help you determine when the best time to strike will be.

Mortgage Rates

One of the most important factors in creating an eager seller's market? The current mortgage rates around the country. 

When mortgage rates are low, it can make the home buying process for the average buyer a whole lot easier, and much more affordable. As you could probably guess, the easier it is for buyers to buy, the more they will take the swing and sign on the dotted line. 

So it is a smart idea to put your home on the market when mortgage rates are low. Your home will likely sell quicker, and you can get a better price for it as well. 

In addition, it will make it easier for you to buy your own new home as well. Assuming you are selling a home to move to a new one, you will get your own added benefits from the lower mortgage rates. 

Mortgage rates have been creeping up recently, but in a historical context, they are still relatively low at this moment. You will need to keep your eye on them and do plenty of research before putting your house up. This is a factor you do not want to overlook if you are looking into when to sell a house.

Selling in a Buyer vs Seller's Market

Another thing that you will want to consider when putting your house up for sale? What kind of market is currently out there. By that, we mean what kind of competition you are putting yourself up against. 

The number of other homes for sale versus how many Americans are actively looking for housing will create an environment that can either make for an easy sale or a hard one. We often refer to this reality as a buyer or seller's market.

In a buyer's market, there are more properties for sale than people looking to buy.

This puts the advantage in the hands of the buyer as opposed to the seller. Due to the abundance of choices for the buyer, more homes will stay on the market for a longer time.

It may take longer to receive offers, and offers may come in at a lower price than you prefer. Sellers in this kind of market may need to come down to this kind of price or make some sort of additional concessions to a buyer to ensure a sale.

In this kind of environment, there is nothing incentivizing the buyer to buy quickly or to pay a high price.

The opposite is true in a seller's market. In this kind of scenario, there are far more buyers than there are available properties. Competition between buyers becomes more fierce, and buyers who are interested in a property will need to act quicker and offer more to ensure they get what they want. 

This puts you, the seller, at an advantage. Things will move more quickly, you will be required to offer less to the average buyer, and you will still likely walk away with your home sold at a higher price. 

Keeping your eye on the buyer vs. property ratio as you are preparing your home for sale can make a big difference. Picking the most popular time of year to sell a house is important, but this is just as vital to keep a lookout for.

Personal Considerations

The above factors all have to do with the ideal market conditions to sell your home. One thing not to overlook, however, is when the best time for you and your family is to sell.

Hopping at ideal market conditions may not be the right move if it is going to throw your own day-to-day life into disarray. Not looking out for your personal well-being and timing might even cause you to lose the money you would save by putting your home up at an ideal time for the market.

When is the right time to sell a home, personally speaking? 

For one, you will need to make sure your home is in a good condition to sell. If you have not yet taken on the repairs or additions you wanted to make to your home, rushing to the market is not going to yield the best results.

You will also want to consider the equity of your home. If your home value is increasing with time, you will want to time your exit to take advantage of the rise in price. Allowing some time for this price to rise is a smart financial move.

You will also want to consider your emotional preparedness. Selling your home is a huge undertaking, and you will want to do it at a time when you feel ready to do so. 

When Is the Best Time to Sell a House? 

If you are thinking of putting a property on the market in the near future, you might find yourself thinking a lot about timing.

When is the best time to sell a house? As the above information shows, the best time will be different for each property, but these are all considerations to keep in mind.

Need more housing advice and information? Contact us any time for assistance.