When is the best time to sell? (Hint: It's not always spring!)
The short answer? It depends. You may have heard before that spring is always the best time to sell, and while that is generally true according to home sales stats, those numbers fail to take into account you and your own personal situation. There are a ton of factors that can affect when it’s best to sell your home. Nationwide studies don’t reflect the geographic differences, current market, or lifestyle changes that can all have an impact on timing. A retiree in Florida may be on a very different selling schedule from a young family in New England. That’s why we’re covering all the key factors you should consider when selling your home.
2020 has been a record-breaking year in real estate, and the seller’s market is anticipated to continue into the colder months. In a good market, the exact time of year will have less of an effect on sales. In the Seacoast, NH, area, October 2020 set a record for single-family home sales, beating out the previous high set in October 2015 by a whopping 12.9%. These sales were profitable, too, with average sales prices coming in at $454,340, an all-time high for any month. There is an incredibly high housing demand with little inventory. Doing some quick market research or catching up with a trusted REALTOR® can give you a ton of insight into whether it’s a good time to sell.
Sometimes, when you sell your home has less to do with the market or the “right” timing, and more to do with your own personal life. Changing jobs, starting a family, retiring, kids going off to college; these are all real reasons why you might be looking to move on a particular timeline. If it’s too difficult or just impossible for you to wait until the spring/summer market, listing in the fall and winter are still valid options. After all, buyers are equally as likely to have lifestyle changes that require them to move during these months.
Benefits of Selling in the “Off-Season”
Even in the fall and winter, there are certain benefits to listing. Buyers in these months will likely be more serious and motivated to close before the holidays. Agents and other real estate professionals may be less busy, which means they have more time for you and your home. Buyers who are relocating because of job changes are typically looking to move around the start of the new year. Not to mention, if there are fewer homes on the market there is less competition for your home, and it’s more likely that your home will grab buyers’ attention.
By The Numbers
If you’re looking purely at numbers, then in most places, the first two weeks of May are the best time to get the largest return in the shortest amount of time. On average, homes listed in early May tend to sell faster and for slightly more. Late spring and through the summer are all popular months to sell.
All in all, the best advice we can offer about when the right time is to sell your home is whenever is right for you. Selling your home is a personal decision and can be a huge emotional undertaking. Do your research, be aware of the market, but ultimately, make the decision that feels right for you.