When is the Best Time to Sell Your Home?
The on-season: Spring and summer
Pro: Bigger sale price
Unlike other markets, where more inventory means lower prices, the housing market works the opposite way: Prices are highest in the prime season, when the most homes are listed.
“It sounds counterintuitive, but it’s a function of demand being very seasonal, driven by weather and school year,” said our chief economist, Jonathan Smoke. There are also more buyers in spring and summer, as this is the most convenient time for most people to move. So relative to demand, the supply of homes is actually tighter in spring and summer than in fall and winter.
Pro: Better valuations
When your house is being valued, the appraiser will look into data for comparable homes sold in your neighborhood. But if the most recent data is from a home that sold for cheap in the winter, it can hurt your valuation. Having only bits of comparable housing data “kind of holds you hostage,” said Dana Hill, vice president of Buyer’s Edge Realty in Bethesda, MD.
With more homes selling in the on-season, the comparable data (or “comps”) are more accurate. Hill recommends waiting to be the second or third person in your neighborhood to put your house up for sale to take advantage of those comparable sales. While you’re at it, be sure your appraiser knows your neighborhood. If a home recently sold for $600,000 but it was a tear-down, while normally prices are $1.2 million, you’ll want an appraiser who understands that, said Hill.
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