As 2021 proceeds, and it comes time for the plans that you made on new year’s eve to come to life, you may find yourself with a few important questions if you’d hoped to sell your house this year. Namely, you may be wondering how much your property is actually worth, or which sale option (be it selling your house either through a real estate agent or directly to a cash buyer) would be best for you. But most of all, the most pertinent question that may be on your mind when planning to sell your house is, “When would be the best time to bite the bullet and officially launch my home sale?” If you’re curious about this, we’re going to help you answer it in this blog.
But Why Should I even choose a time or a season to begin the home selling process?
Some of you may be wondering, “Why is it important to choose the best possible time when selling your house, or a time at all”. Why not simply begin the home sale process whenever the chaos within your life subsides and your usually busy schedule calms down (which would be an ideal time for you to handle the workload and requirements that are typically needed for a home sale, be it when listing with a real estate agent or listing For Sale By Owner).
Well, here is your answer: If you’d like the best possible results from your home sale (e.g. selling within the shortest possible time frame and for the highest price), you can’t just roll out of bed and decide, “I’d like to sell my house today”. Although you can sell your home quickly, but you need to plan a strategy for it. Those who fail to plan, plan to fail; and a large part of planning out your home sale includes determining the ideal time or season to list your property (if you choose to sell with a real estate agent or FSBO).
This is mainly because as various things such as the weather and the state of the economy change throughout the year, so does the real estate market. As such, these changes are bound to determine key home sale factors such as average listing times and average sale prices. From here, it goes without saying that the ideal plan would be to sell your house at a time of the year when everything is peaked for an easier sale experience.
So, when should I list my property then?
Now that you know why it’s important to time your home sale correctly, we are going to talk about when exactly that would be. However, before we can provide you with the answer to this million-dollar question, there are a few terms that you’ll need to be acquainted with first (if you weren’t already). These are the terms Buyers’ Market and Sellers’ Market.
Buyers’ Market: This term is used to refer to a period of time when the real estate market has more sellers than buyers. At times like these, market conditions are optimized for the buyer experience due to the fact that there will be more properties listed than there are buyers to buy them. As such, buyers are given all of the negotiating power.
However, on the flip side, we have a sellers’ market…
Sellers’ Market: As you may have already guessed, this term is used to refer to a period of time when there are less listed properties on the market than there are buyers to buy them. At these times, sellers will have more negotiating power due to the fact that their homes will be a limited commodity, which naturally increases their demand.
If you need a few statistics to back this up:
- According to Realtor.com, in July of 2018, 18% of the listings that were sold in a buyers’ market were subjected to at least one price cut, as compared to 16.9% in a sellers’ market that same year.
- Also, during the buyers’ market of that same year, the average number of days that a property spent on the market from listing to sale was 73.5 days. Whereas during the sellers’ market, it was 61.6 days.
From this, it should become clear to see that if you are a seller, you would ideally prefer to list your property at a time when the real estate market is in a sellers’ state (or in the midst of a sellers’ market).
Now that you know the information above, we can finally talk about when the best times to sell your house usually are. In order to answer this question accurately, we went on Zillow.com and extracted real estate data from the last three years. Here is what we found:
The primary data points that we considered to determine optimum home sale time periods were the average sale price, the average number of days that a listing remained on the market and the total number of listings that were live at that time. After processing and graphically representing this data (as shown above), we were able to make a few conclusions about the real estate market’s general trends in the last few years (that can provide us with a pretty accurate prediction for what will happen in future).
We were able to determine that:
- The highest sale prices of each year were experienced during the summer months of said years (June to August)
- The time taken to sell a house (days to pending) was usually at their lowest during the spring months and they steadily increased until their highest points in winter.
From all of this data, we can determine that the best possible time to list your property (when the market is usually in a sellers’ state) would be toward the end of spring, just before summer.
This time period provides the optimum opportunity for home sellers because:
- Houses typically sell for their highest prices of the year during the summer months.
- On average, the time period just before summer at the end of spring sees the lowest “days till pending”
For these reasons, listing your property at the end of spring would be the ideal choice if you’d like to sell in the shortest time frame possible and for the highest prices.
Jay Schultz of FastPath Home Buyers shared an interesting insight about summer season:
“In summer the market typically floods with sellers providing you with a whole lot more competition. As such, though summertime can offer you quite a great price, it may not be the optimum time for a speedier more and hassle-free sale experience”
However, the spring months just before summer exhibit not the lowest, but relatively decent numbers when it comes to active listings. Because of this, you’ll notice that conditions within the real estate market in most parts of the country at this time would be slanting a little more favorably towards a sellers’ market. So that is another reason why we vouch for this time period.
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