Best Time to Sell Your House
The process of selling your home can be stressful. With an always-changing market and the chaos of regular life, an easy way to take control of the process is knowing when to sell. While there’s no perfect time to sell your home, there are seasons of the year that yield faster sell times at a greater profit. Can you guess when the best time to sell in the PNW is?
Think Big Picture
According to a recent Zillow survey, the best time to sell nationwide is the first two weeks of May. On average, homes sold May 1 to May 15 sell six days faster than the average listing. Not to mention, these quick sellers also see a $1,600 higher return on their homes.
Although the exact date to sell is debatable, most reports agree that April-June is the sweet spot in the market for many reasons. Such as:
- Moving in the dry, warm season is preferred to the colder, wet season.
- Curb appeal increases as flowers and trees bloom.
- Tax refunds have been distributed and buyers are looking to make use of this extra cash.
- As a seller, your tax refund also helps fund any sprucing up your home might need for the staging process.
- The end of the school year marks an easy transition for buyers (and their kids), especially when relocating to a new town.
Pretty convincing, right? Spring is hard to beat when it comes to selling, but it’s important to remember that an influx of houses on the market could also lower the value of your home in the long run as buyers get pickier with the number of choices they have. If you’re looking to sell sometime soon, but aren’t married to the idea of right now, do extensive research about the housing market in your city and speak with a real estate agent.
Know Your Buyers
It’s important to remember that each city is different. Depending on the job growth and community development in your area, a house just five miles down the road might sell in less than a week while your house might sit on the market for a month. Knowing your market is key.
However, there are a few ways to stay ahead of the selling game if you do decide that spring works best for your situation. For example, staging happens inside and outside the home. According to HGTV, the first impression of the curb appeal might be more important than you think. A new shrub or a cleaner driveway might be the eye-catcher that sells your home! You can also try something like:
- Apply a fresh layer of mulch to your flowerbeds
- Add a pop of color (roses, tulips, etc.) for a fresh taste of spring
- Trim trees and shrubs that might obstruct the view of your house (in an unpleasant way)
- Clear your gutters and fountains of any leaves or algae
- Power-wash dirty surfaces—you might even consider doing this to any wooden features of your outdoor patios and decks
Once you get the outside of your home in order, it’s crucial to take into consideration what your buyers see for the first time as they enter your home. The Balance recommends depersonalizing your home to make it easier for the buyer to imagine themselves in the space. (This means no giant family portraits in the living rooms—for now.) Another thing to consider is home organization. It’s important to not only declutter common spaces, but sellers with organized cabinets and closets convey a bigger sense of space and possibility.
Let’s List It!
With your home in order and ready to go, it’s time to list! Your real estate agent will have their own tips and tricks when it comes to getting your house the attention it needs to sell, but keep in mind that your listing date matters.
Trulia warns sellers of listing on just any day. The ideal time to list is early Thursday morning, as buyers will begin house hunting for the weekend as soon as Thursday night or Friday morning. A Monday afternoon listing might be looked at but not considered until closer to the weekend. By then, your house will be at the bottom of the list.
As a seller, you should know that buyers will strongly take Days on the Market (DOM) into consideration when looking at your listing. The median for days on the market in 2017 was 29 days. Although springtime predictably yields a shorter DOM score, studies show that homes on the market for 17 days fall into the lower 50% of homes that sold over the previous month, leading to an increased chance of receiving an offer lower than your asking price. As you can see, the listing date matters! Always consult your agents with any questions you might have about this, as they are the market experts.
Spring Isn’t for Me
May might not be the ideal month for you to move because of family, jobs, or many other reasons. So, how do the other seasons hold up to the spring selling market?
Summer is also an ideal time to move in most regions because of the predictably warmer weather, and it’s a convenient time to change schools for children, if necessary. The need for families to get settled before the start of a new school year will make for a quick turnaround in many cases. However, there are a few cons of a summertime move, including occasionally uncomfortable heat, and the additional expenses of keeping your home in selling conditions. A/C is a must, a green yard is more welcoming, and lights have to stay on for long hours of the day. All of these factors may add a few (unwanted) extra dollars to your bills.
After the influx of spring and summer sales, fall is perfect for sellers looking to feature their home to a more specific audience of buyers. The fewer homes listed will give your buyers an opportunity to see your home for its worth and not undercut on your asking price. However, a smaller amount of listings also means a smaller amount of buyers. The cooler weather will be a welcome change to the summer heat, but the urgency of needing to transition before the school year is lost in the fall.
Winter is by far the slowest season for the market due to the cold, wet weather during which no one wants to move. However, there are always people looking for job or city changes as the year begins again. Keep your home warm and cozy to drive buyers in—and make them want to stay for good!
No matter what season you’re contemplating, the most important thing to take into consideration when selling your house is… YOU! Is this season the right time for you to move? Take the time to evaluate your options, what you’re giving up at this house, and what is best for you in your next home.
Looking to sell but don’t know where to begin? Contact us today to speak to a Mortgage Advisor about the loan options available!
Categories: Homeowner Knowledge