Everyone knows that location plays a big part in a property’s value, but few know that the “time of listing” is as important when putting a house up for sale. While we can not change the location of a house we are selling, we have the ability to decide when we list it for sale.
Listing a house at the right time can improve the time it takes to sell a home as well as raise the sales price. Here are some of the best times to sell your home, according to data from Zillow and Redfin.
It has long been common knowledge among real estate agents that people generally start looking for homes when the holiday season comes to an end, and the weather becomes more pleasant to be outdoors. Spring brings back the leaves and perennial plants, boosting the curb appeal. And for parts of the United States with very cold winters, spring brings back more movement and many families also start looking for homes before summer vacation begins.
Depending on where you are in the country, spring starts at different times. Sellers in the south might want to list their house as early as February or March, while sellers in the north might want to wait a bit longer to put up their listings.
The alternative to listing in the spring would be to list in the fall. And contrary to popular belief, depending on where you are geographically in the country, summer is generally not the best time to sell a house because people typically spend the season vacationing. There are also parts of the country where it gets too hot in the summer for buyers to want to go outdoors to house hunt.
Nationwide, the best time to sell a house is in the month of May. In fact, houses that listed for sale in the first half of May sold almost two weeks faster and for 1.2% more than the average listing, according to a study by Zillow.
The first half of May was the best time to list in 14 of the 24 largest markets analyzed by Zillow. However, while the average home listed in May earned a premium of $2,400, homes that were listed in San Franciso in the last half of April earned a 1.7% premium, which comes out to about $15,300.
You will have to pray to get the best price if you list your house on Sunday. According to a study conducted by Redfin, homes listed on a Sunday not only sold slower but also sold for less.
Redfin analyzed 100,000 homes that sold in 2017 and found that homes that were listed on a Wednesday sold for $2,023 more than a home listed on Sunday. The analysts also found that homes listed on a Thursday sold 5 days faster than homes listed on a Sunday.
They speculated that Wednesday and Thursday were the best days to list because that’s when buyers typically start looking for houses they plan to see over the weekend.
“Serious buyers typically start making their weekend house-hunting plans late in the workweek,” a Redfin agent said in the study. “You want your home to be one of the fresh listings buyers see pop up as they decide which homes they should see over the weekend.”
However, just because the average home sells well on one day nationally, doesn’t mean it will fare as well on that day locally. For example, sellers who live in big cities may want to list their house on a Tuesday, when broker’s open houses are common.
Local Markets May Vary
If you live in a completely average house, the best time to list it for sale it would seem is the second Thursday in May. For everyone else, it is important to talk to your local real estate agent to find out the best time to list a house in your area.