When Should I List my Home for Sale?

If you are thinking about selling your home this year, you might be wondering whether it makes any difference when you list your home for sale, or you might have assumed that it doesn’t make much difference what time of the year you put your home up for sale.

The truth is that multiple studies and reports have shown that there are potentially significant benefits to listing and selling your home during some parts of the year over other parts of the year. Seasons, months and even days of the week can make a difference – and when we are talking about selling homes, that difference could amount to several thousand more (or less!) dollars in your pocket.

Which season to list in?

Conventional wisdom across the county says to list homes for sale in the peak sales season: late spring into summer. This is especially important in areas with harsh winters, as winter adds elements likely to reduce the population of prospective buyers: snow birds who travel away in winter can’t see your home listed for sale if they are not there, ice and snow inhibit may inhibit people from attending as many open houses as they would like, reduced daylight restricts the amount of time people have to view homes in the daylight as well as potentially reduced curb appeal from the pop of color fresh blooming flowers and a healthy front yard can bring, and more.

Sales records have pretty much validated this conventional wisdom, showing that spring and summer listings generally fetch higher average sales prices and are on the market for less time than homes listed in late fall or winter.

Another consideration you may not have thought of is that appraisers will base their appraisal in part on information and data from comparable sales in your area. If the only comparable sales were from homes that sold in winter for less than they would have in summer, they might impact your appraisal and valuation and put you in a tougher spot to negotiate with prospective buyers.

The downside to listing in the busy season is that buyers have much more to select from, and therefore may be pickier than they would be in winter when there is less housing inventory.

What other timing considerations should buyers think about when listing their home for sale?

Some other things to take into consideration when listing your home for sale:

  • If you list your home right after you make your monthly mortgage payment, you may be able to potentially list, show, and close on the sale of your home before your next mortgage payment is due. Listing it just after you pay your monthly mortgage bill maximizes that time period between payments, rather than listing it mid-way through the month.

Listing your home for sale on a weekend day is probably not your best bet. Most people plan their open house viewing and schedule showings several days in advance – if not for the following weekend. Listing it on a weekend versus during the week may cost you a week’s time on market for those buyers who only view homes on the weekends.