You’ve likely heard the adage that real estate is all about “location, location, location.” And it’s true. But there’s another factor that influences how much money you might get when you sell your house — timing. Certain times of the year are, in fact, better than others. During those times, you’re more likely to sell your house for the desired price. You also might sell your house faster.
Here are the best and worst times to sell a house, based on an ATTOM Data Solutions report that analyzed 28 million single-family house and condo sales over an eight-year period.
Best Months to Sell a House
June was the month with the greatest seller premium, according to ATTOM Data. Sellers seem to make more money and sell their houses faster during the four summer months (May, June, July and August).
ATTOM determined the premiums by comparing the median sale price for properties on closing day compared to the median automated valuation model (AVM) for the same properties. AVMs are statistically-based programs that provide a current estimate of market value for a specific property.
In June, the median sales price was $200,000 and the AVM was $183,124. That’s a 9.2% seller premium.
The highest number of home sales were also in June (2,881,400) and August (2,802,268).
Why is summer the best time to sell?
First, the weather is better in summer than winter. People spend more time outside, including at showings. Kids are also out of school, which gives parents greater flexibility to see houses as a family unit. Additionally, some families want to move to a more desirable school district before the next school year starts. This may also mean they’ll want to expedite the closing, which can benefit you from a negotiation standpoint.
Worst Months to Sell a House
October and December were the least opportune times to sell a house, based on profitability. During both months, the median sales price was $188,000 and the median AVM was $182,000. That’s a 3.3% seller premium for October and December, compared to 9.2% seller premium for June (the best month).
People also tend to generally shop and buy less during winter months than summer. Roughly 40 percent of annual home sales volume occurs during the summer months (May through August). On average, 2.1 million transactions take place during this four-month timeframe, according to the National Association of Realtors.
What prevents people from looking for a house in the winter? Holidays, chilly weather and the beginning of a new school year are just some of the reasons. Families want to be settled into their new home before school starts and they don’t want to uproot during the holidays.
Off-season shoppers may also be buying as a result of a job layoff or family issue (such as a separation or divorce). As a result, even when people do buy during that time period, they may come in with an offer that’s lower than asking price.
Other Factors that Influence Timing
Seasonality isn’t the only factor that can influence when people want to buy. Local market conditions also play a role in the best and worst months to sell your house. Make sure to monitor local influencers, such as job growth, mortgage rates and tax incentives.
Additionally, consider whether it’s a buyers’ or sellers’ market. A buyers’ market means that there are more properties available than there are people looking to buy them. Conversely, a sellers’ market means that there are more home buyers than there are properties available.
If possible, you want to sell during a sellers’ market, in order to get the best price possible. Often times, people will pay more than asking price and forgo an inspection just to be competitive in a crowded marketplace.
Planning to Sell a House During the Best Months
It’s always smart to plan ahead. If you know you want to sell your house during the summer, consider prepping it during the winter and listing it in the spring. This gives you time to conduct showings, sell your house and — potentially — move into a new house of your own by the summer.
Spring is also a great time to start listing a house because many people will have received their tax refunds. This might lead to more home buyers shopping, which is good for sellers.
If your house needs repairs, consider starting the process even earlier. Timelines for repairs can vary greatly depending on the type of repair and the schedule of the contractor. Make sure to ask for pricing and timing in writing prior to the start of work and stay on top of it to ensure the team you hired stays on schedule. However, it’s very common for repairs or renovations to take much longer than originally promised.
An Alternative to Listing Your House on the Market
At the day’s end, you want to sell your house when you’re financially and emotionally ready. If you don’t want to wait, consider selling to home investment company Meridian Trust. We buy houses all year long, which means you can sell it when the timing is right for you.
When you sell your house to Meridian Trust, you don’t have to make any updates or renovations to your property. We buy houses “as is” in Florida, Georgia and Texas. We also take care of the closing costs for you. No inspections or hidden fees.
Call us today for a free, no-obligation cash offer: (954) 807-9087.
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