Home sellers usually have two goals in mind: Sell their house for the highest possible price, and sell it quickly.
While choosing the right agent and having a great marketing plan can certainly help move the needle, the key to achieving these goals lies in timing — both on the calendar and in the overall market.
Market-wise, you want to list your home in a seller’s market. This essentially means demand is up, inventory is low and bidding wars are frequent. In recent years, seller’s markets have been pretty common (though there’s a chance this may change due to the current economic uncertainty).
Fortunately, the calendar can also guide sellers on the right time to list their homes. If you’re considering selling your house right now or sometime down the road, let the data below guide the way.
When Should You Sell Your House?
Seasonally, the best time to sell a house is in the spring, though summer is a close second. The weather’s nicer, the days are longer and families are looking to finalize their purchases before the new school year begins.
But those aren’t the only good times to sell a house — and data actually supports specific months, weeks and dates when it might be even better.
Do you want to make sure you get the highest price or sell on the fastest timeline? Here’s when to sell:
- The best month: May (specifically early May) is the best time to sell your house if you want the highest sales price. Homes sell for about 1 percent more than in other months (that’s $2,500 on a $250,000 home). If selling fast is your ultimate goal, data shows April is the way to go. Homes listed in April sell a full week faster, on average, than in other months.
- The best week: The single best week to sell your home? March 31 to April 6. Compared to other weeks in the year, that’s when you’ll see the most listing views and when you’ll rake in the highest profits. Data shows that homes listed in this period sell for 6 percent more, get 14 percent more views, and sell six days faster. Competition for these listings is also down 5 percent from other weeks.
- The best day: Thursday is the best day of the week to list. In 2018 homes listed on Thursdays sold for $3,015 more than on Mondays (the worst day to list), and Wednesdays offered premiums of $2,620. Fridays were also good days to list, according to the data.
There’s even data to support which specific dates are best for maximizing your sales profits. According to ATTOM Data Solutions, selling on June 28 equals a price premium of 10.8 percent, historically speaking. May 24, May 31, June 20 and June 21 all offer premiums of over 10 percent, too.
When Shouldn’t You Sell Your House?
Just as important as knowing the best times to sell is understanding the worst. And according to ATTOM Data Solutions, that’d be the months of December, October and January.
ATTOM’s data shows that sellers in these months make significantly less than those listing in April through June. This is likely due to proximity to the holidays (people don’t want to spend the extra cash around that time of year), as well as the weather. Most families aren’t looking to move when it’s freezing cold or snowy outside.
At a more granular level, you might also want to avoid listing your house on a Monday. Data shows that Monday-listed homes made the least in 2017 and 2018. Homes listed on Sundays, Mondays and Saturdays also take longer to sell than those posted on other days of the week.
Other Ways to Time Your Home Sale
If you really want to time your sale right, you’ll need to look at local market conditions, too. Are there plenty of buyers house hunting? Are homes selling quickly? Are home values rising? If so, it’s probably a good time to sell. If, on the other hand, buyers are sparse, the supply is brimming and homes are taking a while to sell, you may want to hold off a bit until the market strengthens.
If you’re not sure what current conditions are like where you’re located, you should ask a local real estate agent. They’ll have a good pulse on what buyer traffic, home values, supply and sale times look like in your area, and they can also help you sell and market your house when it comes time. (Keep in mind that they will charge a commission for this, though — usually 6 percent to 7 percent of the sales price).
Timing matters — especially when it comes to selling real estate. Use the calendar data above to help guide your selling decision, and be sure to consult a local real estate agent. They can fill you in on the latest market conditions and help you better pinpoint the best time to sell a property in your specific area.
And if a new construction property is on your radar once that old home is sold, then head over to our resources section or check out our expert home builder reviews for more guidance. New Home Source is here to help every step of the way.
I’m a freelance writer and journalist from Houston, covering real estate, mortgage and finance topics. See my current work in Forbes, The Motley Fool, The Balance, Bankrate, New Home Source and The Simple Dollar. Past gigs: The Dallas Morning News, NBC, Radio Disney and PBS.