Spring is the best time to list a home, right? It’s what almost all potential sellers you come across are going to ask when they want to sell their house. It’s popular knowledge for licensees, too: March through May is the best time to list because it’s when the lawns are green and flowers are blooming. Those who want to move in summer when kids get out of school may start looking in the spring. So it’s traditionally been “list in the spring, sell in the summer.”
Do sales numbers back this up?
Redfin conducted a study in early 2015 that looked at 7 million homes that had been listed in 2010 through 2014. Thirty-nine percent of homes that were listed between late March and late June went under contract within just 30 days and 15 percent of those sold for more than the list price, showing Spring really is the best time to list.
Looking at data from 2014 and 2015, Zillow found the best time to list is specifically from May 1-15. They reported that homes sold fastest (9-18 days faster) and for more money (average of 1%) in 18 of the 25 largest markets when listed in early May. Some markets with low inventory saw prices increase by 1.5% to 2.5% when listed in early May.
The Weather Drives When Sales Peak by Region
Yes, the weather matters. When examining sales data by region, home sales peak in the South in March and April.May is the best time for Florida, Virginia, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, California, New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts, while June through August is the sweet spot for Oregon, Illinois, Connecticut, West Virginia, and Washington.
A separate study published in the Appraisal Journal used statistical analysis to determine that “seasonality factors” have a direct impact on closing price. Based on where a home is listed, the average low-price point can fall as much as 4.4 percent in the winter and rise as much as 4.5 percent in the summer.
What should you tell potential sellers about the best time to list?
How can you determine where the sweet spot is for your client?
When deciding when to list a home with your client, do your homework. What’s the market like for properties of a similar size and location? Does your area have an early or late Spring?
Does your client want the property gone as soon as possible or are they all about the price? Or both?
When inventory is low, the listing time has less impact, so consider that as well. Currently in many areas, it remains a seller’s market, where buyers find many properties attract multiple offers.
Tailor your listing window to your sellers’ needs, the particular property, and your market area to find the best time to list.
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