Selling a home can take weeks to months depending on your local market. If you list a property during specific dates, however, you might be able to speed up the process and get a higher price. Here’s what you should know about so-called “magic selling windows,” along with some instances where they might not be as effective.
When you list your home at the right time, the benefits can be significant. According to research cited by Consumer Reports, when sellers list their homes during peak selling periods, they sell for an average premium of $1,700, with many going for much more. During this time, homes also go into contract an average of 19 days faster compared to the rest of the year.
When Is the Best Time?
When you look across the country, May is generally considered the best month to sell a home. With that said, the specific dates depend on local variables including climate and the local real estate markets. In some areas, such as Northern New Jersey and New York, the first two weeks of May provide an optimal time to sell. In other markets, such as Los Angeles and San Francisco, the peak season comes during the final two weeks of May.
In Colorado, it’s generally better to sell in the first half of May. In metro Denver, sellers who list their properties during this period make on average $4,300 or 1.1 percent more on a sale. Homes also sell about six days faster on average compared to other times of the year.
Why Do Homes Sell Better in May?
In most parts of the country, spring attracts potential buyers who are finished hibernating and eager to do the legwork of visiting properties in person. Homes also tend to have much more curb appeal in the spring, when the grass is green, colorful flowers are blooming and homeowners have had a chance to spruce up their properties.
Things to Consider
While prices peak during the spring and summer and decline in the fall and winter, it doesn’t always work to a seller’s benefit. When deciding when to sell your home, you have to factor in much more than a calendar. For instance, mortgage rate changes can play a big role in determining home prices. When rates climb, buyers tend to get spooked, resulting in less demand for homes. This results in less buyer competition which ultimately drives down prices.
Should You Sell Your Home in the Spring?
As previously stated, spring is a popular time to list a home because warming weather tends to spur buyer activity. Since the weather generally cooperates, it’s also easier to enhance curb appeal and plan showings. Preparing a home for a sale also tends to be easier in spring, since homeowners can make improvements in milder weather free from extreme heat and snow.
Another good reason to list a house during the spring is that families with kids typically prefer to move when the school year won’t be disrupted. Since it usually takes a month or two from the time a contract is signed to the time the closing date arrives, a spring purchase will generally ensure that everything is in place by the start of the school year.
On the other hand, selling a home during the spring can work against you if your local area is saturated with competing inventory. This is especially true if your home lacks distinguishing features that make it stand out from the pack.
By contrast, if you wait to sell during the summer, fall or even winter, your house may be the only one of its kind on the market for several months. This could allow you to command a higher price from buyers who are desperate to move to your area and can’t really afford to wait.
This is why it’s so important to talk to an experienced real estate agent who can give you advice based on your unique situation and the state of the local market.
For nearly two decades, The Wheaton Team has specialized in residential real estate in Colorado Springs, Monument and all of El Paso County, Colorado. With 60-plus years of combined experience, our award-winning real estate professionals have developed a simple, three-step system to help guide homeowners through the complex selling process so they can get the price they want on a timeline that fits their schedule.