Good question. And we have a good answer!
We know selling your home is stressful regardless of season, so we’re here to help! From issues with the inspector, to dealing with banks, last minute repairs and the dreaded open house… it’s almost enough to scrap the idea altogether… but don’t! Proper planning with a bit of local research will make the process completely bearable. First step… When to list your home? Window Genie’s here to discuss which time of year is best for putting your house on the market.
If you’ve decided you want to sell your home this year, get your home listed ASAP! A commonly agreed upon range for listing your home is from mid-March to mid-May. Why? Buyers are a plenty, and are motivated this time of year. This does have us pondering a chicken or the egg scenario though… what came first, the buyer or the seller? Are there more buyers in spring because more homes are listed at that time, or are more people listing their homes in spring because there are more buyers? That we may never know, but it’s undeniable that the housing market does best in spring – more buyers, more listings and more people willing to spend that money! There are quite a few other reasons to embrace springtime as the best bet when listing your home. Some of the most important to keep in mind are:
- More daylight has us all more awake, more motivated, positive & productive – all the reasons spring cleaning is still a thing – we’ve got energy! Springtime is when you’ll see active buyers start to flock.
- Buying a home is not an impulse purchase – buyers need to feel prepared and comfortable before submitting an offer. Most people prefer to move during summertime, when their schedules slow down. Springtime listings give buyers ample time to review their options and feel they’re making a smart, informed decision.
- Curb appeal is king – and in early spring as flowers begin to bloom, your home & garden are given a free aesthetic boost.
- If getting your asking price is important to you, buyers with a fresh tax refund check are more equipped and willing to spend more.
So yes, sticking to springtime is best, but that’s still fairly vague. To get more specific, we found a wonderful info-graphic from our friends at Zillow that maps out the best time of year to list your home based on what region of the country you’re in. The weather plays a huge part in people’s home viewing and buying patterns, so do your homework locally, be prepared, stay positive and you’ll get that house sold!
So what about the other seasons? Depending on the region you live in, if you really need to sell and spring has passed, autumn is typically fine for sellers as well. We dove into the reasons summer, fall & winter weren’t ideal, however. Some drawbacks we found were:
Summertime is when most families take time and spend money on vacation, not on a new house. When the kids are off from school, schedules become completely different and families are oftentimes having to take on the cost of childcare temporarily. Anyone who’s serious about moving during summer has already done their research and attended all the springtime open houses – because as a reminder, buying a house takes time! No one wants to move in the fall right as the kids go back to school, so summer is simply too late for people to begin their search, they’re typically at the end and making a decision already. To really stand out, your home would have to be significantly more spectacular (and cheaper) than the few homes they’ve been mulling over since spring.
Fall isn’t bad, it’s just not as good as spring. Fall is definitely the second best time of year to put your home on the market, but there are still quite a few drawbacks. Most people’s schedules really start to fill up, and before you know it, it’s the holiday season. Families are winding down from possibly expensive summer vacations, getting the kids back to school and adjusting to a new schedule. Plus, prepping your home for open houses is a lot of work, and the window for great buyers comes to a halt pretty much by October, so is it really worth it? If you can wait ‘til spring, you should.
This is where the deal-seekers come in, preying on you! Okay that’s pretty dramatic, but anyone who’s done a little research will know that winter is when homes are listed for a much lower price, so many people intentionally shop around at that time looking for a deal. Unfortunately, if you’re forced to sell your home quickly during the wintertime due to a sudden life change: death, divorce, job loss or relocation, you’re subject to buyers looking to take advantage of your situation. Prepare yourself for some low-ball offers! This isn’t always the case, not all buyers are just being thrifty. Another con to selling during wintertime, in most parts of the country, is that your curb appeal just lacks. Dreary weather mixed with leafless trees and sand/salt coated driveways doesn’t paint a pretty picture for potential buyers. Also, the thought of moving during a snowstorm or dropping a huge down payment in the midst of the holiday season has most buyers putting off the search altogether.
Feel prepared to list your home? If not, don’t panic! For some tips on how to get your home looking right for potential buyers, check out Window Genie’s 3 cheap & painless curb appeal hacks. Also, never hesitate to talk to local real estate professionals to discuss market trends and to answer any questions you have about your game plan. Good luck, and happy selling!