List It or Leave It: When Is the Best Time to Sell a House?

List It or Leave It: When Is the Best Time to Sell a House?

Every year, more than 5 million Americans put their houses up on the market.

Are you interested in joining them in 2019? Before you do, figure out when the best time to sell a house is first.

In the past, studies have shown that selling your home in April or May is often the best time for most homeowners to sell. The springtime is when many Americans are out hunting for their next home.

But the truth is that there are a variety of factors you should consider when trying to find the right time to sell your home. By thinking about each of them, you can determine when the best time to sell your house would be.

Contemplate these questions while you're trying to decide when to put your home up for sale.

Where Is Your Home Located?

Are you going to be selling a home in, say, Duluth, Minnesota? If so, you don't want to list it in the middle of January.

The temperature only gets up to a high of about 20 degrees Fahrenheit in Duluth throughout the month of January. It also drops down below zero on some days, and about 20 inches of snow falls on the city during that month alone.

These aren't ideal conditions for selling a home. You'll want to wait until at least May when the temperature is in the 50s almost every day, if not June or July when it creeps up into the 60s and 70s.

If, however, you're going to be selling a home in Laguna Beach, California, you won't have to worry about the problems you would face selling a home in Duluth. The temperature in Laguna Beach hovers between 70 and 80 degrees most days throughout the year, which means you can sell a home there at almost any time.

Homes in the Laguna Beach area still sell best in late spring. But selling a home in the summer, fall, or winter is also an option if you want.

How Strong Is Your Local Real Estate Market?

What does your local real estate market look like at the moment? This is yet another thing you'll want to mull over when trying to choose the best time to sell a house.

If realtors in your area are busy right now even though it's November, you shouldn't let the time of year stop you from listing your home. At the same time, if the real estate market is slow at the start of May, you shouldn't list your home just because May is typically the best time to list a house.

Your goal when you're selling a residential property should be to strike when the iron is red hot. Whether that means selling your home in the middle of winter or taking the more traditional approach and selling it in spring, let the market dictate your decision.

Could Your Home Benefit From Repairs and Upgrades?

The best time to sell a house is when you have a house that other people are going to want.

It doesn't matter if most of the homes in your area sell within just a few weeks when they're listed in April or May. If you don't have a house that's worth the price you're looking to get for it, that isn't going to do you much good.

With that in mind, think about if your home could benefit from repairs and upgrades prior to putting it up for sale. You can get a handsome return on investment when you tackle home improvement jobs like:

  • Roof replacement
  • New window and door installation
  • Kitchen remodeling
  • Basement finishing
  • Hardwood floor installation
  • Bedroom addition

Many homeowners make the mistake of putting their homes up on the market in a hurry simply because it's the so-called "best time to sell a house." They do it before making repairs and upgrades to their homes that could net them solid returns.

These homeowners are often disappointed with the offers they receive from buyers and end up settling for less than they should. If you ever find yourself in this position, figure out if it would make sense to sell your home at a different time so that you can make the necessary repairs and upgrades to your property.

Do You Need to Sell Your Home Fast?

There are certain instances in which you might want to try and sell your home as quickly as you can. For example, you may want to sell your home fast if:

  • You're staring down the barrel of a foreclosure
  • You're getting divorced
  • You inherited a home you don't want
  • You have a home that needs more work than you're willing to do to it
  • You ran out of money while renovating an old house

In these situations, it doesn't make much sense to wait around for the best time of year to sell a house. You could lose money if you let a house sit for months on end without slapping a "For Sale" sign on it.

Your best option might be to sell your home "as is" to a cash buyer once you learn more about the process of doing it. These buyers will give you cash for your home at any time of the year, regardless of whether you want to sell it in the middle of spring or the dead of winter.

The Best Time to Sell a House Is...

If your home is in great shape and you live in a place where it gets warm in the spring, April or May is likely the best time to sell a house. It's when you'll get the most interest from the majority of home buyers.

But don't let that stop you from trying to sell a home at other times of the year. As long as you market your home right, you can get great offers for it during any season.

Read our blog to see some home improvements worth making before listing your home.

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