Seller Guides

How to Know the Best Time to Sell

There is a best time to sell a house. The month—and even the day—you list your home can make a big difference.

Ready to sell? Like comedy and business, timing is everything in real estate. If you’re able to take your time, it can be worth waiting for the best time to sell a house. But even if you have time constraints, you can likely still find the best time to sell within them.

Tips for Determining the Best Time to Sell a House

  • Pick the Right Month

    Zillow research confirms what many people have long suspected: The best time to sell a house is in the spring—specifically, the first half of May. You are likely to sell your home 18.5 days faster and for around 1 percent more during this time. This is true for the 25 largest metros in the country.

    In most parts of the country, springtime offers favorable weather conditions for house hunting. But why May? Homebuyers who started shopping in early spring and have not landed a deal by May start becoming anxious. Parents want to be settled into a home before the next school year. This increased sense of urgency can translate into more dollars for sellers.

  • Pick the Right Day

    You’ve done all the preparations are and ready to list your house—but it’s Monday. Should you? Your real estate agent will probably want you to wait until first thing Thursday morning (we’re talking as close to 12:01 a.m. as possible). Why? Since many people house hunt on the weekends, they typically start looking online on Thursday or Friday to prepare. If you list on Monday, buyers will still see your home, but it will be farther down the page—if your listing is still on the first page at all. To optimize views (which could turn into more showings), consider listing later in the week.

  • Sell Smart During the Off-Season

    If you can’t sell during peak selling time in spring, don’t worry. Not everyone is looking to buy in May. If your home is in a warm-weather state, the off-season could be an advantage, as snowbirds might be in town, and there are likely fewer homes on the market.

    If your home is in a challenging climate, you can still sell successfully during fall or winter. Make the most of the season by staging your home so that it’s warm, cozy, and inviting for homebuyers. Outside, rake those leaves or shovel that snow. There may be fewer buyers looking, but there will also be fewer sellers listing, making your tidy home stand out.

  • Factor in Your Own Timing

    Of course, not everyone can choose when they move. Sometimes the best time to sell a house is simply as soon as possible. If you have to move across the country to start a new job in November, any financial benefit you may have gotten by waiting until May to sell will likely be erased by having to pay housing expenses on two properties for half a year.

    Of course, the best time to sell a house doesn’t always come down to money, either. If you find the perfect next home for you in August, it might be the right decision to sell and buy at the same time. If you know you’ll never find another place so close to work or your sibling’s house or the best park in town, your lifestyle priorities might win out.

  • Are you ready to sell your house? Find out how to sell it quickly right here on Trulia.