Most people sell the homes in the spring, try to close by the end of June so when the kids are out of school they can move to their new town and have the moving completed during the summer, ready to the fall school season to begin.
Most home owners want to maximize their profits and minimize their costs when they move. I am amazed at how many home owners, selling one home and buying another, think that they can do a better job than an experienced Realtor. You are asking US for help, which is a step in the right direction, however the advice your have so far is from people that do not know three important things: Your local market values and trends, your personal situation (when you need to move, how much you need to net, where you are moving, etc.) and your home. Doesn't it make sense that someone who is real professional would want to analyze your situation FIRST before offering advice?
Here are some suggestions:
1. Talk with a couple of Realtors and compare their proposals. I would be happy to refer you to a top Realtor in your market that will sit down and assess your situation.
2. The truth is that in most markets only about 20% of homes sell for top dollar. 80% are not properly prepared for market, not marketed to expose their value, and priced incorrectly. So as a home seller that means that if 80% of the Realtors and having problems selling for top dollar, how do you find one of the Realtors that IS in that top 20%?
That is why I offer to refer you to a top Realtor. In most markets the Top Realtors know the market values and trends, what buyers like and how much they will pay. Their value to you is in the proper preparation, marketing, and then negotiating the best terms.
I'll give you an example. I was trying to help a family relocate for California to Tennessee, and was told that they did not want to sell unless they could net at least $400,000, which would means listing it at $500K minimum. They had their eyes focused on their current home. and it was never going to sell for the amount they wanted. So why they were worried about their home here (and it needed a lot of work), they also wanted to save on commission. During this time of preparation procrastination, and negotiating, the market in our area shifted. They finally listed their home for $450K, it sold for $409K, after sitting on the market for four months.
In the meantime, I had an agent in the destination town keep me up to date on the local market trends. While the California market was declining, Tennessee was going UP. So they "saved" money on the commission, lost over $50-$65K by not moving forward, then lost more because the prices had increased 10% while they were trying to sell.
Experience and market expertise will save you and make you more money in the long run.
Good luck, and Merry Christmas!