While the last few years of the housing market have been anything but typical, the flurry of year-round sales activity has led many sellers to wonder if there really is a “right” time or best month to sell a house.
It’s true that today’s persistently low inventory is offering sellers an advantage even outside the typical spring home-selling season, but there is more that smart sellers need to keep in mind when it comes to timing the market.
Is there a “home-selling season?”
In real estate, prime home-selling time is typically considered to be the beginning of the spring season. Many homeowners spend the slower pace of winter preparing their homes to sell by decluttering and completing unfinished renovations. Then, by the time spring comes along, they post their for-sale signs, and the buyers flock in.
To add to this cycle, potential buyers often start looking for properties in the spring. This allows them to move into their new homes by early summer. This allows families to get situated before the rush of the new school year and other movers to capitalize on warm weather when settling into a new space.
Best time to sell your house
These days, buyers have been lying in wait for the perfect house. That’s to say that a buyer is likely to jump at their dream property, no matter what time of year it is. Still, you can keep the following tips and trends in mind when deciding the best month or season to sell your home.
Spring: This time of year is likely to have significantly more market activity than other seasons. This typically means that more houses are listed and more buyers are searching. Heightened market activity can be a good thing, signifying movement and opportunity.
Summer: While summer is a busy buying time overall, it’s recently become even more active. Today’s low inventory translates to higher competition on properties, meaning not all “spring” buyers will actually find their dream homes in the spring. Therefore, those buyers will continue their home search into the summer months.
Fall: After a hot spring and summer, the housing market tends to slow down a bit in the fall. This downtrend is apparent among both homebuyers and sellers. Still, this can be a good time to sell if you’re highly motivated to stage and list your property. As with winter buyers, those who are searching for a home in the fall tend to be highly motivated and ready to take action.
Winter: Similar to fall, market activity may slow during the winter months. During this period, buyers may hold off to make time for the holidays or simply because they’re avoiding the snow. Lately, though, buyers have been willing to move even during the middle of winter if it means they’ll get the house they’ve been waiting for.
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Is it the right time for you to sell your home
Determining the best time to sell likely requires you to reflect on your home and lifestyle. Certain months may have stronger market activity, but what really signifies if you’re ready to sell are the following personal indicators:
Signs you’re ready
- Your family has expanded, either with little ones or older relatives, and you need extra space for everyone to coexist.
- You know exactly the house or location you’d move to, if the time came to sell.
- Your budget has increased, either because of a new job, increased savings or other factors.
- You’re craving a dedicated home office space, now that you’re officially on a “hybrid” schedule.
- You’re eager to have your own bathroom space to get ready in the morning.
Signs you’re not ready
- Your budget would be stretched much too thin if you upgraded to your ideal house or location.
- Your work is unstable or you’re unsure if you’ll continue working from home.
- You’re not sure what home features or location you’d want, even if you could move.
Tips for selling a home in a buyer’s vs seller’s market
Every year, the housing market fluctuates. Sometimes, the scale may tip in favor of the buyer, creating a buyer’s market, or in contrast, a seller’s market. Minnesota has experienced a seller’s market for many years, and that is not expected to go away any time soon.
Nonetheless, it’s important to consider what it means when things shift from a buyer’s market to a seller’s market and vice versa.