Timing is Everything: The Best Months to Sell Your House

When selling your house, timing is key. Recent data shows that if you list your home during the week of April 14-20, 2024, you can expect to get $34,000 more than at the start of the year. This shows how important it is to choose the right time to sell your home.

Ask a group of homeowners about the best time to sell a house, and you’ll get different answers. Many believe spring and summer are ideal, which can be true in some areas but not all. The best time to sell depends on your situation and goals.

In this post, we’ll share expert tips on choosing the best time of year to sell a house. We’ll also discuss the pros and cons of selling in each season since life circumstances don’t always let us pick the perfect time.

When is the Best Time of Year to Sell your House?

Finding the best time of year to sell your house can significantly impact your success. While many believe spring is ideal for selling homes in the U.S., the truth is that the best time can vary based on your needs and circumstances.

  • Market Timing vs. Preparedness: While timing can be a factor, focusing on being prepared to sell effectively in any season is vital.
  • Seasonal Advantages and Challenges: Each season offers unique pros and cons for sellers, so understanding them can help you optimize your approach.
  • Location: Real estate seasonality varies greatly based on factors like climate and local market trends.

The best time to sell your house is when you enjoy it most. To help you plan your home sale better, we’ve gathered insights from our top real estate agents on how different seasons affect the selling process.

Selling Your Home in the Spring Season

As winter ends and spring begins, homebuyers start looking for houses again. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports that home sales often rise significantly when temperatures increase, with pre-pandemic sales jumping by as much as 34% from February to March. Prices also go up as demand increases, benefiting sellers. Recent NAR research shows that the week of April 10-16 is a particularly good time to sell.

Pros and Cons of Selling a House in Spring

Pros Cons
High Demand: Spring often sees the highest number of buyers, making it a great time to sell. Families prefer moving before the new school year starts. Increased Competition: Many homeowners list their properties in spring, leading to higher competition.
Good Weather: Pleasant weather allows homes to be showcased at their best, with blooming gardens and bright, sunny days. Busy Season: The market is busy, and real estate agents might have less time to focus on individual clients.

Selling Your Home in the Summer Season

Summer is often seen as the peak season for real estate. The buyer activity that starts in the spring intensifies in June, July, and August. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), these months account for up to 40% of annual home sales. Home buying usually peaks in June.

Pros and Cons of Selling a House in Summer

Pros Cons
More Daylight: Longer days mean more daylight for viewings, making it easier for potential buyers to visit after work. Heat: In very hot climates, the heat can deter buyers from attending open houses.
Peak Moving Season: Families prefer moving during summer vacation, which can lead to quicker sales. Vacations: Many people are on vacation, which can reduce the number of potential buyers.

Selling Your Home in the Fall Season

When the weather turns cooler and leaves start to change, fall becomes an attractive season for selling homes. Here are some reasons why fall can be an excellent time to list your property:

Pros and Cons of Selling a House in Fall

Pros Cons
Serious Buyers: With summer vacations over and people back to their routines, buyers in the fall are typically more serious and motivated, aiming to move before the holidays​​. Shorter Days: With fewer daylight hours, scheduling showings can be more challenging.
Less Competition: There are generally fewer homes on the market in the fall, which means less competition for sellers. This can make your home stand out and potentially sell faster​. Weather Considerations: Depending on your location, unpredictable fall weather can affect home viewings and curb appeal,​ making it an average time to sell a house.
Autumn Ambiance:The natural beauty of fall can enhance your home’s curb appeal. The season’s colors and mild temperatures create a welcoming environment for potential buyers​. School Year in Session: Families with children may be less willing to move during the school year, which can reduce the number of potential buyers.

Selling Your Home in Winter Season

Between kids on winter break and holiday preparations, both sellers and buyers might find moving to be a hassle during this busy time of year. National data shows that home sales are usually lower in the winter. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), November through February are the slowest months for home sales, with January being the slowest month of all.

Pros and Cons of Selling a House in the winter

Pros Cons
Motivated Buyers: Buyers during the winter are usually highly motivated, often needing to move for job changes or other pressing reasons. Weather Challenges: Snow and cold can make it harder to showcase homes and for buyers to attend viewings.
Low Inventory: Fewer homes on the market mean less competition. Holiday Season: Many people are focused on the holidays, which can reduce the number of buyers.

So, What’s the Best Season to Sell a Home?

Choosing the best season to sell your home depends on a mix of market trends and your unique needs. The right time for you might differ based on different factors, let’s read them and figure out what suits best for your situation.

  • For Best Price: Research from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) indicates that listing your home in early spring can yield the best price. Homes listed in April often receive higher offers as buyers look to close and move during the summer months. This timing aligns with the increased buyer activity and reduced competition in the market during these months, making it potentially the best month to sell a house.
  • For Speed: If you need to sell quickly, late spring is ideal. Data from Realtor.com shows that homes listed in April tend to sell faster, often within a few days less than homes listed at other times of the year. This is because buyer demand peaks in the spring, leading to quicker sales.
  • Timed with Location: Real estate trends are highly local. For example, in college towns, the best time to sell might be late summer or early fall, when students and university employees are relocating. Conversely, in warmer states like Florida, the traditionally slow real estate month of December can be a good time to sell due to increased buyer activity from snowbirds and tourists. So, if you’re wondering if, is it a good time to sell a house, December in Florida might be the perfect opportunity.
  • Seasonal Tools: For localized data, Kristin Egmont offers tools that provide insights on the best times to sell your home based on market conditions. These tools analyze local trends, regional demand, and seasonal changes to help you decide the optimal time to list your property.

What Fits Your Needs?

Ultimately, the best time to sell your home depends on your personal circumstances and motivations. Market trends can guide you, but your unique situation—such as needing to relocate quickly or waiting for the highest possible price—will dictate the ideal time to list your home.

Now that we’ve explored the best times to sell your home, let’s look at how long you should live in a house before considering a sale to better understand the ideal timeline for maximizing your investment.

How Long Should You Live in a House Before Selling?

Real estate experts suggest living in your home for at least five years before selling. This time frame helps ensure your home is appreciated enough to cover the costs of buying and selling, such as closing costs and agent commissions. Staying longer helps build more equity and reduces the impact of capital gains taxes.

Key Points:

  1. Building Equity: Living in your home for five years, known as the “five-year rule,” allows it to appreciate in value. This helps cover transaction costs and can generate a profit when you sell.
  2. Selling Costs: Selling a house involves expenses like closing costs, which are about 2-6% of the sale price.
  3. Capital Gains Taxes: To avoid these taxes, you must live on the property for at least two of the last five years, allowing the exclusion of up to $250,000 ($500,000 for couples) of profit from taxes.

Making the Right Move at the Right Time

In real estate, timing is everything. By understanding market influences, keeping an eye on local trends, and considering your own needs, you can choose the best time to sell your house. This approach helps maximize your chances for a quick and profitable sale.

If you’re considering putting your home on the market and are looking for expert guidance, consider reaching out to a local real estate agent. Whether you’re exploring Darien, CT, houses for sale, exploring the Stamford real estate market, or seeking properties in Westport, a knowledgeable real estate agent from Westport, CT, can provide the expertise you need to make informed decisions and achieve a successful sale.


Kristin Egmont

Kristin is apart of the Vartulli | Jabick Team at Keller Williams Gold Coast in Westport, CT. The value of working with Kristin is that she is a part of one of the top performing teams in Fairfield County. In addition to Kristin supporting you her team will as well!

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