Seasonality affects when to sell a house
Selling a house in the spring
As you can see from the trends above, people tend to shop for homes as the weather gets warmer, so prepping your home in the winter months to sell in spring usually makes sense. With tax refunds in their pockets, nicer weather for moving in the forecast, and summer break from the kids’ school coming up, it’s easy to see why spring is typically the most popular time to buy and sell.
Selling a house in the summer
Many of the same reasons buyers shop in the spring apply to home buying in summer as well — warm weather, school breaks, and simply having more hours of sunshine to hit up open houses and take home tours. Of course, summer is the time when most people take their vacations, so that might account for a bit of a slowdown. And, there are parts of the country where real estate is slow in the summer because it’s simply too hot to shop comfortably. Among the largest U.S. real estate markets, St. Louis has the latest prime selling window — June 1-15.
Selling a house in the fall
Many buyers shopping in the early fall may be trying to move in time to get settled before the school year picks up or before the weather gets bad, and that feeling of urgency can be a benefit to sellers. However, many off-season shoppers are moving because of a job transfer, layoff, short sale, or family issue, so they can also be more sensitive to price.
Selling a house in the winter
While winter is traditionally the slowest season for home sales, if your climate is warm year-round (think Florida and the Southwest), your window for selling may even be better in the winter months as snowbirds flock to the sunshine.
List your home for sale in the optimal housing market
Of course, seasonality isn’t the only factor to keep in mind when deciding if it’s the right time to sell your house. It’s also important to consider the state of your local housing market.
Selling in a buyers market
A buyers market occurs when the number of available properties for sale exceeds the number of people looking to buy. When inventory is high, sellers can expect their home to stay on the market longer before receiving an offer, and you may have to sell below list price or make additional concessions to the buyer. (Learn more about selling a home in a buyers market.)