The Best Time to Sell a House

Thinking about selling your home? Check out these helpful tips about when to put your house on the market:

By Navy Federal September 20, 2016

People often say that selling your house in spring is smart and that selling in fall and winter is not as practical, but is this really the case? Frequently, it's true, but many additional factors come into play when selling your home, such as where you live and the economic and real estate market conditions in your area.

Best Time to Sell a House Depends on Location

Real estate agents like to say that the three most important factors when selling a home are location, location and location. A house in a desirable location is nearly always worth more than one in a less popular area. Geographic location is also important in determining when to put a house on the market. For example, the best month for selling a home in Hawaii is January; the worst month is July. The best month for selling a home in Alaska is June, whereas the worst is December.

Every regional market is different, so evaluate your own situation with the help of an experienced real estate professional. When searching for a real estate agent, consider RealtyPlus®, a free real estate assistance program offered through Navy Federal Credit Union. You'll receive a referral to an experienced real estate agent, plus other special offers.

Spring May Be the Best Time to Sell a House

Many experts say that spring is the best time to sell a house, primarily because families with school-age children find that summer is the most convenient time for them to move. Parents want to be settled into the new location before school starts so children don't have to change schools during the academic year. If you plan on selling your home in May, you can frequently close the sale in July, allowing time for these important buyers to make a smooth transition.

Another reason spring is considered the best time to sell a house is because houses typically look their best in springtime. Green lawns, blooming flowers and sunny weather translate to pleasant conditions in which prospective buyers can tour homes.

You'll Get a Higher Price in High Season

Because many homeowners put their houses on the market in spring, the number of homes available is often high. With more houses for sale, you might think that prices would fall. However, because lots of buyers venture out in these good-weather months, there are fewer houses available for each buyer. This drives prices up and can result in bidding wars—where potential buyers offer higher and higher prices for a desirable home.

Selling Your Home in Winter Can Work, Too

What about selling your house in winter? A 2013 study by Redfin found that homes for sale in winter sell one week faster than those on the market in spring. If you list your house in winter, you'll have less competition because fewer houses are for sale.

On the other hand, cold or wet weather can keep buyers away, and those looking at real estate in winter can be seeking a bargain. You may find some motivated buyers, such as people relocating for work, for example. Since winter weather is unpredictable in many regions, you might want to follow advice offered by real estate database Zillow and try selling your home in the “magic window” month between mid-March and mid-April.

If you’re looking into buying or selling your home, first talk to a real estate professional in your area. Then see if a mortgage loan from Navy Federal Credit Union is right for you. Before you know it, you could end up with the home of your dreams.

This article is intended to provide general information and shouldn't be considered legal, tax or financial advice. It's always a good idea to consult a tax or financial advisor for specific information on how certain laws apply to your situation and about your individual financial situation.