For Sale

Why Spring is the Best Time to Sell Your Home

Thinking of Selling Your Home? Now is a great time to put your place on the market.

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Spring is in the air, and people are coming out of hibernation – especially homebuyers. With the holidays passed and weather warming up, it’s officially the time of year that is considered the hot season for the housing market.

Spring is the undisputed champ of seasons for selling a home. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported in 2016 that the top 10 dates sellers listed their homes last year all fell in April, May or June.

“Spring is the most popular time of year for the housing market because the weather is finally warming up after winter,” said Michael Watters, Realtor in the Denver, Colorado area. “Houses are much more presentable in sunny weather and clear days than in knee deep snow. Because of the weather heating up, people are much more inclined to stroll through neighborhoods for open houses in the spring. Also, buyers like to plan now so they can move into their new houses in early summer with kids out of school and be settled by the time school starts back up in the fall.”

Besides the convenience and weather-related factors of spring, is it really that much better to sell in the prime season? Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons:

Bigger Sale Price

Unlike other markets where more inventory means lower prices, the housing market works the opposite way, with prices being highest when the most homes are listed. This is because the demand is seasonal and driven by things like weather and the school year. So even though there are more sellers, there are also more buyers in the spring and summer.

Better Valuations

When your house is being valued, an appraiser will look into data for comparable homes sold in your area. But if the more recent data is from a home that sold for cheap in the winter, it can hurt your valuation. With more homes selling in the on-season, the comparable data is more accurate. Wait for a few other houses in your neighborhood to hit the market to take the most advantage of those comparable sales. And while you’re at it, make sure your appraiser fully understands your neighborhood – if a home sold for $250,000, but it was a tear-down, while normally prices are closer to $750,000, you’ll want your appraiser to understand that. More data is always better for valuations, and the prime season is when the data is the most robust.

Homes Look Better

We already concluded that spring is when the buyers are out and about – but it’s also the time of year when properties shine. Flowers are blooming, days are longer and curb appeal is better. This means a better chance for more interested buyers.

However, Buyers are Pickier

With more houses on the market, all of which are looking better, buyers can afford to be pickier. They also aren’t shopping under pressure like they might be during the off-season. You might need to make those necessary repairs yourself before selling.

Bidding Wars

While bidding wars are annoying for buyers, they’re a definite plus for sellers. And when your home is on the market when inventory is at a high, you’re more likely to receive multiple offers. That then has the potential to lead to more money in your pocket. Bidding wars also typically mean that buyers are less likely to make repair requests or other demands.

The Verdict: The On-Season is Best

Conventional wisdom does get it right: if you have a choice in the matter, wait until the prime season to sell your home so you can reap the benefits.

“It’s a seller’s market in the spring, and there really aren’t many cons to waiting until this time of year,” Watters concluded. “If you’re a seller, this is the ideal time.”