Real Estate

When Is the Best Time to Sell a House?

By Tom Burchnell
best time to sell house

When is the best time to sell a house? If you put your property on the market when buyers aren’t interested, you’ll waste a lot of time and energy. 

Sometimes, bad timing is unavoidable. It’s common that homeowners find themselves facing difficult life situations, such as expensive medical bills, layoffs, divorces, or other family situations that demand attention. You may need to access the cash that’s locked into your home’s equity as soon as possible. 

If you sell your house during a bad market, you’ll have to compromise on your asking price. Understanding market trends and how they influence home sales will make it easier for you to decide what is best for you and your family.

Best Time of Year to Buy a House

If you live in a state where there is heavy snowfall throughout the winter, chances are that people aren’t going to want to shovel their way into their new home. Conversely, the dog days of summer can also make it less appealing to drive around to look at properties. 

Calendar events can also play a significant role. Fewer homeowners want to be displaced over the holiday season, and potential buyers with children will want to be settled before the beginning of the next school year. 

Since summertime is when people usually take vacations, there may be a slowdown in interest — especially over holiday weekends. Generally speaking, the best time to sell a house is mid-May.

Economic Upturns Help Home Values

Challenging markets aren’t the best time to sell your house. Often, recessions will cause home value appraisals to be lower. This is due to the fact that, as the economy slows, fewer people are comfortable making big purchases. If the demand for homes like yours drops, your selling price will do the same.

Conversely, when the stock markets are soaring and buyer confidence is high, people are more likely to pay a higher price for your home. In fact, the housing market is a lot like the stock market in that you should aim to sell when prices are high. If other homes in your region are selling at high prices, your home appraisal will likely support a higher market value as well. 

When people feel secure in their employment, they are more likely to invest in real estate. Homeowners who are considering selling would be wise to track the national real estate market along with the real estate markets in their own communities.

Is It a Buyer’s or Seller’s Market?

Another best time to sell a house is when lenders and banks are trying to attract more business with competitive interest rates. Recently, mortgage rates have been historically low, making it a great time to buy and sell. However, current trends show that rates are slowly increasing.

When rates are low, buyers are able to make their housing budgets go further. The money they would have to put toward interest can instead go to their bottom line. For starter homes and other moderately-priced homes, low rates are especially good news. Historically, this is when first-time homebuyers are ready to move forward.

Along with interest rates, buyers may also look at tax incentives. Occasionally, the federal government will pass temporary tax credits for those who purchase their first homes. Keep track of this type of legislation to time your home sale to your advantage.

Home Sales Take Time

No matter the time of year or the economic situation, preparing a house to sell is a difficult and lengthy process. Real estate experts say that homeowners should expect to take at least two months to prepare for putting a home on the market. If the number of homes on the market exceeds the number of interested buyers, the sale can take even longer.

During this time, you can stage your house for successful showings and compile a team of professionals to help you get the best price for your home. If you rush the sale because you are in a tight financial situation, you will be putting your real estate investment in jeopardy. 

If you find that you are unable to wait, or if the housing market has hit a difficult time in your area, it may be wise to consider whether an alternative program would work better for you. These options are designed to reduce stress and expedite the process so homeowners can feel secure that they’ve made a wise financial decision even when it’s not the best time to sell a house.

The Best Time to Sell a House Is When You Are Ready

Putting your home on the market is a personal decision, and you know better than anyone else whether it’s the best time to sell your house given your current financial situation. If you’ve had a lifestyle change, it may make sense to downsize or move to a different area of the country. If this is the case, it’s the right time for you.

Many homeowners need the cash that a home sale can provide but don’t want to move. These homeowners often prefer to take advantage of alternative programs that allow them to stay in their homes while still being able to use the cash from their equity as needed. 

Opportunities like sale-leaseback programs give you time to adjust by letting you stay in your home for as long as necessary while receiving the financial benefits of a sale right away.

Key Takeaways

If you’re wondering “when is the best time to sell a house?” then talk to a real estate advisor to learn more about what factors are at play. A sale-leaseback program can be a good solution if you are ready to sell but need time before moving.

Real Estate
Tom Burchnell
Written by Tom Burchnell
Director of Product Marketing

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