You’ve heard it time and again: “Spring is the best time to list your home.” It makes sense. Spring is a popular season for house hunting as the warm weather brings out prospective buyers willing to spend more time outside in search of a home. In our area, as in much of the country (at least, the part that experiences seasonal changes), home sales spike sharply in May, June and July. And listing at the right time means a faster sale, and often for more money.
But a key question remains: When exactly should you put your home on the market if you want to get the highest price?
Agents pushing sellers to list homes in May and June are forgetting the second part of the sales equation: available inventory also rises significantly during those months, meaning more homes are available for a similar pool of prospective buyers.
Statistically, you’re more likely to sell a home when sales are increasing, but before inventory is at its highest. The sweet spot — when there are more buyers — hits in January, February and March. Assuming you don’t want to be preparing your house for sale during the holidays, you need to spend a month or two preparing (this means you've spent time decluttering, cleaning, landscaping, touching up paint and making those small updates that will help your home shine) and then list by February or early March.
"Get ahead of the crowd by listing in February and March - not June."
If you don’t list until June, you’ll be on the back side of that curve, with way more homes on the market - increasing your competition. Timing your listing is not an exact science, and each market varies slightly. To know for sure whether you’re listing at the right time, rewind the timeline: Start when you (or your real estate agent) know sales are highest in your market, and work backward. You’ll find that preparing your home in February and listing in March will lead to that June sale you’re hoping for.