When Is The Best Time To Sell Your Home?

If I had a dollar for everytime someone asks me when is the best time to sell their home I would probably not have to be writing this article today and instead would be relaxing somewhere warm :).  My initial answer, while somewhat snarky, is always the same “when you have a buyer“.  Actually though, just because there is a buyer doesn’t mean you are realizing the best price and terms as may be possible.

It’s not really possible to be totally objective when analyzing this as no more which data I choose to use or consider is going to make it subjective, but I think I have come up with a reasonable criteria to base my answer on.  For the purposes of this article, below are the criteria I selected to include in my analysis and why:

  • Sold Price Per Foot– For an overall market view, price per foot is a good way to look at a trend.
  • Days on Market – The time it takes a home to sell is certainly indicative of how good or bad a current market may be.
  • % of Original List Price Sold For – This is a very good indicator of the market for when sellers are able receive close to their original asking price it is typically indicative of a good market (and a good listing agent that knows the benefit of properly pricing a home at the start)
  • % of Current List Price Sold For – Like the previous one, and is somewhat an indicator of the strength of the current market but is probably more driven by a seller finally facing reality and getting the price to the point where their home sold.

I then created the chart below, using software created by MORE, REALTORS for the St Louis 5-County core market for the past 24 months and then plotted the data above.  As the chart illustrates, during the past 12 months, one clear “winner” stands out when all the planets aligned (or data) to deliver the best result to the seller and it happend with closings that occured in June 2017.   Therefore, the best month to sell your home is June, right?  Wrong!  Considering the average sale takes about 5 – 6 weeks to close, and these closings occured in June, the majority of these homes most likely went under contract for sale in April and May, with the majority in May.  So, not surprising, since I believe most agents would give this answer without even doing research, but the spring market, April and May is the best time to sell your home.  If you look back to June 2016 on the chart, while the % of original price didn’t fare as well as in 2017, June 2016 was defiinitely a winner month for sellers as well!

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When Is The Best Time To Sell Your Home? (Chart)

(click on chart for current, live chart)When Is The Best Time To Sell Your Home? (Chart)

So does this mean you shouldn’t sell your home in the winter?

One downside to conversations like this is it can create a certain panic among homeoweners that are considering, or need to sell, but have missed the spring season.  Does this mean they should wait unitl next spring? While there’s a lot to take into consideration, the short answer is no, you don’t have to wait until spring.  There are advantages to selling in “non-peak” seasons, including less competition, not to mention, if you are buying another home, you will have a better chance of getting a good deal.  

Therefore, the perfect scenario is to put your home on the market for sale April 1st, sell it, close it and live in temporary housing.  Then, December 1st, start the search for your new home. :)


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