Many factors come into play when putting your home on the market, but a study conducted by Zillow in 2016 has revealed that May is the best month to try to sell your home – and in particular early May.
The Zillow research discovered that homes listed between May 1 through May 15 sold around 18.5 days faster than homes that weren’t listed during that time frame. They also found that homes sold in that time frame were also purchased for about 1% more than the average listing, which translates to a bonus of around $1,700.
The Joys of Spring
A lot of people want to buy a new house in order to make a fresh start. It’s the ultimate in spring cleaning. In recent years, the number of homes available for purchase has been down, while the number of sales has been up, leading to a shortage of viable homes and creating more of a seller’s market.
The housing market starts to perk up a little in December, and the spring selling season starts to get into full swing by the end of February. However, if prospective buyers spend all those weeks looking, but have nothing to show for it, they start to get very eager.
This means that by May, they are pretty desperate. Many families want to be in their new home and settled by the time the school year starts, so will be more open to purchasing, and even willing to pay more, in order to get a house.
There are some regional shifts in this pattern, however, that are worth noting. Most people will start actively looking for a new home when the weather is nice, so they might start earlier or later depending on climate. Warmer climates don’t tend to have such a strong bias towards spring.
It also depends on the area. Southern California has been experiencing high demand and a low number of houses for sale, leading to busy open days and even bidding wars on certain homes.
When in doubt, check out the Zillow tool “The Best Time to List Your Home” to track trends and determine the best time to list via your zip code.
Aiming for May
Since the first two weeks of May will likely be the best time to list your home, knowing this can help you make the most of the opportunity by lining up all your ducks in a row. You can get everything done in advance in order to make a quick sale before you ever list the home. Fresh paint inside and out, staging your home, de-cluttering and donating to charity can all be done according to this timeline.
The more your home creates the impression that the prospective buyer can move in right away without having to worry about any major repairs or changes, the more likely they are to buy.
If you have missed the May window of opportunity and need to sell, not to worry. It’s still a seller’s market and you are sure to get a buyer if your house is attractive and in good repair.