Winter, Spring, Summer, or Fall: When is the Best Time to Sell a Home?

By Andrew Te

|10 min read
A Big White House - FastExpert

Unless you live in a part of the US where the weather stays a nice, toasty 75 degrees all year-round, chances are you’ve given some thought to when the best time of year is to sell your home.

After all, most people want to move when they have the fewest hassles and the most money in their pocket. So, when is the best time of year to sell a home?

Well, the answer is not as straightforward as you might think. There are serious market dynamics at play when the seasons change. Our collective consciousness begins to shift to routines that are more conducive to the weather outside.

During the winter, we tend to hunker down, while the spring and summer months have us feeling all sorts of social FOMO. So, if you want to take advantage of these annual mentalities, read on!

How Seasonality Plays a Role in Home Sales

The cyclical nature of the housing market is no secret. It’s affected by everything from the changing of the seasons to larger economic cycles, like job growth and inflation.

When demand for housing is high and there are more buyers than sellers, prices go up. The competition among buyers drives up prices even further and homes sell quickly.

On the other hand, when the number of homes for sale begins to exceed the number of buyers, prices plateau or even drop. And properties can sit on the market for months at a time.

This is where seasonality comes into play. The time of year can have a big impact on how quickly homes sell and for how much.

So, if you’re thinking about selling your home, it’s important to understand how the seasons can affect your bottom line.

The Best Time to Sell Is…

There are a few key things you need to take into consideration when trying to decide on the best time to sell your home:

The Location – When it comes to real estate, location is everything. And that means more than just the neighborhood your home is in. It also includes things like the climate and whether or not your region is prone to natural disasters.

Your Motivation – Are you selling because you need to or because you want to? If you’re selling because you’re being relocated for work or you need to downsize due to a change in your financial situation, then you might not have a choice about when to sell.

But, if you’re selling because you want to upgrade or move to a different neighborhood, then you have a little more flexibility.

Current Market Conditions – This is perhaps the most important factor to take into consideration when deciding on the best time to sell.

If you’re in a buyer’s market, it might not be the best time to put your home on the market. But, if you’re in a seller’s market, then it might be the perfect time to cash in on your equity.

Seasonal Changes in Buyer Behavior

Now that we’ve gone over some of the things you need to think about before putting your home on the market, let’s take a closer look at how the seasons can affect buyer behavior.

Fall: The Balanced Season

The fall months are traditionally considered the balanced season for home sales. This is when prices are typically in the middle range.

There are a few reasons for this:

  • Pro Factor: More Buyers Are Looking
  • Pro Factor: Houses Show Beautifully in the Fall
  • Con Factor: There’s More Competition From New Construction
  • Con Factor: Families May Be More Reluctant to Buy

Pro Factor: More Buyers Are Looking

One of the main reasons why homes sell more quickly in the fall is because there are simply more buyers looking.

People have shaken off the summer heat, came home from vacation, and they’re ready to start fresh with a new home before the holidays. In fact, traffic to real estate websites starts to pick up in September and October.

Pro Factor: Houses Show Beautifully in the Fall

Another reason why homes tend to sell more quickly in the fall is that they show beautifully when it’s cool out.

Buyers are more likely to go look at houses when the weather is comfortable, and they’re also more likely to be impressed by a house that’s well-maintained and has some curb appeal.

What’s more, houses tend to look their best in the fall when the leaves are changing color and the landscaping is looking its best.

Con Factor: There’s More Competition From New Construction

Finally, another reason why homes sell more slowly in the fall is that there’s more competition from new construction.

Builders take advantage of the warmer weather by finishing up new projects, which means there are more homes on the market for buyers to choose from.

Con Factor: Families May Be More Reluctant to Buy

One final thing to consider is that families with children might be more reluctant to buy a home in the fall.

The reason for this is that they may not want to deal with the hassle of moving during the school year.

So, if you’re selling a family home, you may want to wait until the late spring when buyers with children are more likely to be looking.

Winter: The Cold Season for More Reasons Than One

The winter is typically the slowest season for home sales. This is when prices are at their lowest and homes tend to sit on the market for longer periods of time.

There are a few reasons for this:

  • Pro Factor: Buyers Are More Serious
  • Con Factor: The Weather Makes Houses Look Less Appealing
  • Con Factor: There’s Less Inventory to Choose From
  • Pro Factor: There’s Far Less Overall Competition

One of the main reasons why homes sell more slowly in the winter is because there’s less competition from new construction.

Builders tend to slow down or stop altogether during the colder months, which means there are fewer homes on the market for buyers to choose from.

Pro Factor: Buyers Are More Serious

Another reason why homes sell more quickly in the winter is that buyers tend to be more serious.

People aren’t out looking for fun in the winter. They’re usually only looking if they’re ready to buy. So, if you do have a buyer who’s interested in your home, they’re more likely to be serious about making an offer.

Con Factor: The Weather Makes Houses Look Less Appealing

Finally, the weather can also make houses look less appealing in the winter.

Homes are harder to show when it’s cold and snowy outside, and buyers are less likely to be impressed by a house that’s covered in ice and snow.

So, if you’re thinking about selling your home, the fall might be the best time to do it. But, if you’re not in a hurry, you might want to wait until the spring or summer months when there are more buyers looking and prices are higher.

Con Factor: There’s Less Inventory to Choose From

Another reason homes sell more slowly in the winter is because there’s less inventory to choose from.

Many sellers wait until the spring or summer to put their homes on the market, which means there are fewer homes available for buyers to choose from.

What’s more, many sellers who do list their homes in the winter months take them off the market if they don’t receive any offers, which further reduces the inventory of homes that buyers can choose from.

Pro Factor: There’s Far Less Overall Competition

One of the main reasons why homes sell more quickly in the winter is because there’s far less competition from new construction and existing home listings.

Builders tend to slow down or stop altogether during the colder months, which means there are fewer homes on the market for buyers to choose from.

This lack of competition can be a major advantage for sellers, as it gives them a better chance of attracting buyers and getting their asking price.

Spring: The Best Time to Sell?

The spring is often considered the best time to sell a home. This is when prices are typically at their highest and homes tend to sell more quickly.

There are a few reasons for this:

  • Pro Factor: More Buyers Are Looking
  • Pro Factor: Houses Show Beautifully in the Spring
  • Pro Factor: There’s Less Competition From New Construction

Pro Factor: More Buyers Are Looking

One of the main reasons why homes sell more quickly in the spring is because there are simply more buyers looking.

People have shaken off the winter blues and they’re ready to start fresh with a new home. In fact, traffic to real estate websites starts to pick up in March and April and continues to rise through the summer months.

Pro Factor: Houses Show Beautifully in the Spring

Another reason why homes tend to sell more quickly in the spring is that they show beautifully when it’s warm out.

Buyers are more likely to go look at houses when the weather is comfortable, and they’re also more likely to be impressed by a house that’s well-maintained and has some curb appeal.

What’s more, houses tend to look their best in the spring when the flowers are blooming and the landscaping is looking its best.

Pro Factor: There’s Less Competition From New Construction

Finally, another reason why homes sell more quickly in the spring is that there’s less competition from new construction.

As we mentioned before, builders tend to slow down or stop altogether during the colder months. So, if you’re selling your home in the spring, you won’t have to worry about as much competition from new homes on the market.

Of course, there are some downsides to selling in the spring.

  • Con Factor: Everyone’s Trying to Sell Their Home
  • Con Factor: Prices Might Be Too High

Con Factor: Everyone’s Trying to Sell Their Home

One of the biggest downsides to selling in the spring is that everyone else is trying to sell their home, too.

Remember how we said that more buyers are looking for homes in the spring? Well, more sellers are listing their homes, too. So, you’ll have to compete with a lot of other houses on the market.

This can make it harder to stand out from the crowd and can also lead to longer marketing times and lower prices.

Con Factor: Prices Might Be Too High

Another downside to selling in the spring is that prices might be too high.

Remember how we said that prices are typically at their highest in the spring? Well, if you’re not in a hurry to sell, you might want to wait until later in the year when prices start to drop.

You could end up getting more money for your home if you wait to sell until later in the summer or early fall.

Summer: The Worst Time to Sell?

The summer is often considered the worst time to sell a home. This is when prices are typically at their lowest and homes tend to take longer to sell.

There are a few reasons for this:

  • Con Factor: There Are Fewer Buyers
  • Con Factor: Buyers Might Be on Vacation
  • Con Factor: You Might Not Get as Much for Your Home

Con Factor: There Are Fewer Buyers

One of the main reasons why homes take longer to sell in the summer is because there are simply fewer buyers looking.

People are busy with their kids’ activities and they’re more likely to go on vacation during the summer months. This means that there are fewer people out looking for homes.

Con Factor: Buyers Might Be on Vacation

Another reason why it might be harder to sell your home in the summer is that buyers might be on vacation.

If you do have someone interested in your home, they might be more likely to delay their purchase until they’re back from vacation.

Con Factor: You Might Not Get as Much for Your Home

Finally, another downside to selling in the summer is that you might not get as much for your home.

Remember how we said that prices are typically at their lowest during the summer months? Well, if you’re not in a hurry to sell, you might want to wait until later in the year when prices start to pick up again.

You could end up getting more money for your home if you wait to sell until later in the fall or early winter.

Other Seasonality Factors to Keep in Mind

Of course, there are other factors to keep in mind when deciding when to sell your home. For example, if you’re relocating for a job, you might not have a choice about when you need to sell.

And, if you’re selling your home because you’re facing foreclosure, you might not have much time to wait for the perfect market conditions.

In general, though, if you have the flexibility to choose when to sell your home, spring or fall might be the best time to do it.

Just remember that no matter when you decide to sell, it’s important to work with an experienced real estate agent who can help you maximize your profits and get your home sold quickly.

The agent will likely recommend other seasonality factors to consider, such as:

  • The Weather
  • Market Demand
  • Your Personal Schedule

Let’s take a closer look at each of these factors:

The Weather

The weather can have a big impact on the housing market. People tend to want to move when the weather is nice. No one wants to pack up all their belongings and move when it’s cold and snowy outside.

So, if you live in an area where the winters are harsh, you might want to wait until spring or summer to sell your home. On the other hand, if you live in a place with mild winters, you might be able to get away with selling earlier in the year.

Market Demand

This is probably the most important factor to consider when trying to decide on the best time to sell your home. You need to understand the ebbs and flows of the housing market in your area.

In general, demand for housing is highest in the spring and summer months. This is when people are most likely to be out looking for homes. Families with children also tend to want to move during this time so they can get settled before the new school year begins.

If you’re trying to sell your home quickly, you’ll want to list it during one of these peak seasons. However, if you’re not in a rush, you might be able to get away with selling during the off-season.

Your Personal Schedule

Of course, you also need to take your personal schedule into consideration when trying to decide on the best time to sell your home. If you’re not in a hurry, you can list your home whenever is most convenient for you.

However, if you’re trying to sell quickly, you might need to be more flexible. You’ll want to list your home during the peak season when demand is high. That means way more open houses.

You might also need to be prepared to show your home on short notice. Buyers will want to see homes that are for sale as soon as possible, so you’ll need to be available to show them around.

The Bottom Line

So, when is the best time to sell a home? The answer isn’t always simple. You’ll need to take the weather, market demand, and your personal schedule into consideration when making your decision.

If you’re trying to sell quickly, you’ll want to list your home during the peak season when demand is high. However, if you’re not in a hurry, you might be able to get away with selling during the off-season.

Need help finding the right time to sell? Enter your zip code to find a list of local agents who understand the seasonality trends of the housing market in your area.

Andrew Te

Andrew has 7+ years of experience in Real Estate and working with Real Estate Agents. He is passionate about the housing market and solving problems.  

You may also be interested in...

50+ Steps Realtors Take to Sell Your Home

The topic of real estate agent commissions is one that often sparks debate. Some homeowners feel that they sh… read more

10 Best Home Selling Tips for a Fast Sale in 2022

Selling your home can often feel overwhelming and daunting. One of the many perks of using a top-notch Realto… read more

Is the Albuquerque, NM Housing Bubble About to Burst?

Albuquerque, New Mexico Over the past year, housing values in Albuquerque, NM have shot up, increasing $44… read more

palm springs real estate

What is Happening in Palm Springs, CA? Real Estate Trends in 2022

View of Palm Springs, California. As a real estate broker in Palm Springs, California, part of my job is t… read more

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.