Spring season is generally agreed to be the best time to list a home for sale. Experts agree that homeowners have a much better chance of selling when they list a home in early spring, with a much greater likelihood of their home going under contract inside 30 days.
But just because that’s the general consensus, sellers shouldn’t rule out listing their homes in other seasons. According to a new study by Redfin, winter was only just edged out by spring as the best season to sell a home.
Redfin’s study found that 18.7 percent of spring listings sold for above asking price, compared to 17.5 percent of winter listings that also sold for more than the owners were asking. In addition, while 48 percent of homes listed in spring sold in 30 days, 46.2 percent of homes listed in winter achieved the same.
Percentage of homes sold above list price:
“You may have fewer people looking to buy, but those who are looking are serious,” says Michelle Leader, a Redfin real estate professional in Oklahoma City. “Buyers that time of year often need to move, so they’re much less likely to make a lowball offer and they’ll often want to close quickly — two things that can make the sale much smoother.”
In addition, sellers are faced with less competition during winter, which means their listing can stand out more easily, Leader noted.
As for the trickiest time to sell a home, Redfin reckons sellers will find it toughest in Autumn. The fall season saw just 41 percent of listings sell within 30 days, with just 14.7 percent going for above listing price. Redfin says this can most likely be put down to the school year starting then.
“Buyers with kids often want to get settled in their new home before the school year starts, so they’ve already closed in spring or summer,” says Michael Linden, a Redfin real estate professional in Chicago. “And right after you list, the holiday season begins, which can delay the time it takes to close, and causes many buyers to pause their search. The last quarter of the year is just not an ideal time to put a home on the market, particularly if you want full price or a quick closing.”