Listing a home toward the end of spring significantly increases a seller's chances of selling their home faster and for more money, according to new analysis from Zillow. Nationally, homes listed from May 1 through May 15, sell around nine days faster and for nearly 1 percent more than the average listing. In 20 of the 25 largest metro areas, the best month to list is late spring, in either April or May.
Housing market dynamics, including low inventory, make the buying season more pronounced in some parts of the country. Sellers in the highly competitive Seattle, Portland, Ore., and Denver markets saw between a 1.5 and 2.5 percent boost to final sale prices when they listed in early May. The lack of new homes for sale in these markets elongates the home-buying season as many buyers are forced to consider several homes and make multiple offers. Less than half of buyers got the first home on which they made an offer, according to Zillow's latest Report on Consumer Housing Trends.
Weather patterns also affect the exact best window to sell in different areas. Sellers in Texas, California and Florida will find themselves with more flexibility in list timeframe, as many regions without distinct climate changes show little variation in sale price based on listing month.
"With 3 percent fewer homes on the market than last year, 2017 is shaping up to be another competitive buying season," said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Svenja Gudell. "Many home buyers who started looking for homes in the early spring will still be searching for their dream home months later. By May, some buyers may be anxious to get settled into a new home— and will be more willing to pay a premium to close the deal."
Additionally, listing on different days of the week can impact the number of buyers who will view the new listing. Listings that appear on Zillow on Saturday earn an average of 20 percent more views in the first week on market than early-in-the-week listings; similarly, Friday listings on Zillow earn 14 percent more views that those published on Monday.
To apply this analysis to individual homes, homeowners can use Best Time to List, a tool that estimates how much the timing of a listing will influence the final sale price for their home and their own market. Registered Zillow users access the tool by clicking the "Sell Your Home" tab on the home details page of their home, and obtain valuable information to pair with the expertise of a local real estate agent when determining the best time to put their home on the market.