The best time of year to sell a home is when you’re ready to sell it.
That’s the short answer. But of course it’s more complicated than that.
Just like the calendar, the real estate market has seasons. There are times of the year when it’s easiest to show your home at its best to potential buyers. And there are times of the year when buyers are actively shopping for a new home and inclined to make offers.
You’re more likely to sell your home quickly and for top dollar when those times coincide.
The best time of year to sell a home is …
If you’re selling a house, typically spring is the best time of year to sell a home.
In nature, spring is a time of renewal. Same for home buyers.
Home buyers emerge in the spring flush with optimism. They’ve survived another winter in their current digs; but it’s time for a new start, time to address those nagging issues like space or location that have made their current home a challenge.
If those buyers are a family with school-aged children, it’s especially important for them to get the process of finding and moving to a new home into gear in the spring so the household is settled and the kids are registered for their new school in time for fall.
For sellers, the spring is the best time of year to show off your home. Especially if you’ve used the winter months to clear the clutter from the garage, repainted the living room, tended to those persistent maintenance issues in and around the house. With the trees trimmed and the gardens bursting with new flowers, your home is sure to have great curb appeal.
If spring is the best time of year to sell a home, isn’t everyone else also trying to sell their home in spring too?
When the market is buoyant and buyers are eager, prices are likely to stay healthy; if your neighbour’s house sells for top dollar that’s good news for the price you’ll be able to ask for your own place.
The next best time of year to sell a home is fall
Not everyone is prepared to sell their home in the spring. The fall is also desirable.
The weather is still good, so buyers are out and about. Save for Thanksgiving, most weekends aren’t busy with holiday activities. Anyone thinking of moving is keen to get it done before winter and the Christmas season kick in; they’re serious and motivated.
There’s usually fewer listings in the fall. That’s less competition for your home, so you may be able to get a better price. In fact, if it’s a rising market prices may peak in the fall; that’s what happened locally in three of the last eight years.
Any time is the best time of year to sell a home – if it’s a condo
Of course these timelines don’t really apply to the condo and townhouse market; they tend to sell steadily any time of year.
That’s because condos and townhouses are generally geared towards first-time buyers and downsizers who don’t have to worry about things like getting their kids registered in a new school. They’re shopping for location, proximity to their work or recreational activities. They’re looking at indoor space and amenities that aren’t as tied to the weather outside. They’re buying lifestyle.
When not to sell your home
Whether you’re selling a house or a condo, it’s best to avoid December. With so much going on leading up to the Christmas holiday season, the last thing on most people’s agenda is shopping for a new home. Not that it doesn’t happen; but if you can hold off until January, you’re likely to see more active buyers and get a better price.
Unfortunately, not everyone is in control of the timing to sell their home.
Which brings us back to our opening point; the best time of year to sell a home is when you’re ready to sell. If you work with your realtor to set a proper sale price, maximize its exposure and show it off to its fullest potential, your home will find a buyer.