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What’s the best month in which to sell your home?

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Posted on: August 2019

Trying to time the stock market is a loser’s game, it’s been said. But timing your home sale just right could pay off, new research suggests.

Selling during the summer may get you the best price in most cities, based on a new study published by HomeLight/Fixr.com. But there are eight metro markets where selling between September and December yields the best returns, and six cities where selling in March, April or May fetches a higher sales price. (More study details are found at tinyurl.com/fixr72019.)

In greater New York City, for example, August rules, a time when selling can result in a sales price as high as 17.66 percent higher than average; in Chicago, it’s June (6.94% higher); in Minneapolis, it’s April (13.89%); December is ideal for Fresno, California (18.39%); and Las Vegas’ jackpot month is November (3.88%).

Yuka Kato, industry analyst for Wilmington, Delaware-headquartered Fixr.com, says these findings make sense.

“Climate plays a big role in when a home sells. This tracks when you consider that people living in very hot climates will want things to cool off before they start searching, while those in cold climates want warmer days,” she says. “It often comes down to when your landscaping will look its best, when you want to spend time moving, and other factors.”

Kato suggests there are two big reasons why timing your home’s listing/sale can be important.

“The first is because you want the most viewers, so you need to keep track of when people are most likely to be looking,” notes Kato. “Second, you want your home to shine. If you live in a snowy area, your home isn’t going to look its best with dirty snow piles everywhere, and you don’t want buyers potentially slipping on ice to get up your front walk. Waiting for the time of year when your home shows best is smart.”

Mark J. Schmidt, broker associate with RE/MAX Country in Milltown, New Jersey, agrees that picking a sweet spot on the calendar is shrewd.

“After all, timing for when there are more buyers in the market can make it easier to find the right buyer more quickly. You just need to make sure your home is listed at the beginning of those periods to capitalize on that limited window of time,” says Schmidt.

On the other hand, trying to perfectly time your listing/sale could backfire, says Janine Acquafredda, associate broker with Brooklyn-based House n Key Realty.

“Realtors, sellers and buyers don’t know it all, and overthinking things can hurt you. I believe you should sell when you need to sell and list when it’s most convenient for you,” recommends Acquafredda. “In fact, it’s better to list when market prices go up than based on any particular time of year. That’s because buyers are scared prices will keep climbing and that’s when they’ll be out in full force. Same goes for when market prices drop — hold off from listing, as buyers will pause and wait for the market to bottom out.”

Todd Emerson, general manager of Harry Norman, REALTORS in Atlanta, subscribes to that theory.

“The best time to sell is when supply is low and demand is high, and that will depend on what’s going on in your local market. But if you have to sell now due to a life changing event like a job transfer, then now is the best time,” Emerson says.

Regardless of when you choose to list your property, there are steps you can take to aim for a faster sale at a higher price.

“Make your home stand out by giving it a deep clean, getting rid of any clutter and personal belongings, and making home improvements without going crazy on upgrades that don’t increase resale value,” says Kato.

In addition, “price your home properly for your market right from the start. Buyers don’t put offers on the highest-priced homes—they put offers on the best-priced homes,” Schmidt says.