Did you miss the best time of year to sell your house?

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Written By: Joanne McCoy

“I was recently asked by a prospective seller if he had missed the best time of year for selling his house. This led to a long explanation by me about how there is never really a bad time to sell. But, of course, it’s always interesting to look at statistics.

According to the Midlands Multiple Listing Service, there is a definite trend for when most homes go under contract. And likely they will not be a surprise to anyone. The number one month over the past 5 years for homes going under contract is April. This makes sense for several reasons.

Many home owners do not want to list their home for sale during the cold winter months when they will be having to deal with cold temps and icy or snowy sidewalks and driveways. Also, they want to show their house at it’s best and that happens when the grass is green and the flowers are blooming. As well, many home buyers don’t want to go out looking when it’s cold and icy or snowy.

So April is the busiest month for homes going under contract.

What months come after April? Those are: May #2; March #3; and June #4.

Once we hit July and August the real estate market starts to slow down a bit. My explanation is that many buyers are taking vacations and not looking for a house. And, the big rush for buyers to get into a new house before school starts is over. Still August comes in at #5 with September and February not far behind.

The fall months are slower but still not a bad time to sell. I find some home buyers look for a home once summer is past, cooler temps have moved in, the grass is still green and we are not yet into the holiday mode. Some people decide to make a move at that time of year so they can be in a new house for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The slowest months are not surprisingly December and January. It’s cold and the holidays are keeping us busy. However, I have learned that if you are thinking of selling, winter might be your best time to list. The reason is many homeowners don’t list their homes so the inventory is low. And if people are out looking it’s most likely because they really need to buy (otherwise why be out when it’s below freezing?). So if they need to buy and your home is one of a few on the market then you have a better chance at getting an offer.

Here are the numbers averaged over the past 5 years of homes going under contract (from the Midlands MLS):

Jan – 312 (#10)
Feb – 352 (#7)
Mar – 476 (#3)
Apr – 501 (#1)
May – 480 (#2)
Jun – 442 (#4)
Jul – 345 (#8)
Aug – 402 (#5)
Sep – 357 (#6)
Oct – 337 (#9)
Nov – 304 (#11)
Dec – 253 (#12)”

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