Even if you aren’t that familiar with real estate, odds are you’ve probably heard people talk about the "spring market" before. While conventional wisdom holds that spring is the best time to sell your home, in truth, that isn’t always the case. Rather, the decision of when to sell your home is a personal one.
With that in mind, I’ve laid out four factors that you should consider before putting your home on the market. Keep them in mind as you weigh your options and you should be able to find the time that works best for you.
Take seasonality into account
According to 2019 data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), spring is still the busiest time for selling a home. They found that the time period from May-June accounts for a whopping 40% of annual sales volume, with June being the busiest month overall. In contrast, November – February were found to be the months with the fewest sales.
However, keep in mind, that data is national. It doesn’t account for local and regional differences that may crop up. In areas near ski resorts, for example, the winter season tends to bring a much hotter market than can be found during warmer weather.
Think about your local market trends
In addition to seasonality, it's important to take a look at the trends that are occurring in your local real estate market. For starters, you may want to look at whether your market could broadly be considered a buyer's market or a seller's market. Plus, whether homes in your area have been appreciating.
Your best bet for gathering this information is to talk to a real estate agent. Not only will he or she be able to give you a sense for how your local market is faring overall, but you will likely also be given a comparative market analysis. This document will give you a sense of the how much your home could be worth in current market conditions.
Consider your home's condition
Put simply, in order for your home to fetch top dollar when you sell it needs to be in decent condition. If you're in a hurry to sell and don't have time to make improvements, you always have the option to sell your home "as-is". While you won't be expected to make any repairs to an as-is property, keep in mind that this choice usually comes hand-in-hand with a price reduction.
If, on the other hand, you’re less concerned about when you sell and more focused on getting the top dollar, you may want to consider taking the time to get your home in tip-top shape before putting on the market.
In this case, you’ll want to be sure to take care of any small maintenance projects that have been lingering on your to-do list for a while. You could also consult with a real estate agent and staging professional to figure out what, if any, renovations may benefit your home while bringing a decent return on investment.
Don’t forget to weigh personal factors
Last but not least, you don't want to forget to take your personal considerations into account. Start by asking yourself what your main motivation is behind wanting to sell your home. If you're moving because of a new job or a growing family, it may not be worth waiting until your area's peak selling season or until your home is in perfect shape.
At the end of the day, the best time to sell your home is whenever it makes the most sense for you.