The Best Time of Year to List Your Home

Springtime is the most popular, but we found some surprises

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We've read countless articles that support the spring as the best time of year to list your home. In many cases, that is true for many home sellers. It is always proactive, however, to dig a little deeper and consider certain variables that play a role in having the regardless of season.

3 no-brainer reasons to list in the spring

A 2016 study by a real estate thinktank revealed that homes which were listed between May 1-15 sold faster by an average of 18.5 days and for an average of 1 percent more, translating to roughly $1,700 per home. In most cases for home sellers, it makes perfect sense to list your home in the spring, for three huge reasons:  However, waiting 60 days for spring just to save 18.5 days doesn't always make sense.

1. Consider the climate where you live

When you're living in the Northeast, as Best Agent Today staffers do, the winters are long and harsh. Snowfall can begin as early as November and end as late as the beginning of April. As a homeowner, you want to cast the best light on your home, with flowers, shrubbery and trees blooming. Thus, spring and early summer is that period in areas of the country that experience the four seasons.

"I definitely don't think middle of winter is the best time of year because homes are often covered with snow," quipped Rich Rubino, CEO of Best Agent Today. "Up north where we are, the spring, summer and fall are great."

What is a downtime to list in the Northeast and New England is a good time to list elsewhere, particularly in the south. In 'snowbird' regions, where retirees escape the winter, January through March is the best time to sell because of the area population, vibrancy and somewhat mild climes, opposed to the oppressive heat in the summer months.

Conversely, Rubino noted, cold climates can also be the opportune time to list, when it's a resort property. "If you're looking to sell a resort property, for example, in Vail, the prime time to sell is in the winter, when people are visiting the area to go skiing."

2. Do you have school-aged children?

For families looking to list, having school-aged children may be the most important factor in listing a home. You, the home seller, most certainly want to put your home on the market no later than late spring, enabling you to complete the sale and relocate before the ensuing school year begins. 

"People generally want to be closing on a new home before the end of August, because if they've got kids, they want them set up in a school system before school starts," said Rubino. "Generally speaking, people put their home on the market for a couple of different reasons, one of which is that their family getting too big. Those are the people who concentrate on selling their home before school starts."

3. Your tax refund

The months of March and April are when the majority of U.S. consumers receive their federal and state tax refunds. Many home buyers use their refunds to cover down payments for their new homes.

Why NOT to list your home at this time...ever

It's safe to say that between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, no one is searching for new homes, at least not those who are ready to buy. Not only are homes in a state of chaos with holiday decor, consumers are busy with all things holidays: shopping, hosting Thanksgiving dinner, Christmas cards, etc...They're not looking to buy homes.

"People are generally spending the majority of free time with their holiday preparations" Rubino said. "People don't want to be showing their home during that time."

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