If you’re thinking about putting your house on the market, you’re surely thinking about getting the best possible sale price. After all the years and effort you’ve put into your home, it’s worth extracting the best possible home price.
You’re likely wondering whether to sell immediately or wait for the season to change. What time of the year has the highest buyer demand? Are the differences in interest and intention really strong enough that it’s worthwhile to wait?
There’s another question behind all of these: Could you avoid these real estate patterns and home sale processes altogether by selling through an alternative method such as the Bungalo platform? That’s certainly a possibility, and one worth exploring. But first, it’s time to rank the seasons and see when buyer demand is at its peak.
The best time of year to sell a house
There’s no sense in delaying the answer: The best season to sell a house extends from late spring to mid-summer. The unofficial start of this season takes place in April, as parents get ready for the school year to wind down. Then, once it’s time to send the kids back to school in late August, the real estate market cools down again.
Some real estate market watchers have noted that an earlier start may help you sell your house. If you put the house on the market in February, March or early April, potential buyers interested in making a summer move, between school years, will be able to find their new target house early.
Closing the sale early will be a relief for the buyer — and for you as the seller. After all, the quicker and more drama-free your sale process is, the sooner you can make progress on your own search for a new home.
If you’re looking for the chance to sell during an active and busy housing market, a spring listing is your best bet. Of course, this can be dependent on location. If you’re selling a house in a popular area for winter vacations or for dual-residence families to spend the colder months, the calendar changes.
Regional trends don’t entirely supersede seasons, but you should make sure you know the patterns in your area before you list a house for sale. Picking when to list your house is one part of maximizing your chances — but not the only one.
The worst time of year to sell a house
If there’s a best, there must also be a worst, right? This means the depths of winter are the worst time to sell. Buyer demand hasn’t yet ramped up among parents of school-age children seeking a summer move, which takes away a big source of potential sales.
Not only are there fewer potential buyers testing the market in the winter, but there are also multiple big family holidays which encourage people to travel and visit rather than focus on house hunting. During the winter, people may be laying low waiting for the spring to get started.
As with spring and summer market conditions, however, fall and winter may end up being good times to sell depending on your location and the type of house you own. Then, there’s the prospect of having to sell quickly — maybe you’ve been asked to relocate for work and the timeline is short. In these cases, you can still succeed within the more limited off-season market.
Selling tactics by season
There’s more to seasonal selling than just picking the time with the most potential buyers and putting your house up for sale then. There are other ways to maximize conditions and present your property in the best possible light.
Depending on the temperature outside and the pace of home sales from month to month, buyers will be looking for different things when they read a listing or attend an open house. By playing into these real estate norms and expectations, you can enhance your chances, whether it’s the depths of winter or the height of summer.
There’s also another useful way to spend any given season: If you’ve decided it’s not quite time to sell, you can use the intervening time to perform renovations, upkeep and cleaning. Then, when the ideal home sale season comes around, your property will be looking its best.
Going through season by season, you can pick up some valuable strategies for the whole calendar.
Spring is a prime season to have a house on the market. Since summer is the part of the year when parents of school-age kids most want to move, they’re eager to buy homes in spring. Add that to the fact that people usually wait until summer to take their vacations, and you have a perfect storm of buyer interest.
Any time from February on may be a prime time to have a house listed. As the weather gets warmer, you can really show off your home’s curb appeal and outdoor features. This comes with a few checklist items: You should make sure the yard looks presentable after the winter, and keep the gardens planted with attractive springtime flowers.
As a general rule, people enjoy browsing houses in the spring, as temperatures get warmer and days get longer following daylight savings time. Of course, the fact that this is a prime selling season comes with added pressure. There are sure to be other houses listed near yours. Does your property stand out enough to command a good sale price?
Summer is the second half of the traditional buying season, following directly on from spring’s active real estate market. Shoppers in summer may be especially eager to make a deal — they could be interested in moving within a few short months.
Summer weather in some parts of the country is perfect for house hunting. If you live in one of these areas, where it’s warm but not too hot to be outside, you should maximize the value of your outdoor space. If your yard has room for hosting guests, you can set it up and let potential buyers imagine how much fun they would have living in the house.
Warm summer weather can be a double-edged sword. High temperatures will make outdoor features — porches, pools, patios and more — seem especially fun. They can also make the inside of the house feel stuffy. If you have good air conditioning, a summer open house is the time to show it off.
Autumn isn’t a traditionally hot time for home sales in the same way as spring or summer. Children are back at school, which means families with kids will be less likely to commit to a big move. Of course, in the absence of these buyers, other shoppers may investigate the market. If you’re patient, you can still create a perfect match in the fall.
Showing off your house’s outside areas is still a good idea in the fall. Some autumnal decorations — pumpkins, wreaths and more — can showcase your house in a seasonally appropriate light and enhance curb appeal. Keeping your yard in good condition is a bit more time-consuming in fall than in summer, considering that it may get a new coating of leaves every few days. If you put in the effort, however, your property can stand out.
Offering the perfect cozy fall home is a great way to win over potential buyers in autumn. With that said, shoppers in this season may feel less sense of urgency than they would during a fast-paced spring or summer. You may therefore have trouble driving your sale price higher in the fall. If you’re not satisfied with the offers you can get in autumn, it could be worth waiting and spending the time on renovations.
Winter in most parts of the country brings chilly weather and relatively inhospitable conditions for home buyers. With a lot of people traveling for the holidays and children in school, winter doesn’t offer the same long days of house hunting that spring does. If you can’t wait for the warmer weather to roll around, however, there are ways to build your home’s appeal in the winter months.
If winter is cold and icy where you are, you can create a cozy environment to maximize your house’s value. With a well-cleared driveway and walk leading up to a warm and welcoming door, the house may make a great first impression. Insulation and HVAC issues should be dealt with well in advance, so buyers don’t have to feel nervous about potential costly repairs.
In year-round warm climates, the math changes somewhat on house sales. You could even attract extra business from retirees seeking winter houses or families seeking vacation homes. In such areas, it pays to ask people who are familiar with the local real estate market, such as agents and lenders, to see what unusual buying patterns you should be watching out for.
Selling quickly for a fair price in any season
In recent years, one important trend has decreased the effect of seasons on the housing market. The overall strength of real estate demand has meant people are actively searching and ready to buy houses at any time of the year. This could strengthen your position even if you’re listing your house in the depths of winter.
There’s another factor to consider, too: A traditional listing isn’t the only way to sell your house. When you sell through Bungalo, you sidestep the basics of showing the home to multiple buyers and fielding competing offers. Prices paid by Bungalo are set based on the real values of other homes in your area, meaning they are always straightforward and fair.
Working with Bungalo is the easy and quick way to get full market value for a house. The simplified pricing is just one way Bungalo helps you avoid the most complex steps of a home sale. You receive an all-cash offer, with a fast, hassle-free closing. With the Easy Sell process, you don’t have to present or stage the house for open houses or potential buyer visits. There’s also no need to perform renovations or even cleaning. On top of that, there’s no commission for a sale agent — the whole price goes into your pocket.
Since the Bungalo sale process is mostly remote, you can simply sit back and relax, whether it’s a scorching summer day or the coldest night of winter. You can even stay in the house for up to a year through a leaseback program while searching for a new home.
If this sounds like the right option for you, contact Bungalo — whatever the season.
*This article is meant for informational purposes only and is not intended to be construed as financial, tax, legal, real estate, insurance, or investment advice. Bungalo always encourages you to reach out to an advisor regarding your own situation.
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