When is the best time to sell?

Gary Kelley, Realtor – http://www.MoveWithGary.com/

By Gary L. Kelley

With Labor Day in the rear-view mirror, and the fall coming on fast, the number one question we are getting is “when should we put the house on the market?”

My quick answer is: “The best time to sell your home is when you put it on the market. If it’s not on the market, it probably won’t sell.”

There are always buyers in the market. First-time buyers don’t have seasonality constraints, and nor do downsizers. Our area has economic strength and buyers and relocating to the area for jobs all the time.

We do see seasonal slowdowns. The real estate market slows in mid-December as people go to holiday parties and do other kinds of shopping until the revered “spring market.” Spring market is a mindset…It starts once the snow stops. See crocuses? It’s spring market. Spring market can start as early as February.

Spring market is often driven by people trying to buy/sell before the summer. Sometimes it is driven by school scheduling or sometimes by desires to enjoy the summer. Whatever the reason, the real estate market is generally the most robust in the spring.

Summer tends to lighten a bit as people take vacations. Is it dead? Not at all. Again, buyers are always out there.

Fall tends to be another strong time. Once the summer vacation season is over, everyone is back to work and back into a “get it done” mindset. People go back to their routine of house hunting.  It’s a bit more complicated as the evening sun sets earlier and our World Champion New England Patriots put a virtual lock on activities when they play.

Does this mean not to list in the winter? We might suggest a contrarian view. If the snow isn’t coming every weekend and buyers can get out to look at houses, sellers find often there is less competition in the winter and those buyers are still out there.

We believe in listing every day of the year. OK, we’ll avoid Christmas and New Year’s.

We do like posting our listings midweek to generate buzz for a weekend open house. And, we’ve listed homes on Saturday with an open house the next day (and the house got an offer at the open). It depends on the needs of our sellers.

We’ve even listed homes in November, taken them off the market if we get a ton of snow, only to relist them as fresh once the snow goes.

The real estate market is often affected by world events. If interest rates climb, buyer’s buying capacity can be reduced, “slowing the market.” Recession? Sellers may get spooked from selling.

Even in a recession homes trade. If a recession is deep and home values plummet, some sellers may be “upside down,” owing more than their house will sell for in the open market. No seller really likes bringing money to the closing. This can make some sellers pause….looking to wait for the rebound.

Working with professional full-time Realtors helps buyers and sellers get valuable market information, often down to the street level.


If you need advice on selling your home or buying a new one, give us a call.


Kelley is a Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist™ (CLHMS) and award-winning Realtor. He invites you to follow him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/MoveWithGary/.




Gary Kelley, REALTOR®