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When Is the Best Time to Sell a House in Washington State?

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According to its real estate market, Washington State may as well be multiple states. Whether you are looking to sell a home in Tacoma or Seattle, in Spokane, or somewhere between the two, your experience is likely to differ, depending on your location. The split nature of the market can produce different answers to the question: When is the best time to sell a home in Washington?

This article will help you demystify the factors playing into your sales experience and determine when the best time of year may be to list your property. We will round up the factors that play into the local market and help you understand the months that may be optimal to prep, stage, list, and sell your home for its highest possible list price and in the quickest time to close.

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When is the best time to sell a house in Washington?

In a state that sees all four seasons, there is a definite slowing in home sales through the fall. This is reflected by much of the data throughout the state and backed by the professional experience of HomeLight network agent Matthew Harber, managing broker of The Harber Home Group with Keller Williams Realty Tacoma.

November “always seems like the slowest month of the year,” he observes, pointing to weather changes. “There’s a lot more rain; it’s darker,” Harber notes and adds that the Thanksgiving holiday is traditionally a “dead week” in the local housing market.

Homes don’t close quickly in Washington at this time of year, as the data illustrate. Inventory moves at higher prices and higher speeds during warmer months.

“May is the time to list your house,” Harber says of the Tacoma market. And whether listing in the spring or summer, warmer temperatures are tied to speedier and higher-priced sales throughout the state. Local nuances vary by city, so check your hometown in our free online Best Time To Sell Calculator.

Let’s take a look at the data from larger cities and smaller ones across the state. Whether you are looking to sell your home fast or for a higher-than-average price, the statistics can be a good starting point when considering how (and when) to price your Washington State property.

5 large cities in Washington

City name Population Best time to list for higher price Best time to list to sell fast
Seattle 787,995 April (2.90% more) Feb. (8 days sooner)
Spokane 230,328 July (13.20% more) July (16 days sooner)
Tacoma 222,975 August (​​5.26% more) May (9 days sooner)
Vancouver 189,191 April (5.04% more) March (10 days sooner)
Bellevue 151,464 September (5.11% more) April (10 days sooner)

5 mid-sized cities in Washington

City name Population Best time to list for higher price Best time to list to sell fast
Kent 134,074 August (4.77% more) February (9 days sooner)
Everett 112,636 August (5.25% more) March (8 days sooner)
Spokane Valley 106,316 July (13.12% more) June (22 days sooner)
Kirkland 102,313 March (5.42% more) January (10 days sooner)
Renton 101,643 May (4.02% more) May (8 days sooner)

5 smaller cities or towns in Washington

City name Population Best time to list for higher price Best time to list to sell fast
Redmond 85,408 March (4.48% more) March (12 days sooner)
Sammamish 67,083 September (4.78% more) April (17 days sooner)
Shoreline 58,437 September (7.31% more) April (8 days sooner)
Olympia 54,004 August (6.27% more) April (11 days sooner)
Lynnwood 41,340 September (7.48% more) February (6 days sooner)

Based on historical home sales data, 2014-2021

Selling trends in Washington

Affordable areas seeing an uptick

During the pandemic, remote workers began to “really choose where they wanted to live,” says Spokane agent Steven Silbar, who works with over 72% more single-family homes than the average area agent. And as residents fled expensive cities for more affordably-priced markets, cities like Spokane saw growth in terms of buyer demand. “It has really become kind of a cool city that is really growing and has a lot going for it, you know, quality life that you can’t get [in the] the big city at lower than big city cost of living.”

Ridgefield, a Washington town that is effectively a Portland, Oregon suburb, has seen a population growth of over 141% since 2010; Ashford (outside of Tacoma) has seen 144% growth over the same period.

While Seattle has held down a multi-million-dollar real estate market for some time, other parts of the state are now seeing growth spurts.

Seasonality

Closing data underscores that cooler, rainier months are typically the slowest on the market. This can mean that your home will be extra competitive against the available inventory, but don’t bet on the idea that buyers are out looking. They may be — but like sellers, they are keen to wait on dyer, warmer weather (and the close of the school year) before shopping in earnest.

Insider tips for selling your Washington State home

Your circumstances may demand that you sell in Washington’s “off-season,” but chances are, inventory will play in your favor — especially during slower listing months. The supply of available inventory runs behind demand across the state, with acute shortages in certain areas like Pierce County. So while your home could sell at a higher cost or more quickly during certain months of the year, there is no “bad” time to list.

“We’re going to sell your house at any time of the year; we’ve just got to price it right,” says Harber; “It never stops in Spokane, by any means,” Silbar says of the market on his side of the state.

Outdoor living spaces are never a bad investment, especially in the post-pandemic era, stresses Harber. With rain likely in the forecast, he adds that covered outdoor spaces are a big bonus for buyers. “It’s a very desirable thing,” he says of this feature on a property. If you are looking to improve your property during slower months or give yourself an edge once warmer weather hits, throw some weight behind your property’s outdoor living area (or consider creating one).

Connect With a Top Agent to Sell Your Washington State Home

It takes just two minutes to match clients with the best real estate agents, who will contact you and guide you through the process. To connect with an agent, simply tell us a little bit about your property and how soon you’re looking to sell.

Our data shows the top 5% of agents across the U.S. help clients sell their home for as much as 10% more than the average real estate agent.

Answers to other Washington home-selling questions

Are Washington homes appreciating faster or slower than in other states?

Home values in Washington are up 21% in the fourth quarter of 2021, according to NeighborhoodScout, and a continually strong job market combined with tight inventory nods toward continued appreciation.

See what your home might be worth now using HomeLight’s Home Value Estimator. Our free tool uses transaction data from multiple sources to create a real-time ballpark value estimate based on current market trends.

What if I need a fast sale and closing in Washington?

If you’re facing a life change that requires a fast home sale, or you don’t have the time or money to make needed repairs, consider requesting an all-cash offer using HomeLight’s Simple Sale platform. Simple Sale provides cash offers for homes in almost any condition in Washington.

You can skip the repairs and showings and close in as few as ten days. Complete a short questionnaire and receive a no-obligation cash offer within 48 hours.

Find a top agent in Washington for a successful home sale

A key first step in the selling process is identifying a Realtor® who understands the local nuances of your area. Use HomeLight’s Agent Match Tool to start your search, and be sure to interview several agents before making a decision.

You will want someone who is both an expert in your market and a person with whom you are comfortable. Partnering with a proven real estate professional is one of the smartest choices you can make when deciding the best time to sell a house in Washington State.

Header Image Source: (Thorn Milkovic / Unsplash)