Every month brings new challenges to an area’s real estate market. Sell your house at the wrong time and you risk leaving money on the table. Wait out the market a bit and list only a month later and you could make significantly more money on the same house. Our data shows that it’s possible to increase the profits on your house by over 75% if you sell at just the right moment.
Do you know what the “right time to sell your house” is?
We wanted to know when the best time to sell a house is, so we used our algorithm to find and ask the smartest real estate agents in America. Then, we compared their insights against actual real estate transaction data from 2015 to get the best possible answer for “what is the best time to sell your house?”
Historically, real estate agents are aware of local trends in the real estate market so we figured they’d know a little bit about when to list a home for sale across the nation. Here’s what we asked:
What are the best months to list a home for sale?
These results represent “the best” time of the year to sell a house according to the top agents across the country. Agents ranked March as the best time of year to sell a house, with April and May close behind. November and December tied for the worst time to sell a house.
Overall, top real estate agents say Spring is likely the best time to sell homes.
The real story’s not that simple though.
We wanted to double check the top agent’s recommendations against actual fluctuations in the market so we pulled our nationwide housing data from 2015 to add some color.
The top real estate agents were onto something. We found that Spring is a good time to list in most local markets but when we dug deeper we found that the best time to sell is more complicated.
The best time to sell your house depends on where you live.
Gregg Phillipson ranks in the top 1% of seller’s agents in San Diego, so we looked to him to give us some professional insight on the best time of year to list a house.
Low mortgage rates and year round sun tamper seasonal trends in San Diego’s housing market.
Gregg said, “I definitely think [seasonality] matters in other areas. I think San Diego’s a unique market to where you can wear shorts and flip flops most of the year. It’s different. People don’t mind going out in all seasons.” The data supports Gregg’s insight: see our San Diego chart down below. If March isn’t the best time to sell in San Diego anymore, we thought that result could apply to other cities across the US, and we were right.
Weather, temperature, hours of sunshine, even time zone can affect the best time of year to sell your house. We looked at housing transaction data in major cities across all four of the US’s major time zones and pulled out two cities from each: Pacific, Mountain, Central, and Eastern to help us illustrate the point.
Then, for each of the cities in our sample set, we ran the 2015 housing data to pull the average home sales price in the city for each month and we compared that number against the average home sales price in that city for the entire year.
Essentially, we used housing transaction data from 2015 to figure out which months were the most profitable for sellers. Though the data changes from year to year, the general trends seem to stay consistent for each city market over time so they should work as we move into 2017 and beyond.
We built a series of charts to show the best time to list a home for sale in each of the cities in our little cross section of America.
The Best Times to Sell Your Home if You’re On Pacific Time
Our Pacific Time cross section showed different best times to list in San Diego and the best time to sell in San Francisco. While April is a great time to list in San Francisco, it was the worst month to list in San Diego for 2015.
Best Time to Sell a House in San Francisco: Spring and Summer
San Francisco sticks to the real estate agent standby: the best time to list a home for sale in San Francisco is Spring through early Summer. Though San Francisco’s temps are pretty mild throughout the year, January ranked by far the worst for home sale price.
Best Time to Sell a House in San Diego: Anytime
Throw that Springtime fixation away, because in San Diego the housing transaction data from 2015 showed November as the best month to sell a house. As Gregg Phillipson pointed out, San Diego’s warm climate makes the market pretty even for sale price throughout the year.
The Best Times to Sell Your Home if You’re On Mountain Time
Denver and Aurora hit their lowest home sale value in December and January, respectively. Avoid selling in these Mountain time cities when temperatures drop.
Best Time to Sell a House in Denver: Late Spring
Denver shows good sales in late Spring and early Summer. Denver sales prices significantly drop in the Summer, though, so stay away from a July and August list date. As we said earlier, Denver prices drop significantly as temperatures start to drop, so November and December are definitely not the best time to sell a home in Denver.
Best Time to Sell a House in Aurora: June
Aurora follows Denver’s suit with low sale prices in the winter, but Aurora’s worst month is January while Denver’s is December. Break out Summer flowers and open house signs because June was the best time to sell in Aurora in 2016.
The Best Times to Sell Your Home if You’re On Central Time
The first half of the year was a great time to list in Central Time cities in 2016. For Houston, late Spring and early Winter were the best months to list. March and April were by far the months with the highest sale prices, with other Spring months showing a good return as well.
Best Time to Sell a House in Houston: Late Winter, Early Spring
Best Time to Sell a House in Kansas City: July
Homes sold for big bucks in July in Kansas City in 2016. If you’re wondering when to sell you’re home in Kansas City, Spring in general is a prime time to list in this Missouri spot.
The Best Times to Sell Your Home if You’re On Eastern Time
Spring was a great time to sell in both Eastern Time locals. March was best for Kansas City, while April was best for Columbus.
Best Time to Sell a House in Atlanta: May
Prices skyrocketed in the Spring in Atlanta, with Winter months dipping quite a bit for home sale prices. Chances are, the best time to sell a home in Atlanta is in the Spring. September home sales also did extremely well, and September was the second highest month overall in Atlanta for 2016.
Best Time to Sell a House in Columbus: Spring
Columbus is spread across the board, but the best time to list for 2016 was in the Spring, with April being the best month. Stay away from early Fall and Winter in Columbus: December showed as by far the worst time to list, with October also showing high negative numbers.
Every city across the eight major hubs we pulled ranked Spring as one of, if not the, best time to put your house on the market. While we do believe in the real estate standby of “Spring is best time to sell your house” (temperatures are usually moderate, times aren’t as busy with holidays and new school years to start), the best time to list your house really depends on your local housing market.
Find the Best Time to Sell Your Home In Your Area
We thought you’d like to know when the best time to sell your house is in your city, so we pulled data for 100 major cities across the US.
Here’s a table with the best time to list a house for sale in 100 different US cities:
Still Not Convinced?
Sure, Spring is the best time to list in some real estate markets, but not all. Check our table and talk with a top real estate agent near you to figure out when the best month to list your house is. It’s probably not what you think!
Every day, we use our real transaction data to find top real estate agents across the country. We analyze transaction volume, speed of sale, percent over list (sellers) and under list (buyers) so you get an incredible agent who knows your local market. The numbers don’t lie, these agents are proven by their actual transaction data to be the best of the best.
Talk to a local real estate agent who can look at trends across your specific area and give you personalized recommendations for your unique property.