Learn the best times to buy or sell a home


The time of year – and even the day of the week – can impact how quickly a home sells or how long it sits on the market. While seasonal changes are not as pronounced here in California, the following real estate trends indicate the best times for buyers and sellers to list and find their homes.

The best times for buyers

Spring is the most popular season for home buying, and more homes are put on the market in May than any other time of the year. Because of this, buying in the spring gives buyers the most choices as the market has increased inventory. Likewise, many sellers who have homes on the market all winter are more willing to lower or negotiate on price in the spring.

In addition to the spring, consider looking for homes around major holidays. Few people are out house shopping the weeks of Christmas, Thanksgiving, or Easter; because of this, there is less competition and a lower chance of getting in a bidding war. Putting in an offer the week of Christmas can be particularly advantageous to buyers as homes drop to a 12-month low each December. Any seller that leaves their home on the market over Christmas is serious about selling and be more willing to negotiate – or accept a lower offer.

The best times for sellers

While spring is traditionally the most popular season in real estate, winter is typically the best months for listing a home. The combination of colder temperatures and the holiday season means that only serious buyers are out looking. Likewise, the lack of competition means that there are fewer overall homes for sale, making it easier to make your home stand out from the crowd.

If you want to sell in the spring, avoid listing your home too early or too late. A huge surge in listings occurs in the last weeks of February and first weeks of March as sellers hope to capitalize on the spring real estate season. Either listing before the surge in January or early February or waiting until mid to late April can help your home be seen in a sea of new listings.

The best day to list a house

The Sunday open house is often the most important tool a real estate agent has, and the first Sunday of the month tends to be the most popular. Because of this, many agents let listings go “live” on Thursday or Friday in preparation for a Sunday open house. Even in today’s digital age of instant listings, these late in the week listings may not give potential buyers enough time to find the house. Instead, listing on Monday or Tuesday – but not scheduling any showings until the Sunday open house – can help build momentum for a home and get maximum turnout at the open house.

Ultimately, there is no “magic” time to buy or sell a home; the right buyer will find the right home at the right time, regardless of the time of year. But by studying patterns and trends in when homes sell the fastest, buyers, sellers, and agents can hope to list their homes at the optimum time!

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