Is There a Best Time of Year to Sell?

When is the best time to sell? The conventional wisdom is spring. Local Phoenix Metro statistics show that the most sales, as in closed escrows, occur in the Spring of the year, mainly the month of May. Sales then begin to descend through the end of the year into January of the following year.

If you want to take advantage of the number of buyers in the market place, back up 30-60 days from May’s closings and this tells us when most contracts were executed. This is between March and April. Back that up further to allow for 30-45 days on the market before the buyer comes into the picture, and the answer would seem to be to put the home on the market immediately following the holidays. This would be mid-January for Arizona. In snow and cold laden states, this timing would change to one or two months later.

Buyer impetus for buying also depends on the type of buyer you are. If you’re a snow-bird, chances are you will have bought before winter, (Oct-Nov) or during winter (January through March). So, as a seller living in an over-55 community, you’ll want to be on the market in September/October. This will help catch those pre-winter buyers who will want to use it in the current year.

If you’re a local with school aged children, you would want to be settled in the home by mid-summer.  Parents want the kids to start school in their new home’s district. In this case, you would enter into a contract up till late spring or early summer. Sellers need to understand that they have 8-10 weeks from now of prime buyer activity.

Sellers need to understand that they have 8-10 weeks from now of prime buyer activity.

One thing seems certain both statistically and experientially: Buyers AND sellers don’t want to home-shop during the holidays (unless they are a snowbird). If your home is not under contract by November, you may want to consider taking your home off the market during the holidays. Take a break, enjoy the time with family and bring it to market fresh in the new year.

Investors are always looking for a deal – so their season is every season. Some investors like late fall, early winter to make deals, taking advantage of a seller’s frustration that their home didn’t sell before the holidays.

About the Author

     I was born and raised in San Rafael, California, from the mid 50’s to the early 70’s. I had super parents who worked hard to provide 5 kids with a good Catholic education – despite my best attempts to overthrow the knuckle-cracking regime of Sister Mary Anselma. My dad worked as a self-employed butcher until his retirement at 65 and enjoyed many wonderful years until mom passed away in 1992.

     Dad passed away in the fall of 2006 having lived a great and full life into his early 90’s! In California, I attended college in Chico and Sacramento as a “Sosh” major, but like many of my contemporaries, I did not have a clue what I wanted to do when I grew up. Because of my age, I missed the Vietnam War and into my early 20’s I had many typical youthful indiscretions.

     Thankfully, that was a brief period of my life, and with greater thanks, not too much damage was sustained in those early and rebellious years. And by the way, those thanks are due to the answered prayers of faithful relatives who prayed for years that a wayward Michael would turn his life over to the Lord, and in January of 1982 that’s what happened.

     I lived in Sacramento, California in the mid 70’s, and later moved to Truckee, California, which is near Lake

Tahoe and Reno, Nevada. Truckee’s often labeled the “coldest spot in the nation.” Why did I move there?

My father-in-law was a real estate broker in Donner Lake, California, and despite his cantankerous disposition, he seemed very successful in his real estate endeavors. I joined him in sales in July of 1976.

    The Truckee and Lake Tahoe area was a wonderful place to raise a family, but a difficult and cold environment to live in, but we did so for 18 years. In 1994, my wife, Karen, and I visited Scottsdale at a friend’s request, and within 8 months, our family of 5 had relocated to “the valley” – or is it a desert? Whatever it is, it’s warm. At any rate, 24 years have gone by since we made the break from the late great state of confusion, uh, California, and it’s turned out to be a great move.

     As for hobbies, I enjoy family, friends and travel. My kids Robert, Kendra, and Jonathan are now 40,

34, and 31 respectively. I recently became “gramps” for the 4th time as well. It’s a nice time of life. Karen remains as lovely on the inside and outside as the day we were married. We continue to wonderfully grow together as the years advance. As an ordained Christian Chaplain, I volunteer Preaching at Florence Prison with Along Side Ministry. The ministry helps make the formerly incarcerated able to function, even thrive, on “the outside.”

     Should you choose to have me represent you in the sale or purchase of your home, you’ll be receiving my 40+ years of real estate knowledge, counsel, and experience (including negotiation experience).

    Beyond the transaction, I’m always available to you, should you ever need my real estate advice.