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.