Spring Remains the Best Time to Sell a Home, Study Says

Spring home buying season is still more than a month away, but reports and blog posts are now helping consumers get ready for a season that is traditionally the busiest one in the real estate market. Spring is, in addition, a great time for homeowners to take advantage of high demand and get the best value for their homes once they are put on the market. Still, this current winter has proven to be an equally good time to sell one’s home – at the moment, mortgage rates are at their lowest levels in over one year and a half, and home price increases have helped homeowners build substantially more equity in their homes.

One of the newest reports on spring home buying season comes from Redfin, which analyzed about seven million homes listed over the past four years, in an effort to gauge whether seasonality really does play a role when it comes to selling a home. Specifically, Redfin examined how many of these homes had gone under contract within a one-month time frame, and how often these homes had sold above their market value. Not surprisingly, spring still emerged as the best season for those selling a home, but it was not by an overwhelming margin.

Home Buying Season

According to the Redfin study, 39 percent of homes listed in spring (between March 21 and June 20) between 2010 and 2014 had gone under contract within 30 days, and 15 percent of those homes had sold at a value higher than the list price. Winter saw 38 percent of homes sell within 30 days, and 14 percent of homes selling for higher than list price.

Summer came in third, albeit by a slim margin as well – 36 percent of listings went under contract within 30 days, and 12 percent beat their list price when sold. At last place was fall, as 34 percent of homes went under contract within the first month, while 11 percent sold for a higher price than listed.

“Just as buyer demand follows a seasonal pattern, so do home prices,” noted Nela Richardson, Redfin chief economist in a statement. “Over the past five years prices have increased by an average of 3 percent month over month in the spring and ticked down by about 1 percent each month during the fall. To get the best of both worlds, sellers need be informed on both local buyer demand and recent sale prices in their neighborhoods before deciding when to list their homes and for what price.”

As seen in the above mentioned statistics, there seems to be little variance in terms of the season in which homeowners sell their properties. As such, Redfin believes that it all depends on the seller, rather than seasonality. “About half of the clients I’m working with at any given time are on a schedule dictated by a job relocation or their growing family, and not because they strategically chose a certain time of year based on expected demand,” related Redfin agent Sam Khosh, stressing that it all boils down to the seller’s choice.