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There’s an Art to the Timing of Listing Your Home for Sale

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Last Updated on April 12, 2021

Across most of the US, home sales peak in May, June, and July, but with the selling season continuing for another few months thereafter, albeit a reduced level. One perennial debate, therefore, is when to actually list your home with a preferred realtor from the Upnest platform.  

Across most of the US, home sales peak in May, June, and July, but with the selling season continuing for another few months thereafter, albeit a reduced level. One perennial debate, therefore, is when to actually list your home with a preferred realtor from the Upnest platform.  

Should you follow the old adage promulgated by many real estate agents and list in Spring and endeavor to achieve a faster sale, often for a better price? Or are you going to be seriously competing for buyers during May and June as available inventory also rises significantly during those months, with many other homeowners rushing to market?

In reality, you’re more likely to sell a home when sales are increasing, but before inventory is at its highest. The optimum period for this is in January, February, and March when there are not as many homes on the market for sales. Ideally, therefore, you need to spend a month or two in preparation, find a realtor and then list by February or early March.

Conversely, if you wait and don’t list until June, you’ll see many more homes on the market than buyers and your chances of a sale may have gone for another season.

Find a realtor on Upnest and work on an earlier sales listing. 

To start, the best thing to do is speak with your real estate agent who knows when sales peak in your market. Timing does vary slightly according to where you live, but generally, it’s better to start earlier with a view to closing out a sale as the peak selling season hits.

Some preparation and research are required, though, as a listing cannot be achieved overnight:

Allow enough time for preparation: if you’re aiming to sell in, say, June you’ll need to get your home ready for listing in February. Once you have found a realtor on Upnest, schedule any essential home repair and/or essential decorative items, have the property thoroughly cleaned and staged for photographs and maybe a video. All this takes time so be well prepared to meet your target listing date.

What’s the average time homes stay on the market? Even the best, most competitively priced homes take time to sell. This may be 60-90 days depending on the particular market. Then there is the time needed to agree on a price, what’s included and so on, plus have a contract prepared and signed.

Listing too late may cause you to miss the May/June peak sales season. But listing earlier in, say, March instead, and your home will be ready to go when the peak hits.

Establishing the peak sales time is key: do your own research but, again, talk to your real estate agent as a successful agent from the Upnest platform will know the market nuances and advise you on the peak sales time. If you do delay listing until close to peak sales time your chances of a sale on the terms you want will diminish. Why? Well, in reality, every day after the peak, fewer sales happen, and less inventory comes off the market. You’ll have to compete with ever more homes to sell yours!

It’s important not to underestimate the time it takes for a successful home sale. This may be anywhere from 150-180 days from getting your preparations underway until the closing date.

If you get the timeline wrong and you’re listing too late, there may well be negative financial implications!