This Is the Best Month to Sell a House in 2020
Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.
The spring homebuying season is widely recognized as the busiest of the year, and June is considered the best month to sell to get the highest price premiums.
However, your local housing market can be unpredictable and the best time to sell your home depends on local conditions, buyer demand and your own financial goals and timeline. Every month you wait to sell may cost you money and delay future plans.
When is the best month to sell a house?
The best month to sell a house is June, though May is a close second, according to an analysis from real estate research firm ATTOM Data Solutions. The analysis is based on aggregated nationwide data.
After analyzing home sales from 2011 to 2019, ATTOM found that homeowners who sell in June pocket more money with the highest seller premiums. The median home value was $187,000 during that month, while the median sales price was $205,000 – translating to a 9.6% price premium. When selling during the month of May, the premium is 8.3%.
“Timing the housing market is far from an exact science,” said Todd Teta, chief product and technology officer for ATTOM Data Solutions. “But home sellers who want to get the highest price should aim to complete their deals during the peak house-hunting season in late spring or early summer when the most potential buyers are out looking.”
Five days in June provide the highest seller premiums, ATTOM Data Solutions found. Those dates are:
- June 22: 10.5%
- June 21: 10.5%
- June 29: 10.5%
- June 20: 10.3%
- June 15: 10.2%
When is the worst month to sell a house?
The worst month to sell a house is December. Generally speaking, home sellers earn the lowest premium during this month, making it the best time for homebuyers to jump into the market.
Sellers realized a premium of just 3.7% in December. The median home value came in at $186,086, while the median sales price was $193,000.
However, the worst time to sell a house usually lines up with when your local housing market is experiencing harsh weather, said Jay Rinehart, owner and broker at Rinehart Realty Corp. in Rock Hill, S.C.
Overall, if the climate can stop you from getting competitive offers — whether that’s heavy flooding or mounds of snow — it’s probably not the best time to sell a house.
When to sell your house
It can be helpful to use local market data to decide when to sell your home, but choosing a time to sell ultimately depends on your financial goals and reasons for selling.
For example, if you care about getting the highest possible price, consider listing your home for sale during the peak of your local homebuying season. If you want to move before a new school year starts, you may need to list your home earlier in the spring to ensure you can close on your home and find a new one in time.
The second half of 2020 could bring unique circumstances to the housing market, especially for those homeowners who have put off selling their homes due to the coronavirus outbreak. If states loosen their stay-at-home orders, the homebuyer traffic that’s usually characteristic of the spring could be pushed into the late summer or fall.
“As we either get used to it … or we solve the issue, people are going to get back to normal actions, and I think the fall is going to be an interesting time, especially if you don’t have people going to sporting events,” said Rinehart, who is also a regional vice president with the National Association of Realtors. He’s alluding to the fact that people may have more time to shop for and tour homes.
A real estate agent who’s an expert in your local housing market can help you pinpoint the best time to list a house.
4 tips to get your home sold
Once you’ve identified when to sell your house, remember these and other key tips as you get started.
- Address any liens on your property. Consider paying for a title search before putting your home on the market. That way, you can take care of any liens, such as a past-due property tax or homeowners association bill, that could delay the home-selling process.
- Don’t put your home on the market too early. If your house has been listed for sale for a while before buyer competition picks up, it may be overlooked and harder to sell.
- Prepare for the many costs of selling. You’ll need to pay your remaining mortgage balance, plus agent commission fees, transfer taxes and other costs. Depending on whether you’re a motivated seller, you may also offer to pay some or all of the homebuyer’s closing costs.
- Make a great first impression. Declutter your rooms, finish any outstanding repair projects, add a fresh coat of paint and clean your carpets and floors. Don’t forget to spruce up your home’s landscaping and curb appeal. Finally, consider staging your home to help prospective buyers see themselves living in your space.