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Is Summer the Best Time of Year to Sell Your House?

I’m frequently asked this question: “When is the best time to sell my house?”. While the salesperson in me wants to say “today”, my analytical side craves statistics.

There are all kinds of factors that may cause you to need to sell your home. And some of them don’t allow you the luxury of choosing when it happens. Changes to your employment, income, or family size can all cause you to need to sell quickly. But sometimes moving is more of a lifestyle decision than an economic necessity. So how can you make an educated decision about when to put your home on the market?

It is true that more homes sell during the summer months. But does that mean summer is the best time of year to sell your house?

2011 Home Sales in Thurston County WA by Month

That depends on your own personal strategy. By definition, the increased number of sales during the summer months implies a higher level of demand than other seasons. However, before you decide summer is the time for you, be sure you also take a look at the level of inventory on the market. If the market experiences a huge increase in inventory during the summer months from all the people who think they will capitalize on that increased demand, you may actually find it harder to sell your home and you may have to take less money in order to get it sold. Conversely, if the inventory reduces significantly in November as people prepare for the holiday season that doesn’t necessarily mean there are fewer people out looking for a home.

What I have found through the years is that people shopping during the late fall and winter seasons are typically much more motivated purchasers. After all, shopping in the rain isn’t nearly as fun for the average window shopper. And while more sales are closed during the summer months, it isn’t as if we see sales drop to zero during the winter. More than seasonality, I think the thing that should have the greatest weight in your decision is your competition in the market.

Ask your agent to send you weekly or monthly updates about inventory levels for your neighborhood or price range. When there becomes a shortage of homes like yours you increase your chances of finding a buyer quickly. Plus, with less for buyers to choose from you will find yourself in a much stronger position for negotiating!




About the Author

Mike ConnerMike is a real estate broker in Olympia WA and President of City Realty, Inc. He is a lifetime resident of Olympia and is passionate about promoting our local community. Mike is also editor of the local interest blog Living in OlympiaView all posts by Mike Conner →

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