Best Time to Sell a House: Is 2021 Your Year?

Wed Oct 6 2021

blonde woman putting a house for sale sign in her front yard with a pine tree nearby

We’ve been in a real estate seller’s market for all of 2022, which simply means there are more people who want to buy a home than there are houses up for sale. It’s hard to say when the market might cool, but does that mean you should list your house today? This guide can help you decide if this truly is the best time to sell a house.

For those of you on the other side of the equation, check out our tips on buying a home in a seller’s market.

When to Sell Your House

Unless you have to relocate for work or family reasons, the decision to sell your home can be very personal. Your home is likely filled with tons of memories, and realtor Cameron Miller points out, this “requires the courage to let it go and the patience to anticipate a probable buyer.”

In addition to emotional preparedness, there are other practical and financial indicators that tell you it’s a good time to sell, such as:

  • You have either too much or not enough house. Are you an empty nester who wants to lower your mortgage payments? A new parent who just realized they need a bit more space? Big life changes often mean rethinking what you want out of your home.
  • Your home is worth more than you owe. You can figure out if you’ve built enough equity in your home by subtracting your mortgage balance from your home’s estimated value. If the difference is enough to pay off your mortgage and provide a decent down payment on your next home, you may be ready to sell.
  • Interest rates have dropped. This means that new home buyers can probably buy a more expensive home, and you can afford the rates on a new mortgage after the sale.
  • You have money in the bank. You also want to have enough cash for selling and relocating, and it’s probably best to be out of debt. This puts you in the best position to buy a new home, pay the movers, and handle repairs your buyer requests.

Even if you have cash on hand when you sell, it’s also a good idea to budget for repairs and upgrades to your new home.

The Best Time of Year to Sell a House

Most of the real estate agents we asked noted spring as the best time to sell a house. Ron Wysocarski of Wyse Home Team Realty in Port Orange, Florida says the first two weeks of May are particularly strong. “Typically, a property listed during this time gets sold 18.5 days faster. Also, you can expect 5.9% more money.”

However, that tip may be specific to Florida. Sean Kaufman, an agent with the Shii Ann Huang Team at Compass in New York City, finds March to be “ideal for families, since the winter holidays are over and there are several months before the children are all home from school again.”

This means you really need to research your local market to get an idea of when the best time to sell a house is for your area. An experienced realtor is a good way to make sure you have a solid understanding of your area’s real estate market.

The Best Day to List Your House

Again, the real estate agents we asked were generally in agreement that closer to the weekend tend to be the best days for listing your home. Some, like Robi Schreckhise of eXp Realty think Friday is best: “Over the past year, homes have been receiving multiple offers in the first two to three days of being listed.” Listing on Friday, he says, “gives sellers all weekend to show the home and accept an offer by Sunday night.”

Others, however, prefer Thursday. Like Omer Reiner of Florida Cash Home Buyers, LLC says, “That’s just before the weekend when potential buyers are more likely to view listed houses so the house is more likely to sell.” Moreover, Wednesdays and Thursdays top the lists for the best days to get a quick sale and to get an above-list sale in many areas of the country.

This is another decision where a licensed real estate professional can be a great deal of help. Someone who knows your market can help you figure out what’s going on and how to get the most out of your home.

It also means sellers probably want to have their homes ready for weekend showings by midweek. Keep your home clean and ready to show prospective buyers. This may be difficult to manage with all the responsibilities of the week, but well worth it when you look at the trends.