What time of the year is the best time of the year to sell a home?
Great question and one I get throughout the year. Almost every person I consult with wants to know the answer to this question. I will do my best to answer with both data and my interpretation of the data so one can prepare accordingly if you are thinking about selling or buying.
The best way to get to the bottom of this question is to look at closings per month throughout the year. I will use 2023 sales for this opinion but please know it relates to forthcoming years as well. The market customarily repeats itself. In 2023 there were a total of 147 single family homes sold in Concord townwide (this does not include private transactional work, which I personally do throughout the year). I do think it is best to bring a home to market in order to discern what the highest price and best terms can be had, however on occasion some of my sellers want me to sell privately due to pre-market offer quality or specific circumstances around a sale. I also have clients who simply want a private sale.
Analyzing a closing by month review of Concord single family home sales in 2023, the data is as follows:
January – 4 closings (*Probable accepted offer date in November)
February – 7 closings (*Probable accepted offer date in December)
March – 12 closings (*Probable accepted offer date in January)
April – 11 closings (*Probable accepted offer date in February)
May – 12 closings (*Probable accepted offer date in March)
June – 25 closings (*Probable accepted offer date in April)
July – 16 closings (*Probable accepted offer date in May)
August – 19 closings (*Probable accepted offer date in June)
September – 10 closings (*Probable accepted offer date in July)
October – 14 closings (*Probable accepted offer date in August)
November – 10 closings (*Probable accepted offer date in September)
December – 7 closings (*Probable accepted offer date in October)
*Based on a 60 day closing schedule
A high percentage of closings occur 60 days after an offer is accepted. I am using that key for the basis of my assumptions for the purposes of this article. It is difficult to know the exact date a property owner actually accepted an offer. The data is available and published in our Multiple Listing Service in the Boston market but many agents do not put in the exact date they accepted an offer in the system. They are supposed to but often there is some lag time between accepting an offer and letting the public know an offer has been accepted. I won’t get into the reasons why this often lags for this article but believe me that this is the case even though it breaks MLS rules. Anyway, If you look at the numbers by season and for the purposes of this article the Winter market would be January, February and March with a total of 35 accepted offers. Spring Market would be April, May and June with a total of 60 accepted offers. Summer market would be July, August and September with a total of 34 accepted offers. Fall market would be October, November and December with a total of 18 accepted offers. You may question my logic to call the markets by season and then attach specific months to that season that may not be typically associated with that season. Please don’t. Think of these as selling seasons in real estate rather than actual seasons. The months I clustered for each season are based on the selling season and consumer behavior.
One could conclude that the #1 time to sell is in the Spring since it has a total of 60 sales. A not so close #2 time would be the Winter market with 35 sales with the Summer market just behind that at 34 sales. Last and least would be the Fall market with 18 sales. I will say that the data provides a sales volume picture only. When you think about each season there are pros and cons based on supply and demand principles that I would have to apply in order for you to get a clear picture. It is not all about closing volume. When I advise clients I look at their specific home and will draw a different opinion on the best selling season for that homeowner based on the specific attributes of the home I am advising on. Volume is not the only thing to consider when it comes to getting the highest price for your home. For instance, if your home has a steep driveway that leads to a double yellow line road I may suggest months that don’t bring that to the buying public’s attention. I won’t get into more of my “state secrets” for a public article but I assure you every single home has specific months that could produce a higher selling price for that home. My knowledge related to these matters can be shared privately and took a lifetime of sales experience to understand. If you want to know more about your specific home, reach out to me directly. Please do not try and use this article to draw your own conclusions related to your home and act on them. I assure you that you may not understand all that goes into how I reach my conclusions related to a specific home and what selling season would produce the best financial results for the client I am advising. Applied market wisdom in my line of work produces the best results for my clients. In the real estate business, applied wisdom customarily translates to a difference in sales prices from one season to another of tens of thousands of dollars, and then some. My job is to get my clients the best net financial results. The highest volume selling season may not be the season that you should attempt to sell your home. Supply and demand and specific home attributes combined with what is going on in your life will all be considered before I offer you guidance. We are on the same team. I also want the highest net results when it comes to selling your home. I do enough volume to not offer advice based on expediency or drive to bring your home to market. When we meet I am after protecting my reputation first and foremost. My mission is to win hearts and minds so you refer me to your friends, family and colleagues. I will offer you guidance based on best practices and your family’s interests only.
There are so many factors to consider when advising a family about on-market timing. Spring may not produce the best results for you. Let’s get into the weeds so we can get the best results out of your garden. That sounds a bit cheesy I admit, but please know it is true nonetheless. I am ready to get to work. Spring approaches….or is it Fall….Summer…or Winter perhaps? Reach out and I will let you know.
If you are buying a home sometimes it is financially worth it to work against the seasonal current. I will leave that for another article.