One of the most frequent questions we hear from sellers in Phoenix is about whether there’s a best time to sell their house. Like many other industries, the number of home sales ebbs and flows with the seasons.
The seasons of real estate
Spring typically marks the beginning of the busiest time of year for home selling and buying nationally. This is true in the Phoenix metro area as well, with a spike in sales occurring in March, peaking in May and continuing strong until the end of summer. Fall and winter are considered off-seasons in many places, but because of the outstanding weather in Phoenix’s winter months, there isn’t usually a drastic reduction in home sales at the end of the year.
Looking at home sale data from this year you can see the seasonal trends clearly. While January and February are relatively quiet months, there’s a noticeable uptick in sales from March through June.
MLS data from 2016 paints a similar picture. The number of home sales rose sharply in March and continued steadily until June. Notice that there were more than 7,000 home sales in December, a month that would normally be much slower in cold weather climates.
Why spring and summer?
You might be wondering why anyone would want to go out shopping for homes in triple-digit heat — and we wouldn’t blame you. The main reason is that families are looking to relocate while their kids are out of school. There’s also plenty of daylight for house-hunting during this time of year, and some would argue that homes look best in the springtime, when flowers are in bloom.
There are advantages of selling your home during the high season. With the greater number of people selling, there may be more sales to use for comparing home prices. More sales could mean more chances of finding a recently sold home that compares well to yours.
There are also more buyers during this season, which means that the chances of multiple buyers making an offer on your home are greater. If you’re lucky, the buyers may end up in a bidding war, which usually means more money in your pocket thanks to a higher sales price or a reduction in the buyer concessions you are asked to pay. One drawback to note is that buyers can afford to be a bit pickier during this time of year, since there are typically more homes for them to choose from.
If you’re selling during peak season, this often means you’re buying too. You should know that the same benefits you experience as a seller can turn out to be drawbacks on the buying side. For instance, as a buyer you may end up paying more and getting less in concessions during the peak season.
If you’re in a bind and need to sell at a time other than peak season, don’t worry. Well-priced homes are sold year round. Every homeowner’s situation is unique. For instance, you may need to sell your home on a faster timeline if you’re moving for a new job. Or perhaps you purchased your home at the height of the market, and you need to wait for the right time to get the most value out of your sale.
Pay attention to the market
Just because it’s technically the season when many people people are selling their homes, doesn’t mean you should rush into selling yours. Before you decide to sell, it makes sense to do a gut check, and see how much homes are selling for in your area.
You can determine the market’s temperature by a number of factors, including low mortgage interest rates, a healthy local economy and a surge in home sales. In addition to the condition of your local real estate market, you should take your personal situation into consideration. Here are some factors that indicate it’s a good time to sell:
- You’ve paid off your mortgage
- You have equity in your current home
- Your current home no longer fits your lifestyle
- You’re in good financial shape
For more in-depth information about the things that should be on top of your mind when evaluating the sale of your home, check out our post “the top 10 questions home sellers should ask themselves”.
So when is the best time to sell?
If you’re looking for a chance to receive more offers and make fewer concessions, consider selling your home during late spring. As the chart above shows, the majority of homes in the Phoenix area are sold during the months of May and June. That’s the best time to maximize your sale.
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