What’s the “best”?
Like many things in life, timing is everything, so for many people, the best month to sell a house is when they NEED to sell their house and they’ve had the time to take care of any and all projects along the way to help present their house as a highly polished product. Houses sell all year long, because people’s lives change all year long. There is no calendar overseeing when people get promotions or relocations through work, see their family size expand or contact, or heath needs dictate the need for a new living situation. I’ve created a video about the best month to sell a house and other factors, and you can watch it here!
Real estate is cyclical, so we are able to look back over the months and years and see when there is the most market activity. In the greater Iowa City area, our greatest number of sold properties tend to happen in May, June, July and August, as shown in this graphic from 2018.
It is during this time that we see the greatest number of homes for sale and the greatest number of active buyers in the market. People tend to like to move over this timeframe because the weather is nice, children are out of school, and most leases end freeing up renters to become home owners.
Before you declare that June is when you plan to list your house, it’s important for you to understand that these numbers show when the properties sold, not when they were listed! The average length of time from an accepted offer to closing in the Iowa City area market is 45-60 days. It’s also important to acknowledge that not all homes sell their first day on the market, so some time sitting and waiting needs to be added to the calculation, too! A safe estimate would be 30 days on market before accepting an offer, which means homes selling at the peak in June, may have been listed 90-105 days earlier….which would mean, potentially, listing as early as February, far before many people consider the beginning of the “spring market”!
There’s always more than meets the eye
Before you resign yourself to putting off your plans and waiting until late winter or early spring to list your house, it’s important to realize that selling in the spring is not all daisies. Yes, there are a lot of buyers out shopping then, but there are also a lot more homes for sale then, too, which will mean more competition for your house to become the winner in the eyes of the buyers. There are benefits to selling your house during the colder months, including less competition, and the knowledge that buyers who are out home shopping while the snow is flying are bound to be serious! The best month to sell a house ends up being the month you are ready to show it off looking the absolute best it can, and the month it fits into your personal schedule.