When you’re thinking about selling your house, you might be thinking about whether to have it professionally staged, when you’ll have the time to clean out that garage, and what price you’ll list your home at.
However, just as important as the what and the how, is the when. Even the day of the week that you list your home can make a difference, especially since that initial wave of interest and that first open house are critical in ensuring your home moves quickly, interest never wanes, and buyers put forth their best offers.
But of course, before you pick a day of the week, you have to pick a time of year. I get this question a lot. People want to know when the best time of year is to sell their house.
Many are quick to point out that buyers seem to be out in full force in the spring and summer months, and that buyers tend to stay indoors during cold winter months. Thus, most conjecture, it must be best to list in, say, April or June, versus December or February.
While there are some merits to that argument, there are more layers to consider.
As you can imagine, the question of when to sell your home can be multi-faceted. Listing in spring or summer might get your home in front of more buyer eyeballs, but those same buyers are also looking at many other listings, since inventory tends to be higher in the warmer months.
On the other hand, listing in winter may help you stand out, but only to those buyers who are still staying on top of the market while also planning for the busy holiday season.
In summer months, when both buyers and sellers tend to be more active, buyers can be a bit choosier, as they know they have more choices. Likewise, sellers can be a bit choosier too, as they might be able to get more offers.
In winter months, on the other hand, while a seller might receive fewer offers, those offers might be higher because the buyers are more serious and have less to choose from.
And of course, you can’t forget that you’ll likely be a buyer as well, since more people who sell their primary home are simultaneously looking for a new place to live, either in the same market or in a different location.
So take that into consideration as well. If you sell in spring or summer when there’s high inventory and high buyer traffic, you yourself may also be on the buyer side soon or at the same time.
As you can see, there are no right or wrong answers. The real estate market is a delicate thing, and there are many factors at play. Right now, Oakland and most of the Bay Area are still experiencing high demand and low inventory, so pretty much any time of year is a good time to sell.
We’ve listed homes in all seasons and for all home types throughout Oakland and the San Francisco Bay Area. Some sellers have the leisure of a range of time when they can sell (e.g., a couple who’s retiring in a year and wants to move out of the area but isn’t in a hurry). Other situations may be more sensitive to time pressure (e.g., a family who’s relocating because of a job change and has young kids in school).
Regardless, we can work within the range of time you have to create a strategy for your specific situation, goals, and family needs. Start with our Guide to Selling Your Home, or get a customized home valuation to determine what your home is worth.