When Should you Put Your Home on the Market?

Typically, the summer months are the best months for putting your home on the market. However, anytime is the right time. If you have a need to sell sooner than later, I would suggest listing your home for sale sooner than later. There is no telling what the real estate market will do in the next few months. Interest rates could go up. More foreclosures could be released by the banks, which could result in more inventory.

If you have a need to sell now, than now is a great time to sell.
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August 17 2010 - Northridge
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Agreed. I know people that have waited and their home value is 50k less now than it was 2 years ago when they first entertained the idea.
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August 17 2010

Thanks for the post. As a Realtor, you certainly hear that question time and time again. No one has a crystal ball and it is impossible to predict the exact optimum time. I would just add that the best time is when you are TRULY ready. Don't list your home, until you are ready to put your best foot forward. You often don't get a second chance to make a great first impression. Once you have made the decision, make sure your home sparkles. Finish those home improvement projects that you have put off, de-clutter, and refresh.

DRE License #01742179

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August 17 2010
Great post. The funny thing is most people want to sell their homes so they can move up to a higher priced home. Since the market tends to move together (assuming they don't move into a super luxurious 1mil plus home) waiting just assumes the same value difference. For example, the value of my home goes up and I sell it, but the home I want to buy has gone up in value too. A catch 22.
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August 17 2010

If you need to sell..... than now is the best time to sell.  The market is GREAT right now.

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August 18 2010
I agree that the summer is a great time to sell.  Especially, if you live in a good school district.

I have also found in my 20 years of experience, there tends to be sudden activity toward the end of the year when people are considering their tax consequences.
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August 18 2010
Everyone hears that summer is the best time to sell, so everyone waits & puts their home on the market.  The summer in Austin has been slow compared to other years with record inventory levels.  If you're thinking about selling, have your agent run an analysis of months of inventory for your area & your price point.  This will give you the best gauge of current competition and help you to decide if it's a good or bad time to sell.  Of course, most people don't have the luxury of deciding - a need is forcing them to sell (like moving for a job).  Just understand your competition & price your house right for the market you're in.
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August 18 2010
I believe the answer has two parts:

a) When you AND the house are ready

b) When there is less competition. Not know what your property is, this may depend. Houses sell all year long, so the 'summertime' thought is really a myth.
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August 22 2010
More spamformation,

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August 22 2010
Great question! The time to sell is when you're ready to make a change. We can't really forecast tomorrow, and yesterday doesn't count. Now is the time! 
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August 22 2010
Profile picture for the_country_hick
You never put your house up for sale until you are actually ready to sell it and to move elsewhere. <smacks head>

Of course with house prices dropping like a rock listing sooner may get a higher price than waiting a few more months.
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August 22 2010
There is no wrong time to list your property for sale except perhaps on a holiday weekend.  When you are ready to sell and understand the market conditions is what I would recommend.

Simon Mills
Mills Realty
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August 22 2010
Profile picture for SoCal_Engr
"If you have a need to sell sooner than later, I would suggest listing your home for sale sooner than later."

"If you have a need to sell now, than now is a great time to sell."


Two votes for Captain Obvious.

The "right time to sell" is when you are willing to sell into the current market. This has nothing to do with "happy with pricing" or anything else. It has to do with (a) need/desire to sell, and (b) willingness to sell at a competitive price in the current market. If you're priced right, the house will sell - at any time of the year.
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August 22 2010
Well, you only get one chance at a first impression. I would only put it on when its ready to go. Stage it up and make it like a model. Make it the best home on the block. When the buyers are on MLS, you want them to salivate over the photos and have them get off work to see the listing.  I hate when sellers rush to put the home on and its cluttered. If you only have certain hours to show your home too, it just won't sell.  As far as time frame, summer is kinda of tricky because the family usually goes on vacation after june, then if the family starts looking in july they have to make sure they can close on the deal and get the kids ready for school before the new year starts. So I don't think the summer time thing really works

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August 22 2010
Now.. you sell low, but you buy low... so timing is really not a factor... it has to do more withyour personal life, and whether or not your property is ready, or shows nicely... have you improved the curb appeal? painted? took out boxes and othe clutter from the house? improved the landscaping? 
The better your home shows, the higher it will sell for...
Now is the time...
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September 19 2010

How about about asking a real seller, why do you want to move? If he/she needs to sell, the price is irrelevant. if he gets a good agent he will get the best price the market has to offer and then he can move on with life. Now we all can say, Congratulations!!!

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September 20 2010
The truth is that the beginning of spring is the best time, since is when there will be no snow or at least less snow if you have that problem, if not, your personal situation, if you need to sell or not will be the top factor. If you need the money you need to sell now so you can manage the time to speculate.
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October 11 2010
When you're ready to sell it! jk 

If your concern is market values? Then I would recommend you list and sell sooner then later. The holiday season is always a great time to sell as the properties are dressed up and ready for show. Interest rates are at an all time low, buyers are out there looking to make a move. 

Good Luck
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October 11 2010
You should put your home on the market when you are ready to move.  There is no magical time period.  Sure the Spring is has more traffic, but then you also have more competition.  I sell homes every month of the year.  The good thing about some of the slower months is that you are usually dealing with very motivated buyers.  Someone looking at homes in November and December is going to purchase.
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October 11 2010
Based on statstistics the best time to sell your home is in the summer months. That's when the majority of homes are sold and when most potential buyers are looking..
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October 12 2010

In any market there are times when it is busier than other times, but that is a dangerous way to view the current market with mortgage interest rates at record lows, and supply in most major markets exceeding demand you will lose a bit on your sale but you will gain on your buy in most markets. You know what the market is today there is really no true way of predicting what the market will be tomorrow. The experts say rates have flattened out and that we are going to experience another slight drop in home prices. This may or may not be accurate because it's a forecast based on certain data. You have to look at the big picture until we solve the employment problem consumer confidence will remain lower than normal and there will be less buyers. If you want to go, sell now especially if you have.
Staying or leaving it's a tough decision I hope this helps a bit.
Good Luck

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October 12 2010
Summer is great time to list a home, do open houses, etc.  However, in my years of experience I noticed that the market shifted in recent years where there is more activity in the last quarter of the year than summer.
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October 12 2010
Summer is great time to list your home, do open houses, etc.  However, in my years of experience I noticed that the market shifted in recent years where there is more activity in the last quarter of the year than summer.
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October 12 2010
Speak with a real estate consultant who can help you evaluate what's really important to everyone involved in this decision right now. Also explore the opportunities in the market you want to move to. It may make sense to sell now and buy now because prices are low where you want to go.
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October 20 2010
The best time is as soon as both you and your home are ready.  The most appealing home or the home offering the best value is the one that sells any time of year.  Remember that home sales are all about supply and demand.  As a seller, you want the balance to tip in your favor. This is why, very often, the "spring" market, when many sellers believe that it is the best time, can be most difficult as the supply of sellers usually goes up.  When other sellers are waiting out the holidays or the winter to put their homes on the market, you can be part of the smaller supply and be ready for whatever demand is out there.
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October 21 2010
I would put a house on the market during any season.  It is a buyer's market and the average sale time in this country is a year now.  Remember one out of every five homes are behind on the mortgage so if you put your house on the market you have to be realistic.  Get comps for your house and then price it just a little lower.  You don't want to follow the market down which is where it's heading.
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November 19 2010

Today. This is a price war and a beauty contest. Make the home the best it can be....If you want to sell ----sell. Live in the present moment. Why would someone wait till the values go up to buy a more expensive home?  Doesn't make sense in this market

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November 21 2010
That really depends on you.  It can go on anytime of the year if it is "priced right" and shows well.  I would say put it on the market after you have it cleaned up and show ready and are willing to price it at or a little bit below fair market value.  It takes great pricing and near perfect presentation for a home to sell in this market unless it is a fire-sale (short sale or foreclosure).
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November 21 2010
Spring time is the best!
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November 21 2010
The spring market has been traditionally the best time in the past.  However, interest rates are low, so the buyers are actively looking.  Market your house when you can put capitalize on the strengths of the home.
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November 22 2010
I have found that for a equity move-up seller this is a great time to do so.  I've recently been able to help several people move up into the higher priced homes that they were priced out of when values were inflated.  For sellers that owe more than the value of their home are in a position where they may need to stay put.  It really just depends on what your exit strategy is, mainly "what is your next living situation".  
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November 23 2010
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