Thinking of Selling Your Home? There May Be No Better Time Than Now

home for saleImage by Mohamed Hassan

SANTA CLARA, CA — In today’s market where homes are selling fast, often above asking and even sight unseen, it may not seem like there is actually a “best” time to list your house for sale. However, earlier in the year is generally better, and according to national market trends, sellers who list their home next week, April 18-24, should see more buyer interest, less competition from other sellers, a faster sale and a higher listing price, according to realtor.com® ‘s 2021 Best Time to List analysis released this week.

To determine the optimum time to list, realtor.com® looked at competition from other sellers, median listing prices, time it takes to sell, likelihood of price reductions and interest from buyers measured by views per property on realtor.com®. Because of COVID’s disruption to the market in 2020, the analysis included 2018-2019 listing data.

“Unlike 2020 when COVID upended the spring home-buying season and pushed buyer interest  to later in the year, this year’s housing market is following more typical seasonal trends,” said realtor.com® Chief Economist Danielle Hale. “With half as many homes available for sale this year than last, sellers are well positioned for a quick sale at top dollar. However, for most sellers listing sooner rather than later could really pay off with less competition from other sellers and potentially a higher sale price. They’ll also avoid some big unknowns lurking later in the year, namely another possible surge in COVID cases, rising interest rates and the potential for more sellers to enter the market.”

What makes the week of April 18 stand out?
The short answer is it’s the optimal time for high prices, robust buyer demand, low competition from other sellers and a quick home sale.

  • Higher price: Homes listed next week typically sell for 2% higher than the average week and 10.4% higher than the start of the year. If 2021 follows the typical seasonal trend, a median priced home listed next week could sell for $7,500 above the average week and $36,000 more than the start of the year.
  • Strong buyer demand: Homes listed this week typically get 11% more views on realtor.com® than the average week throughout the year.
  • Less competition: Homeowners who listed during this week in 2018 and 2019 saw 5% fewer sellers on the market compared to the average week throughout the year.
  • Faster sale: Historically, homes listed during this week sold 14.1% faster than the average week. In 2021 terms, this would translate to selling in just 59 days, eight days faster than homes listed in other weeks, on average.
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In addition to the historical data, homeowners wondering whether now is the right time to sell, may want to consider some potential housing market shifts on the horizon that could lessen their current advantage. Rising mortgage rates, which realtor.com® is forecasting will reach 3.4% by the end of the year, could dampen buyer demand later in the home-buying season. Additionally, improved vaccination rates will also likely bring more sellers back to the market, adding more inventory to the mix and increasing competition for sellers.

“It’s a seller’s market right now, but you still need to ensure your home makes a great first impression, especially if you want to get the best price for your place,” said Rachel Stults, deputy for realtor.com®. “The key is zeroing in on what buyers want. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, buyers are looking for more space — or flexible space they can transform into what they need. Home offices and lush spaces also have become extremely important. If you have these things, make sure you highlight them.

“It’s also crucial to make sure your home is move-in ready: Do repairs and upgrades now, before you put your home on the market. Transform your space into something turnkey, because buyers don’t want to wait to move in,” she added.

For homeowners considering a sale, realtor.com® offers its Sellers Marketplace, which includes estimated home valuations of what your home is worth as well as information on selling options.

The best week to list varies from market to market
When taking local market trends into account in the 50 largest U.S. metros, the best week to list varies by locale throughout March, April and May. But for the biggest group of markets, 13, the best week to put your home on the market is the week of April 18, which is followed by the week of March 28, with 11 markets.

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The markets where it’s best to list the week of April 18, include: Buffalo, N.Y.; Cleveland; Columbus; Detroit; Grand Rapids, Mich.; Indianapolis; Nashville, Tenn.; New Orleans; Providence, R.I.; Riverside, Calif.; Rochester, N.Y.; Sacramento, Calif.; San Francisco and St. Louis. See the full market breakdown of below times to list below.

Best Week to List – 50 Largest Metropolitan Areas
Market Best Week

Start Date

Listing

Price

vs Start

of Year

Views

Per

Property

vs Avg

Price

Reductions

vs Avg

Days on

Market

vs Avg

Active

Listings

vs Avg

United States 4/18/2021 10.4% 11% -0.4% -14% -5%
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, Ga. 4/4/2021 7.1% 11% -0.8% -13% -9%
Austin-Round Rock, Texas 3/28/2021 5.2% 16% -1.1% -16% -10%
Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, Md. 3/21/2021 4.9% 24% -1.3% -12% -10%
Birmingham-Hoover, Ala. 5/30/2021 16.7% 6% 0.1% -18% -1%
Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Mass.-N.H. 4/4/2021 11.0% 23% -1.5% -26% -17%
Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls, N.Y. 4/18/2021 19.1% 33% -1.6% -22% -18%
Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, N.C.-S.C. 4/4/2021 5.4% 11% -1.5% -12% -6%
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, Ill.-Ind.-Wis. 3/28/2021 13.3% 23% -1.4% -13% -12%
Cincinnati, Ohio-Ky.-Ind. 4/25/2021 22.6% 14% -0.2% -14% -9%
Cleveland-Elyria, Ohio 4/18/2021 15.1% 18% -0.9% -18% -11%
Columbus, Ohio 4/18/2021 18.0% 28% -0.4% -25% -18%
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas 3/28/2021 5.6% 18% -1.2% -12% -14%
Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colo. 3/7/2021 3.3% 42% -3.0% -22% -25%
Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, Mich. 4/18/2021 19.8% 33% -1.2% -18% -20%
Grand Rapids-Wyoming, Mich. 4/18/2021 7.8% 31% -1.7% -22% -20%
Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, Conn. 3/28/2021 4.3% 17% -1.0% -7% -9%
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, Texas 3/28/2021 3.2% 12% -1.1% -11% -8%
Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, Ind. 4/18/2021 19.6% 29% -0.7% -15% -20%
Jacksonville, Fla. 4/4/2021 5.9% 17% -0.4% -11% -3%
Kansas City, Mo.-Kan. 4/4/2021 9.9% 21% -1.1% -8% -12%
Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, Nev. 3/28/2021 1.6% 12% -1.6% -10% -13%
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, Calif. 3/28/2021 6.2% 19% -0.4% -13% -13%
Louisville/Jefferson County, Ky.-Ind. 5/2/2021 15.4% 6% -2.2% -9% -10%
Memphis, Tenn.-Miss.-Ark. 5/30/2021 13.9% 10% 0.7% -12% -7%
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, Fla. 7/4/2021 2.5% -1% -1.2% 3% -3%
Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, Wis. 5/23/2021 31.5% 3% -0.3% -20% -15%
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, Minn.-Wis. 3/28/2021 2.1% 24% -2.1% -5% -22%
Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin, Tenn. 4/18/2021 3.4% 14% -0.3% -12% -10%
New Orleans-Metairie, La. 4/18/2021 8.2% 8% -0.2% -14% 0%
New York-Newark-Jersey City, N.Y.-N.J.-Pa. 3/28/2021 7.7% 15% -1.1% -13% -9%
Oklahoma City, Okla. 5/2/2021 8.0% 12% 0.5% -18% -3%
Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Fla. 4/25/2021 6.9% 12% -0.3% -6% -4%
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, Pa.-N.J.-Del.-Md. 3/21/2021 6.6% 18% -1.1% -5% -4%
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Ariz. 8/22/2021 5.3% 11% -0.5% -2% -9%
Pittsburgh, Pa. 5/30/2021 14.4% 9% -0.2% -22% -3%
Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, Ore.-Wash. 3/28/2021 3.4% 27% -2.4% -15% -21%
Providence-Warwick, R.I.-Mass. 4/18/2021 8.6% 13% -1.1% -14% -13%
Raleigh, N.C. 3/28/2021 5.9% 13% -1.9% -9% -8%
Richmond, Va. 3/21/2021 8.3% 17% -1.2% -10% -12%
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif. 4/18/2021 3.6% 13% -0.4% -8% -5%
Rochester, N.Y. 4/18/2021 23.1% 26% -1.3% -23% -12%
Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade, Calif. 4/18/2021 8.5% 18% -0.4% -23% -14%
Salt Lake City, Utah 4/11/2021 10.8% 19% -1.4% -15% -19%
San Antonio-New Braunfels, Texas 4/11/2021 5.1% 13% -1.1% -14% -7%
San Diego-Carlsbad, Calif. 4/25/2021 7.6% 16% -0.5% -18% -3%
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif. 4/18/2021 17.3% 16% -1.1% -18% -11%
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif. 3/14/2021 8.9% 42% -1.4% -30% -26%
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Wash. 4/4/2021 16.0% 29% -3.5% -27% -30%
St. Louis, Mo.-Ill. 4/18/2021 14.9% 13% -0.8% -16% -7%
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Fla. 4/25/2021 6.3% 13% -0.5% -5% -2%
Tucson, Ariz. 5/30/2021 6.1% 4% -0.5% 2% -5%
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, Va.-N.C. 3/14/2021 3.4% 17% -1.0% -9% -5%
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, D.C.-Va.-Md.-W.Va. 3/21/2021 8.6% 23% -1.2% -17% -12%
Methodology
Listing metrics (e.g. list prices) from 2018-2019 were measured on a weekly basis, with each week compared against a benchmark from the first week of the year. Averaging across the years yielded the “typical” seasonal trend for each metric. Percentile levels for each week were calculated along each metric (prices, listings, days on market, etc.), and were then averaged together across metrics to determine a Best Time to List score for each week. Rankings for each week were based on these Best Time to List scores.

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