This is the very best time to sell if you want top dollar for your home


Calendar real estate

One week every year stands out as the best time to sell a home. (Getty)

Every year, one week stands out from the rest as that perfect stretch of time when it’s great to be a home seller.

This year, the week of April 14–20 is the best time to sell—that is, if sellers want to see lots of interest in their homes, sell quickly, and pocket some extra cash, according to Realtor.com® data.

“The third week of April brings the best combination of housing market factors for sellers,” says Hannah Jones, Realtor.com® senior economic research analyst. “The best week offers higher buyer demand, lower competition [from other sellers], and fewer price reductions than the typical week of the year.”

What makes the third week of April a golden opportunity? Historically, median home prices are about 1.1% higher than the typical week. Homes also cost about 10.4% more than they did earlier in the year.

This price bump translates into big bucks. A seller who takes advantage of the best week to list could collect about $7,400 more at the closing table than if they put their home on the market during a typical week. Plus, homes are expected to list for a median of $34,000 more than they did at the beginning of this year.

In addition to the extra cash, sellers can expect more buyers to see their homes on Realtor.com. Listings generally receive 18.4% more views during the best week to list than in the rest of the year. More competition might drive up prices as well, through bidding wars and offers over the asking price.

Homebuyers aren’t simply window shopping during this week either. Data suggests for-sale homes will fly off the market in nine days, or about 17%, faster than an average week.

“[Housing] inventory levels and price reductions climb later in the year,” says Jones. “But buyers eager to buy soon may find success earlier in the spring as the market starts to pick up.”

To pinpoint the best week to list, the Realtor.com economics team examined market behavior from 2018 through 2023, excluding 2020, an abnormal year due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The team factored in competition from other sellers, how long a home spent on the market, views per property, list prices, and the likelihood of price reductions to the analysis. The calculations did not include mortgage rates, which do not follow a seasonal pattern.

A gloomy 2023 gives way to a brighter 2024

As the snow melts, the flowers bloom, and the open houses are being scheduled in earnest, buyers might be eager to emerge.

As the snow melts, the flowers bloom, and the open houses are being scheduled in earnest, buyers might be eager to emerge. (Getty)

Last year, the housing market faced significant challenges, keeping many buyers—and sellers—waiting in the real estate market wings. As the snow melts, the flowers bloom, and the open houses are being scheduled in earnest, buyers might be eager to emerge.

That’s because home list prices have come down from the peak of $449,000 in June 2022 and $445,000 in June 2023. The median home list price was a median of $415,500 in February, according to the most recent Realtor.com. While prices are usually highest in the summer, prices are expected to come down a little overall this year by about 1.7%, according to the Realtor.com 2024 forecast.

Mortgage rates have also fallen to the high 6% range from almost 8% last fall. This has freed up some sorely needed housing inventory.

“Many homeowners also felt ‘locked in’ by their current mortgage [rate], hesitant to list their home for sale and trade a sub-4% mortgage for a 7%-plus mortgage” last year, says Jones. That would be what would happen if they bought another home with a new mortgage. This “kept new listing activity low for much of the year.”

While rates remain volatile, the Realtor.com economic team predicts that mortgage rates will fall to the mid-6% range by the end of this year.

“While affordability will continue to be a challenge for buyers and sellers who are looking to buy, we expect lower mortgage rates and more new-construction inventory to offer some relief and inject some life back into the market,” says Jones.

There’s also a feeling that brings buyers into the spring market that data can’t measure.

“Spring is a busy season for many reasons. For clients with children, moving will align with summer break when schools are out and the weather is nice,” says Bradley Wilson, a real estate agent with Sotheby’s International Realty in the Finger Lakes region of New York. “Additionally, the end of tax season makes the loan approval process smoother.”

Buyers need to see more homes for sale

Open house photo

If inventory levels remain relatively low, time on the market might drop as buyers vie for fewer homes. (Getty)

Homeowners who worry that listing during the busy spring market will put them on the wrong side of supply and demand need to know one crucial data point: The housing market needs inventory—and lots of it.

There were about 7.9% more homes for sale at the start of 2024 than over the same period in 2023. As a result, there were the most homes for sale this January since 2020. However, the number of homes for sale was still 39.7% lower than before the pandemic.

“This gap means there continue to be opportunities for sellers who enter the market this spring,” says Jones.

Sellers might also face less competition. Potential sellers should note there are usually 13.7% fewer home sellers during the best time to list compared with an average week.

“If inventory levels remain relatively low, time on market may pick up faster as buyers vie for fewer homes,” adds Jones.

Savvy sellers might also want to take advantage of the best time to list, knowing that while spring is the beginning of the prime real estate season, it’s not the peak.

“This means that this week sees more buyer demand per property than later into the spring and summer,” says Jones.

Sellers should start prepping now to list their homes

All of this means that sellers who want to get their homes onto the market during the best week to list should start prepping ASAP.

This could mean making repairs, painting the walls and cleaning the carpets, planting some flowers out front, and whatever else it takes for sellers to get their homes in tiptop shape. More than half of home sellers took a month or less to get their homes to list, according to a Realtor.com survey.

Buyers often start looking at listings early in their homebuying journey, meaning a seller who lists early will reap some early-bird rewards.

“There’s an awakening in spring, a motivation for people to go out after months of hibernation,” says Wilson. “They’ve monitored the market all winter and are now primed and ready to take action.”

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