What time of year is the best time to sell?

Posted by on Tuesday, January 5th, 2016 at 7:44am.

We’ve just come through the holiday season when the last thing people may be thinking about is selling their home.

The time of year is certainly a factor when picking a good time to sell, but it’s not the only consideration.  Current market conditions and the old law of supply and demand come into play and need to be taken into consideration, along with the falling leaves, snow flurries, April showers or summer vacation season.

No matter when you decide to list your home, you need to consider the likelihood of getting your asking price as well as whether or not your home will sell in a timely manner.

First things first

The economy is independent of whatever season it is outside and will usually get the attention of those looking for a home before the weather will.  The economy affects property values and consumer attitudes when it comes to making a major purchase such as a home.  If folks are concerned about keeping their jobs or interest rates on their investment portfolio they’ll be reluctant to take out a mortgage.  The economy drives the market, and in turn, the market decides what a home is worth.  If buyers are looking because they need to buy rather than just hoping to buy, the economy won’t necessarily be a factor but it will give them the upper hand when it comes to negotiating a price.

If you said “spring”, you’re correct

In Canada, after months of cold and darkness, hope springs eternal is more than a cliché – it’s the truth.  The challenges and distractions of winter leave a chill in the real estate market and with the thaw comes a warming desire to nest.  Sunshine and clear skies make people want to get out and tour open houses. The weather is favourable, homes show well and even moving out and into a new home is easier this time of year.

Real estate data shows that movement in the marketplace begins in late February with closing occurring in May, June and even into July and August.  So it’s not just urban legend that spring is a good time to sell.  There’s tangible, trackable evidence and not only that, sellers are more opt to receive their full asking price in the spring.

Your second option, if selling in the spring doesn’t work for you, is to consider fall when there are no big holidays and the weather is still reasonable.


While spring is empirically a good time to sell, everyone else is listing their property as well.  More competition and higher inventory levels mean sellers have to be patient, creative and flexible.  Homes need to stand out and possession dates may need to be short or long, as the case may be.  While spring is an optimal time to list, use the winter months to set the stage to ensure your home is chosen above all the others.

Your realtor knows best

If weather isn’t a factor and the economy is up and down, your realtor can help you decide when the iron’s hot based on current market conditions.   Low inventory in your area can mean buyers will have limited selection and your property might be just what they’re looking for.  A realtor familiar with your neighbourhood will be well acquainted with the amenities in your community, such as a popular elementary school.  He or she may direct you to put your home on the market in ample time for families to move in for the upcoming school year.

Comparative analysis of what homes in your area have sold for will help you determine the appropriate asking price with laser precision.

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