What is best month to sell a home?

Quick Answers

The best month to sell a home is typically May or June. This is because buyer demand tends to peak in late spring and early summer when the weather is nice and families want to move before the new school year starts. However, the optimal time to sell can vary by housing market.

Selling a home is often the largest financial transaction a person will make in their lifetime. Understanding the factors that influence the home selling process can help homeowners maximize their sale price and sell their home faster. One key consideration is timing. Real estate activity fluctuates seasonally, with certain months seeing more buyer demand than others. Sellers who list their home during peak buying seasons tend to sell quicker and for more money. So when is the best time of year to put a house on the market? Here is an in-depth look at how seasonality impacts the housing market and what months offer optimum conditions for selling your home.

Buyer Demand Fluctuates by Season

The number of active home buyers rises and falls at different times of year. In most markets, buyer demand peaks in late spring and early summer before tapering off in winter. Here are some key trends:

  • May and June are typically the most popular months for buying a home. Buyer activity spikes as families look to move before the new school year starts. Nice weather also entices more buyers to house hunt.
  • Fall usually sees a dip in buyers as families have settled into the school routine. However, first-time home buyers and downsizers may still be active in September and October.
  • November through February are the slowest months for real estate. Fewer people want to tour homes or move during the holidays or winter.
  • March and April see buyer activity start to rebound as the weather improves.

These seasonal demand shifts mean listing your home during peak periods will expose it to the most buyers. More buyer competition can lead to a quicker sale, potentially above asking price.

Home Prices Typically Peak in Summer

Along with buyer demand, home prices also follow seasonal trends. When evaluating the best time to sell, it helps to look at pricing patterns over the past few years:

  • Home values usually reach their peak in June or July when buyer competition is fiercest.
  • Prices decline slightly moving into fall as demand softens.
  • Winter months see the lowest prices before values start rising again in spring.

Aim to sell near the peak to maximize your sale price. Price gains in spring and early summer give sellers added leverage when negotiating with buyers.

Median U.S. Home Price by Month

Month Median Sale Price
January $350,000
February $355,000
March $360,000
April $365,000
May $375,000
June $380,000
July $378,000
August $375,000
September $370,000
October $365,000
November $355,000
December $350,000

Homes Sell Faster in Spring and Summer

Warmer months don’t just offer higher sale prices – homes also sell quicker compared to other times of year. Here are some statistics on average days on market:

  • In May and June, homes sell in around 30-40 days on average.
  • Days on market rises to 50-60 days in fall and winter months.
  • Come spring, days on market drops back down to 30-45 days on average.

Faster sales times result from the influx of eager buyers looking to purchase during peak seasons. Avoid long listing periods by selling when buyer activity is highest.

Average Days on Market by Month

Month Average Days on Market
January 58 days
February 55 days
March 45 days
April 38 days
May 32 days
June 30 days
July 35 days
August 42 days
September 52 days
October 59 days
November 63 days
December 60 days

School Calendars Impact Buyer Activity

One reason spring and summer see an uptick in buyers is school schedules. Families with school-age children often look to move at times that minimize disruption:

  • Late spring – Many families want to buy and relocate before the next school year starts. New graduates also look to move out.
  • Summer – Teachers, professors, and families with flexibility may house hunt during summer break.
  • Early fall – Some buyers push their search to just after school resumes in September/October.
  • Mid-year moves – Relocations can prompt mid-year transfers, boosting demand temporarily.

Selling before school starts or during breaks captures buyers who factor education into timing. Market conditions can vary by school district, so check calendars in your local area.

Weather Influences Buyer Behavior

Temperature, rain, snow, and natural landscapes all impact the real estate market. Here are some weather-related trends:

  • Spring and summer see more buyers as warm, sunny weather is ideal for home tours and moving.
  • Snow or ice in winter can impede showings and cause some buyers to pause searches.
  • Extreme heat in summer can deter house hunters, especially in hot climates.
  • Rainy periods may slow activity as buyers stay indoors.
  • Some northern areas see demand peaks in winter as snowbirds migrate south.

Pleasant conditions will attract the most buyers. Schedule showings strategically around weather forecasts when possible.

Holidays and Vacations Affect Activity

Beyond climate patterns, holidays and popular travel periods also influence real estate:

  • Late spring and summer see less disruption from holidays compared to other seasons.
  • November and December see the fewest buyers due to Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years.
  • Market activity declines around long weekends and common vacation periods.
  • International buyers may avoid times associated with major holidays in their native countries.

Listings sometimes see less interest around major holidays. Consider the calendar before picking an optimal sales timeline.

Market Conditions Vary by Region

While national trends point to late spring and early summer as peak seasons, local market dynamics also come into play:

  • Climate – Warmer regions may see later summer peaks while colder areas peak earlier.
  • Lifestyle – Ski towns or beach communities follow tourist seasons.
  • Commutes – Urban areas with long commutes tend to follow school calendars.
  • Market cycles – Appreciation, inventory, and competition influence optimal timing.
  • Economic factors – Local employment rates, foreclosures, and new construction impact demand.

Analyze recent sales patterns in your suburb, city, or neighborhood to identify the prime selling season.

Best Months to Sell by U.S. Region

Region Peak Selling Months
Northeast May – July
Midwest June – August
South March – May
West April – June

Aim For Multiple Listing Service Peaks

The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is a database of properties listed for sale through member brokers. Monitoring MLS patterns provides key insights into buyer demand:

  • New property listings added to the MLS reach annual peaks in spring and summer.
  • MLS sale prices also hit highs during peak listing months.
  • Total active MLS listings decline in spring and summer as homes sell swiftly.

Time your listing for months when MLS inventory is growing but total active listings are fewer. This signals new demand from buyers before additional competition enters the market.

Mind Fixed Moving Timeframes

While the above factors influence most buyers, some people base moves on fixed timeframes:

  • Graduates – Often start housing searches in early spring.
  • Divorce – Finalized divorces may prompt one party to buy or sell immediately.
  • New hires – Relocation packages have firm timelines.
  • Inheritances – Estate resolutions can drive quick sales or purchases.
  • Short sales – Lenders may impose listing deadlines.

These life events create buyer and seller pools unaffected by market forces. Target your listing to groups with rigid moving plans.

Line Up Listing and Closing Dates

The optimal listing period balances timing considerations on both ends of your transaction:

  • Factor when you need to close and vacate your home before picking a listing date.
  • Build in estimated days on market so the sale aligns with your move.
  • Leave a buffer in case a deal falls through and you must relist.
  • If selling first, lease back if you need flexibility to align buys and sales.

Careful planning around listing, days on market, and closing timelines ensures your property sells during peak conditions.

Weigh Competing Seller Inventory

While buyer demand follows seasonal trends, seller behavior varies:

  • Some rush to list in spring to capitalize on peak demand.
  • Others wait for higher prices in summer before selling.
  • Senior sellers may list near year-end for tax purposes.
  • Builders list new construction throughout the year.

Monitor listing surges when selecting your timeframe to avoid oversupply. Staggering your listing from other sellers can help maximize visibility.

Price Your Home Strategically

Pricing your home correctly matters more than the exact timing. Consider these pricing strategies:

  • Capitalize on seasonality – Price higher in peak months when buyers compete.
  • Price below recent comps – Attract buyers in cooler markets by pricing below other sellers.
  • Price for quick sale – Inactive markets may warrant lower pricing to sell faster.
  • Adjust based on competition – Monitor listings in your area and price accordingly.

The seasonal timeline provides guidance, but ultimately the buyer determines true market value. Price both the home and timing appropriately.

Hire an Experienced Listing Agent

Navigating the intricacies of timing takes expertise. A knowledgeable real estate agent can help:

  • Provide data-driven insights on the current micro market.
  • Advise the best month to list based on goals.
  • Guide pricing strategy aligned with timing.
  • Manage the home prep, listing, showings, and sale.
  • Negotiate optimal terms and closing timelines.

Trust an experienced local agent to identify and capitalize on the best window of opportunity in your specific area.

Prepare Your Home for Sale

To sell quickly at the highest possible price, prepare before listing:

  • Declutter – Remove excess furniture and personal items so rooms feel spacious.
  • Clean – Thoroughly clean the home inside and out.
  • Stage – Rent furniture and decor to style spaces neutrally.
  • Repair – Fix any damage and improve wear and tear.
  • Inspect – Complete pre-listing inspections to identify and address issues.

A market-ready home in peak condition will maximize buyer interest coming into the prime selling season.


The best time to sell a house is generally late spring to early summer when buyer demand peaks. However, many variables including housing inventory, pricing, school calendars, weather, and individual buyer circumstances impact market conditions. Home sellers should look at local real estate patterns over the past 2-3 years and discuss options with an experienced agent when choosing a listing timeframe. Optimizing seasonality, home preparation, and listing pricing for your specific area will help sell your property quickly and for top dollar.

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