Spring is a popular season in the real estate market, prompting millions of people around the country to start listing their homes (and start looking for new ones). Common advice suggests that this is beneficial, allowing you to sell your home faster, get more money for your home, or both. But is this really the case? And should you take advantage of the season before it’s too late?
Why Spring Is Advantageous
Let’s take a look at why spring is such an advantageous month for selling your home.
All-around higher prices. Historically, spring has always been the busiest season for the real estate market. There are several reasons for this, mostly centered around the warmer weather, but as an end result, most people selling their homes are able to fetch a higher price. This isn’t a hard and fast rule, of course; there may be local conditions that allow you to sell your home for more money in summer, fall, or winter, but as a general rule, spring is the most favorable.
More daylight (and more showings). It’s a small effect, but a measurable one. In the spring, we set our clocks forward, and the days start getting longer. It’s bright for a larger percentage of the day, which means you’ll have more opportunities and timeframes in which to show your home.
Fewer distractions. Homebuyers often postpone their home purchasing decisions when they have distractions to keep them busy, but in spring, distractions are few and far between. People aren’t going on summer vacation, nor are they busy with holiday-related responsibilities. They have more flexibility, so they’re more active in searching for home.
More activity. On top of that, spring is warm—a refreshing time for most of the country, when people stop cooping themselves up in the face of cold winter weather. This gets people out, introducing them to new homes and new opportunities.
Opportunities to invest in curb appeal. The warm weather is also important for you as a home seller. It’s nice out, so you can freely spend time outdoors fixing up the property and boosting your overall curb appeal. There are many ways to do this, including washing or replacing your siding, working on the yard, or planting flowers and other attractive plants.
Timing for children. If you have children, spring is often the best time to move. They’ll be wrapping up a year of school, so you can transition to a new area during the summer, and start them in a new school district at the beginning of a different year.
Time to sell. Spring also increases the speed at which you can sell a house. According to one study, spring is the most likely season for homes to be sold within 30 days; in spring, 39 percent of homes sell within 30 days, compared to 38 percent, 36 percent, and 34 percent for homes sold in winter, summer, and fall, respectively. These aren’t huge differences, but they could be enough to make a difference for your own strategy.
How Big Are the Advantages?
Though spring is advantageous over other months in almost every category, we should be careful not to overstate the impact of spring. Oftentimes, seasonal changes only move statistics forward by a few percentage points. For example, in fall, 11 percent of homes sell for above list price, while in spring, 15 percent of homes sell for above list price—and the percentage of homes sold in 30 days increases only slightly when moving into spring.
Good homes in marketable neighborhoods sell well regardless of the season, and there’s no season that makes it impossible to sell a home, or sabotages your potential sale price entirely. Instead, spring is just icing on the cake—it’s a way to improve your position slightly, when everything else is in the right place.
It’s worth noting that geographic differences can also change how spring is perceived. While spring is a busy time for the real estate market all over the country, with a measurable effect even in the warmest states, states with colder climates tend to be more impacted by seasonal differences. In Texas, where the weather is warm practically year-round, the advantages of selling in spring are somewhat lower than in other areas of the country.
Is Spring Always Better?
Additionally, there may be certain conditions that make spring inferior for home sellers, compared to other seasons. For example, you may live in an area that’s especially scenic in the wintertime or known for its winter weather; if this is the case, there may be a sizable migration of new homebuyers to your area specifically in winter.
On a broader scale, real estate market trends are more likely to be influenced by factors like changing interest rates, improving neighborhoods, new buildings and amenities, and political changes than by the changing of the seasons. Accordingly, a positive improvement to your local economy could cause home prices to unconventionally spike in fall, or a negative factor could cause home prices in spring to plummet, essentially negating any benefits you might have otherwise enjoyed by selling in spring.
Finding the Right Time for You
If you’re moving for a practical reason, like if you’ve started a new job, you may not have much control over when you sell. But if you have any flexibility, you’ll want to consider many factors before initiating the sale—not just the timing of the seasons. That said, if all other factors are equal, selling your home in the spring could grant you a measurable advantage.
If you’re interested in selling your home, but you aren’t sure about the best way to time it, your best bet is to speak with a real estate agent, who can help you understand the dynamics of your local Texas market. If you’re ready to talk to a real estate agent in Texas, contact Green Residential today, and we’ll help you manage the sale of your home—and hopefully, get the best possible price.