Why Late Spring Is the Best Time to List a Home

Spring has officially arrived, but U.S. home sellers considering listing soon to capitalize on the impending spring home shopping season should consider waiting at least a few weeks more to both maximize their sale price and speed up the process.

Nationwide, the best two-week window for home sellers is the first half of May. According to Zillow, U.S. homes listed from May 1-15 generally sell almost two weeks faster than the average listing in the year, and command a final price of $2,400 more, on average, over listing at other times. The first half of May was the best time to list in 14 of the 24 large markets analyzed by Zillow.

The beginning to the 2018 spring selling season has been characterized by a shortage of homes for sale, meaning a large number of home shoppers likely will be unable to find the right home to buy in the early weeks of spring. As these buyers linger later into the season, they might end up spending more than they intended as they get experience competition or rush to wrap up a deal before the summer months. This means homeowners who list in late spring can capture these perhaps frustrated buyers more quickly, and earn an additional premium.

There are, however, exceptions to the rule about early May being the best time to list. Home sellers on the West Coast generally gain the most by taking advantage of their market’s respective magic window—the six markets where sellers earn the largest premium over listing at the average time are all in California, Oregon or Washington. For example, Los Angeles sellers listing in from May 16-31 can expect to earn an $8,100 premium over listing at other times.

Finally, listing later in the spring isn’t the only late advice worth taking, Zillow says. In a majority of markets, putting your home on the market at the end of the week or on the weekend is the best bet to maximize the number of times a home is viewed on Zillow in the first few days of listing. According to earlier research, the largest number of home shoppers will see a given listing within its first week on the market, and it’s important to capture that early interest as quickly as possible in order to boost the chances of a quicker sale.

Nationwide, the best day to list a home for sale is Saturday. In every large market except for one, the best day was a ThursdayFridaySaturday or Sunday. Only Boston bucked the trend, with the best day to list being Wednesday.

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