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Everyone knows that location plays a big part in a property’s value, but few know that the “time of listing” is as important when putting a house up for sale. While we can not change the location of a house we are selling, we have the ability to decide when we list it for sale.

Listing a house at the right time can improve the time it takes to sell a home as well as raise the sales price. Here are some of the best times to sell your home, according to data from Zillow and Redfin. 

Season: Spring

It has long been common knowledge among real estate agents that people generally start looking for homes when the holiday season comes to an end, and the weather becomes more pleasant to be outdoors. Spring brings back the leaves and perennial plants, boosting the curb appeal. And for parts of the United States with very cold winters, spring brings back more movement and many families also start looking for homes before summer vacation begins. 

Stonewall, steps, and planter on a colorful landscaped garden.

Depending on where you are in the country, spring starts at different times. Sellers in the south might want to list their house as early as February or March, while sellers in the north might want to wait a bit longer to put up their listings. 

The alternative to listing in the spring would be to list in the fall. And contrary to popular belief, depending on where you are geographically in the country, summer is generally not the best time to sell a house because people typically spend the season vacationing. There are also parts of the country where it gets too hot in the summer for buyers to want to go outdoors to house hunt. 

Month: May

Nationwide, the best time to sell a house is in the month of May. In fact, houses that listed for sale in the first half of May sold almost two weeks faster and for 1.2% more than the average listing, according to a study by Zillow. 

The first half of May was the best time to list in 14 of the 24 largest markets analyzed by Zillow. However, while the average home listed in May earned a premium of $2,400, homes that were listed in San Franciso in the last half of April earned a 1.7% premium, which comes out to about $15,300. 

Day: Thursday

You will have to pray to get the best price if you list your house on Sunday. According to a study conducted by Redfin, homes listed on a Sunday not only sold slower but also sold for less. 

Redfin analyzed 100,000 homes that sold in 2017 and found that homes that were listed on a Wednesday sold for $2,023 more than a home listed on Sunday. The analysts also found that homes listed on a Thursday sold 5 days faster than homes listed on a Sunday. 

They speculated that Wednesday and Thursday were the best days to list because that’s when buyers typically start looking for houses they plan to see over the weekend. 

“Serious buyers typically start making their weekend house-hunting plans late in the workweek,” a Redfin agent said in the study. “You want your home to be one of the fresh listings buyers see pop up as they decide which homes they should see over the weekend.”

However, just because the average home sells well on one day nationally, doesn’t mean it will fare as well on that day locally. For example, sellers who live in big cities may want to list their house on a Tuesday, when broker’s open houses are common. 

Local Markets May Vary

If you live in a completely average house, the best time to list it for sale it would seem is the second Thursday in May. For everyone else, it is important to talk to your local real estate agent to find out the best time to list a house in your area. 

When Is the Best Time to List a House for Sale?

Everyone knows that location plays a big part in a property’s value, but few know that the “time of listing” is as important when putting a house up for sale. While we can not change the location of a house we are selling, we have the ability to decide when we list it for sale.

Listing a house at the right time can improve the time it takes to sell a home as well as raise the sales price. Here are some of the best times to sell your home, according to data from Zillow and Redfin. 

Season: Spring

It has long been common knowledge among real estate agents that people generally start looking for homes when the holiday season comes to an end, and the weather becomes more pleasant to be outdoors. Spring brings back the leaves and perennial plants, boosting the curb appeal. And for parts of the United States with very cold winters, spring brings back more movement and many families also start looking for homes before summer vacation begins. 

Stonewall, steps, and planter on a colorful landscaped garden.

Depending on where you are in the country, spring starts at different times. Sellers in the south might want to list their house as early as February or March, while sellers in the north might want to wait a bit longer to put up their listings. 

The alternative to listing in the spring would be to list in the fall. And contrary to popular belief, depending on where you are geographically in the country, summer is generally not the best time to sell a house because people typically spend the season vacationing. There are also parts of the country where it gets too hot in the summer for buyers to want to go outdoors to house hunt. 

Month: May

Nationwide, the best time to sell a house is in the month of May. In fact, houses that listed for sale in the first half of May sold almost two weeks faster and for 1.2% more than the average listing, according to a study by Zillow. 

The first half of May was the best time to list in 14 of the 24 largest markets analyzed by Zillow. However, while the average home listed in May earned a premium of $2,400, homes that were listed in San Franciso in the last half of April earned a 1.7% premium, which comes out to about $15,300. 

Day: Thursday

You will have to pray to get the best price if you list your house on Sunday. According to a study conducted by Redfin, homes listed on a Sunday not only sold slower but also sold for less. 

Redfin analyzed 100,000 homes that sold in 2017 and found that homes that were listed on a Wednesday sold for $2,023 more than a home listed on Sunday. The analysts also found that homes listed on a Thursday sold 5 days faster than homes listed on a Sunday. 

They speculated that Wednesday and Thursday were the best days to list because that’s when buyers typically start looking for houses they plan to see over the weekend. 

“Serious buyers typically start making their weekend house-hunting plans late in the workweek,” a Redfin agent said in the study. “You want your home to be one of the fresh listings buyers see pop up as they decide which homes they should see over the weekend.”

However, just because the average home sells well on one day nationally, doesn’t mean it will fare as well on that day locally. For example, sellers who live in big cities may want to list their house on a Tuesday, when broker’s open houses are common. 

Local Markets May Vary

If you live in a completely average house, the best time to list it for sale it would seem is the second Thursday in May. For everyone else, it is important to talk to your local real estate agent to find out the best time to list a house in your area. 

4 Staging Tips That Don’t Cost Any Money

There isn’t enough that can be said about the term ‘Presentation is everything.’ The reality is, no matter how good something is if it doesn’t present well it will be grossly undervalued. If you’re selling your old bike on craigslist, losing out on an extra 10 bucks due to poor presentation may not be the biggest deal, but when you’re selling a house, poor presentation (staging) can result in losing out on tens of thousands of dollars. Who can afford to lose out on that kind of money?

This is why any knowledgeable real estate agent will push you to focus on staging so that your house presents well. In fact, there’s an entire staging industry where expert stagers doll up your house to ensure you get top dollar. However, between the stagers fee, furniture rentals, and touch-ups, it can cost more money than is in your marketing budget. This leads many to undertake frugal projects on their home to maximize their homes’ presentation value. 

Before frugal projects are executed, however,  the best path is to first execute staging strategies that don’t cost any money and then assess with your real estate agent what the next steps are in prepping your home for live showings.

1. Reassess Your Furniture 

We’re not suggesting taking money out of your pocket to buy or rent new furniture, that wouldn’t be free. Rather, we are referring to eliminating certain items and adjusting furniture layouts. To make our homes comfortable and livable, we often hang on to comfortable furniture that may not look nice and have more pieces than necessary. In staging, less is more, the first step is to assess which are your nicest pieces and storing the rest elsewhere. Next, you should arrange your furniture in a way that flows rather than what’s most comfortable or convenient.

Happy couple placing sofa in living room of new home.

2. Declutter

Clutter not only makes rooms look less appealing, but it’s also distracting. Selling your home is a great time to rid yourself of all the clutter you don’t need. As for the rest, find somewhere to stow it away so that it’s not visible. As mentioned before, less is more, you want to use a minimalist approach when staging your home and keep the look as clean and fresh as possible.

Desperate helpless woman sitting on sofa in messy living room. Young girl surrounded by many stack of clothes. Disorder and mess at home.

3. Remove All Personal Items

For a buyer to consider a home, they have to visualize themselves in it. Family portraits and items on the fridge or corkboard all make it very difficult to achieve that endeavor. This doesn’t mean leave your walls bare, tasteful art is ok. However, any item that traces directly to you (mainly family photos) should be taken down and stowed out of sight so that prospective buyers can fully visualize themselves there and fall in love with your house.

Happy Family photo on white bookshelf at home.

4. Remove Extra Storage

There’s a little hoarder inside all of us. As we accumulate more items we implore creative storage solutions. These include hanging shoe racks on your closet door, plastic storage bins, and a whole host of other solutions. If prospective buyers see these eyesores, it will subconsciously tell them that the house doesn’t have sufficient storage to meet their needs. Eliminate all storage solutions that aren’t built into the fabric of the house.