You could sell your home faster—and for more money—if you list it during the best time to sell a house. Here’s how to find that home-selling sweet spot.

By Lauren Phillips
Updated August 01, 2019
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Waiting to put your house on the market until the best time to sell a house can ease many of the strains and worries of home-selling—mainly, by getting the property off the market more quickly and selling your home for more money. Not everyone has the luxury of waiting to list a house until the right time strikes; if you need to move unexpectedly or quickly because of a job change, a shift in life circumstances, or any of life’s myriad flukes, you’ll have to start the sell-your-home checklist to put your house on the market then and there. But if you’re making a planned move, there’s definitely a best time of year to sell your house, and skipping that home-selling sweet spot can really cost you.

According to a report from Zillow, home-sellers can sell their homes for $1,600 more than they might at other times of the year when they list during the best time to sell a house in late spring. This time of year has long been the most popular time to move, and for several years now, it has also been the peak of home-buying and home-selling season.

When is the best time to sell a house?

Specifically, U.S. homes listed in the first half of May in 2018 sold more quickly and for more money than the average listing throughout the year. According to Zillow’s research, homes across the country that were put on the market between May 1 and May 15 tended to sell for approximately 0.7 percent more. That tiny percentage may not seem like much, but it comes out to about $1,600 for a typical home; larger, costlier homes listed during this time may bring in more of a bonus.

Homes listed during the best time to sell a house also sold about six days faster than usual. In the real estate industry, where time really is money, that time (almost a week) can be precious.

The best time to list a home can vary between markets. Zillow’s analysis looked at 35 major U.S. markets, and the so-called magic home-selling window fell between the second half of March and the first half of June—a.k.a. late spring—in 29 of them. In the remaining six markets, the best time to sell was in the first two weeks of July. On average, the worst time to list is mid-winter, with the worst months to sell a house being December and January. Selling your home at this time of year can mean taking an average $1,500 price cut on your asking price. (Again, actual figures vary by region.)

On the micro-level, listing your home on the right day can be as important as listing it during the right month or time of year. Zillow’s analysis found that Saturday listings get the most views within the first week of being on the market in 12 metro areas. Friday is also a good day to list, while Tuesday is the worst day to do so. When eyeballs on a listing directly feeds into how many people express interest in buying the house, making sure a listing is seen as much as possible is key.

There’s not much to be done if you’re unable to wait to list your home, but if you can do so, wait until late spring, or do some research to find out the best time to sell a house in your area—it could really pay off.