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Is Spring Really the ‘Magic Window’ for Home Sellers?

By Scott Morgan

Anyone looking to close a home sale faster and more favorably is entering the right time of the year to do it. According to a new report by Zillow, the first half of May specifically is the best time to list a home for sale in order to maximize sale price and minimize time on the market.

The report finds that in at least half the major markets, homes listed between May 1 and 5 can expect to sell almost two weeks sooner and for a $2,400 premium, on average, over listing at other times of the year. Part of the reason, especially this year, Zillow predicts, has to do with so many inventory shortages in the country.

“A large number of home shoppers will likely be unable to find the right home to buy in the early weeks of spring,” the report states. “As they linger later into the season, these buyers may end up spending more than they intended as they get wrapped up in competition and/or rush to conclude a deal before the summer months.”

In other words, late-spring listers can capture these perhaps frustrated buyers more quickly and earn an additional premium.

Sellers in California, Oregon, and Washington generally gain the most by listing between late April and early May, Zillow reported. Sellers listing in late April, in and around San Francisco in particular, can expect to earn a $15,300 premium over listing at other times. Seattle was the closest second. Sellers there can expect about $9,800 more from closing a May listing. Los Angeles and Sacramento also averaged above $8,000 for early spring listings.

On the converse, while Dallas sellers get a bump from listing in early May, it’s the smallest bump among the big markets. Sellers can expect to earn $1,400 over listing at other times. The second-lowest? Pittsburgh. Sellers listing at the end of Q1 are likely to garner about $1,700 extra dollars.

Early May is not a universal ideal time, of course. Pittsburgh’s best time to list, for example, just closed in March. On the other hand, St. Louis’ best time to list, according to Zillow, is actually early June.

Nationwide, outside the major markets, the best day to list a home for sale is Saturday, Zillow reported. In every large market except for one, the best day was a Thursday, Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.

“Only Boston bucked the trend,” Zillow reported. “The best day to list in Beantown is Wednesday.”

About Author: Scott Morgan

Scott Morgan is a multi-award-winning journalist and editor based out of Texas. During his 11 years as a newspaper journalist, he wrote more than 4,000 published pieces. He's been recognized for his work since 2001, and his creative writing continues to win acclaim from readers and fellow writers alike. He is also a creative writing teacher and the author of several books, from short fiction to written works about writing.
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