|Why Late Spring Is the Best Time to List
Spring has officially arrived, but most home sellers considering listing soon in order 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: U.S. homes listed in the May 1 to May 15 period generally sell almost two weeks faster than the average listing in the year, and they command a final price $2,400 more, on average, than homes listed 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 start to the 2018 spring selling season has been characterized by an acute shortage of homes for sale, meaning a large number of home shoppers likely will be unable to find the right home in the early weeks of spring. Later in 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 summer. This means late-spring listers can capture buyers likely to be frustrated and earn an additional premium. As with most things, there are exceptions to the early-May best-time-to-list rule. In Pittsburgh, potential sellers thinking of listing this year should consider getting a move on: The Steel City’s magic window is March 16 to March 31 (i.e., right now), the earliest among the two dozen large markets analyzed. At the other end of the spectrum, St. Louis home sellers have the luxury of time: The best time to list in the Gateway to the West won’t come until the first half of June, latest among markets analyzed.