Seattle area readers who frequently check in here may recall the inquiry into whether there really is a single best time to buy a house—and if so, when that might be.
The answer was October 8.
At least that was what the researchers at RealtyTrac deduced after reviewing millions of home and condo sales (from across the nation, not just Greater Seattle). The definition of “best” they settled on was the date which recorded the greatest markdown between original listing and actual sale prices. On closer examination, though, 10/8 did seem to be an answer that was going to differ from year to year. But there was definitely evidence for fall being a good season for buyers.
Now there appears to be an answer to the equally beguiling question Seattle area sellers may be curious about: What’s the best time to sell a house? Having an answer might be reassuring to greater Seattle homeowners in a quandary over whether to jump into the busy greater Seattle spring selling season—or to wait for a less crowded time of year.
This answer, which recently appeared on CNBC’s news feed, is less specific than RealtyTrac’s single date—and for my money, more convincing because of it. And the answer is (drumroll, please):
The first half of May, to narrow it down a bit. The reason is that a home listed between the start of May and mid-month sells nine days more quickly than does the average. To be absolutely accurate, though, the “average” is the average of home sales everywhere in the country—North, South, East, West, and everywhere in between. Warmer or colder climates can send the answer off kilter, as can market conditions present when the calculations were made.
The basis for CNBC’s finding was a Zillow study, but it was not clear exactly when the data was collected, so there is a possibility that in today’s seller-friendly climate, the best time to sell a house in the Puget Sound might slip a week or two in either direction.
Further scrutiny yielded a two-track answer to the question of what is the best day of the week to list, with Saturdays vying with Thursdays for the honor. The reasoning was that Saturday is when most house hunters are apt to go online to check out the market; but Thursday is the likeliest day because people are gathering info for weekend open houses.
In my opinion, trying to zero in on the absolute best day to list is not nearly as useful as taking the time to identify who will be the best Seattle agent to help you sell your house. Along those lines: do give us a call!