It’s common knowledge verging on holy writ in real estate: Spring is the absolute best time of the year to sell a house.
But is there hard statistical evidence that listing your house in April, May or June — flowers blooming, birds chirping, lawns greened up after a tough winter — actually nets you a higher price or a shorter time from listing to sale?
Yes, but it’s not as clear-cut as you might imagine. There are important nuances in the data. Reviews of realty industry and academic studies suggest that while sales totals generally are highest in May and June, they actually reflect listings, contracts and buyer searches that occur earlier in the year.
A study of 1.1 million home listings between 2011 and 2013 in 19 major markets by the national realty brokerage firm Redfin found that, contrary to popular impressions, houses put on the market in winter — defined as Dec. 21 through March 21 — had a nine-percentage-point greater probability of selling within 180 days and at a smaller discount to the initial list price than houses put on the market during the spring months (March 22 through June 21). The advantage jumped to 10 percentage points over summer listings (June 22 through Sept. 20.) Winter listers ultimately sold for prices 1.2 percentage points higher than homes listed during any other season.
Though there were geographic differences, researchers found that even in areas with harsh winters, there were statistical advantages for listers. In Chicago there was a 13-percentage-point advantage in selling time for listings initiated in late December through mid-March compared with listings in the summer.
Disclaimer: for information and entertainment purposes only