Homes sell fastest and with the biggest premium in May in the US

Homes in many parts of the United States sell for a premium of $1,600 and six days faster if they are listed for sale in the first two weeks of May, new research has found.

This scenario was found in 19 of the 35 biggest metros in the country, although other features also have an impact, such as local market dynamics and even weather patterns, according to the research by real estate firm Zillow.

The earliest best time in the year to sell is in Pittsburgh, where the second half of March is the optimum time, while a handful of markets don’t hit the prime listing time until the first two weeks of July.

Early signals for the 2019 housing market suggest that the balance is tilting toward buyers, as inventory is showing modest gains and appreciation is stabilizing or slowing in some of the previously hottest markets.

As the market shifts, it’s increasingly important for sellers to understand what’s happening in their market as they approach the home shopping season, says Zillow. Sellers with the freedom to choose when to sell their home may be able to earn an extra boost by listing at the right time.

The research also shows that before putting their homes on the market, sellers spend about seven months on average thinking about their decision. During that time, most sellers complete at least one home improvement project before listing. Knowing the best listing window gives them time to prepare their home.

‘Sellers time their listings to optimize their sale in all sorts of ways. Some need to time the sale just right to manage their own synchronized home purchase. Others are seeking to get the highest sale price possible,’ said Skylar Olsen, Zillow director of economic research.

‘Balancing these two common priorities suggests that an early May listing date is your best bet, but working with an agent who can weigh the local market and your unique priorities is still our lasting advice,’ he added.

The biggest premium for timing a listing is in Minneapolis, where homes listed in the first half of May sold for a 1.8% premium, an extra $4,900 on the average sale. Sellers in Austin and Miami, on the other hand, saw the smallest sales premiums of just 0.5% or about $1,400.

Cleveland sellers who list their homes in the first half of May could see their homes sell nearly two weeks faster than the typical home. In Las Vegas, when a home is listed has little impact on how quickly it sells. Homes listed during the ideal window in early July sold just half a day faster.

The day a home is listed can also affect how many potential buyers see it, as the majority of buyers, some 79%, use online resources during their search. Homes listed on Saturdays get the most page views in the first week, and 20% more views than homes listed on Tuesdays, which get the fewest page views.