On the second night under a full moon on Sunday when Jupiter is aligned–this is the day that you should buy or sell your home. Just kidding! It’s not actually that complicated. Yet, there are quite a few things to consider.

Of course, as a seller, you want the highest price you can get for you home. And, as a buyer, you usually want the opposite. So, the advice is different for buyers and sellers. Below, I’ve included tips for both so you can be as prepared as possible.

If you’re a seller…

As the smell of flowers fill the air, get ready to list your house because spring is the season of selling houses. There are many buyers out looking for new homes to move into during the summer during spring and early summer. According to a study by Zillow, May 1 – May 15 are the perfect days to list your house.

If you wait a bit to list your house, this could be okay as long as it’s not too late in the summer season. But, if you have the ability to fully control when you list your house, choose the days above.

School will be letting out for the summer soon and parents want to get a jump start on finding a house to move into during those warm months. It is incredibly popular for families with school-aged children to move during this season in order to not force a child to change schools in the middle of the year.

For those families that want to move in the summer, they often begin their search in the spring. As the air warms, people start to feel more encouraged and enthusiastic.

This is a smart move, as finding the perfect home, getting an accepted contract, and making it to closing, can take a few months at time. Also, if you wait until the late months of summer to list your house, not only will you miss out on a lot of families with young children, but also on those who are taking this time for vacation.

One of the reasons that you should sell your house during this time is because there are many more buyers looking, which means more competition. And as we know, this means you will likely get a better price for your home during this time.

However, it’s important to consider that this is also a popular time to sell homes, so there isn’t just competition from buyers finding their new home, but from sellers attempting to sell theirs at the same time.

Don’t worry though; the research shows that you are still more likely to get more for your home in the spring.

If you are unable to list your property during the spring or early summer months, it might be best to wait for fall. During early autumn, there is a new (although smaller) rush to find a new home before Christmas.

If you are unable to control the circumstances of when you list your house, or you’re simply very eager to sell it, don’t worry about listing it in the times not shown here.

While you are statistically more likely to get a better price for your home in spring and early summer, consider that there will be less competition from other sellers during off-times. There are still very serious buyers year-round.

If you’re a buyer…

While that bright sun peaks your optimism, it also peaks prices. About half of all homes are sold in the summertime, but most sellers and realtors know this. With the large amount of buyers competing over the homes, the price immediately goes up.

If you don’t have to worry about moving a child between schools or other worries, it’s best to avoid buying in these summer months. As winter is beginning, about late November through January, prices fall.

As reported by Time Magazine, median home prices in the summer of 2014 were $220,000. By the following January the median price had already dropped below $200,000. While this data is not related to the median size, age, or quality of the house, this is a continuous trend.

However, as mentioned in the previous section for sellers, competition matters. While there is less competition from buyers leading to you often achieving a better deal for the same home, it’s also true that many sellers wait until the off-season is over to list their homes.

This means that there is less of a selection of homes to buy in late fall or winter months. The number of homes on the market begins to decline in about September, moving pretty steadily downwards until after the holidays.

As expected, spring and summer months bring the highest number of options for buying a home. Although, condos aren’t bound by this rule, as typically condo owners don’t have to wait for the summer because of children in school.

With that said, it’s important to realize that you shouldn’t put your plans on hold for a certain season if it is difficult. The trade-off between achieving a cheaper price or having more selection is also an important consideration.

While these months, statistically, will help you get the best price for a home, many other things come into consideration, such as the amount of down payment you’re able to make and the current interest rate.

Finding an experienced real estate agent who will have expertise with the quarks of the market in your area is invaluable. If you are looking to buy in the East Tennessee area, I’d be happy to discuss the best times for you particularly, considering your circumstances and this specific area.

Michele Karl is the Owner/Broker of Priority Real Estate. She can be reached at her email at [email protected] or give her a call at her office at 865-577-6600.

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