Time to buy houses

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One of the most important aspects of starting a business is validating that there is a demand for your products. There is nothing more discouraging than spending your time and energy creating a product that you think people will love, only to realize that there’s no interest when you launch.

My family and I run Jaswant’s Kitchen, where we make and sell natural Indian seasonings and cooking kits that help our customers cook healthy, delicious meals at home. When we started our business seven years ago, we strongly believed in the quality of our products, but we weren’t exactly sure how to prove whether or not customers would actually buy.

Fast-forward to today, we’ve now sold thousands of cooking kits online throughout North America and through many grocery stores, such as Whole Foods, in the United States.

Although it took lots of trial and error, our experience has taught us there are a number of effective ways to validate whether or not you’re selling something people want. If you’re starting out, here are five strategies to validate your product that we personally recommend.

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Prefer a written version? Below you’ll find a slightly expanded overview of our favorite ways to validate a new product.

1. Ring the cash register

The first and arguably best way to validate your product is to prioritize making a few initial sales. Nothing is more important than customers seeing the value in your product and exchanging money for it.

Remember that while talking to potential customers is an important part of building your business, until people pay you all you have is a list of assumptions. Market research, surveys, and feedback from friends and family can point you in the right direction, but real product validation only happens when money changes hands.

For us, that happened at the first few shows we went to, where complete strangers bought our product. That’s when we knew we were fulfilling a genuine need with a product people would pay for.

2. Conduct competitive analysis

Research can be useful when you’re still in the ideation stage or searching for a product to sell. Exploring the current market can also help you mitigate risk and build confidence in your idea before investing too much time and money.

Our second suggestion is to evaluate the market for your product as it stands today to ensure there’s enough demand to build a viable business. One way to make sure there is a healthy market to sell to is to look closely at your direct competition. Find out what they are doing and how it compares to what you are planning to do.

If there are competitors out there, you’ll at least confirm there’s existing demand for what you’re selling. Businesses that don’t make money don’t stay in business, so learning about how long your competitors have managed to stay in business and roughly what their trajectory has looked like can provide some rough validation that this is a market you can successfully sell in.

Learn More: How to Conduct a Competitive Analysis

Remember not to get discouraged when you see competitors that have already grown big businesses. The fact that they exist will give you a good sense of whether what you are offering is unique or different than what’s currently in the market, which can point you toward untapped opportunities or help you figure out what to focus on going forward.

Competition is good, because it confirms that there’s existing demand for what you plan to sell.

The easiest way to discover your competitors is a simple Google search. You can also check out hashtags on Instagram or Pinterest, or run a quick search on Facebook. If you’re new to social media, don’t feel too shy to ask a person in your life who’s savvy for a little help.

You can also check out your competition’s social media to see how engaged their customers are with their posts and products. It’s a great way to check out negative feedback about a product and see if you can find a way to improve.

3. Research the existing demand

A third strategy you can use to validate your product and its market is to analyze demand and search volume. Now that you know more about your competitors, let’s take a closer look at interest from potential customers.

The easiest starting place is to go to Google Trends. This is a free tool that allows you to see how often people are searching for the product you’re selling. Knowing where the market is going can help you make a more informed decision and using Google Trends lets you see if your product idea is trending up, down, or if it’s stagnant. The last thing you want to do is jump into a declining market.

The second tool you can use is Google’s Keyword Planner Tool. This tool allows you to search for keywords and phrases related to your product, and then displays the total number of searches for each of the terms you choose.

We share recipes on our site in order to reach customers who may not know the names of our products or search for them directly.

For example, we first assumed people might be searching for “spices” or “spice blends” and we focused on those keywords, but over time we realized that if people don’t even realize that a product like ours exists, they won’t search for it in that way. We realized they were more likely to search for names of the final products or recipes they wanted to eat, which could lead them to our products as a new way to make those dishes.

Once you really start getting a sense of your customer base, it’s critical that they have a way to communicate with and provide feedback to you. The quickest and easiest way is to provide friends and family with your minimum viable product (MVP) and then gather feedback using a free survey.

We recommend creating an anonymous survey in a Google Form or with SurveyMonkey. It’s a great idea to also include people who are not your direct family or friends as they may be less biased and provide more honest feedback.

Be resourceful here, and be willing to have conversations with friends or family to help you find your ideal customer. Talk to other business owners to get ideas on how they did this as well.

4. Start a crowdfunding campaign

A crowdfunding campaign is a helpful, proven option to see if there’s demand for your product. One of the benefits of a crowdfunding campaign is that you have a firm timeline and it requires all of your focus and effort to reach your goal.

Market research can be useful, but real product validation requires paying customers.

If interested in running a campaign, it’s important to find the right service for your launch. Indiegogo and Kickstarter are well-known platforms, though there have been many others that have popped up in recent years. Do some research to ensure you have the right platform with the right community to launch your product, and definitely try to talk to people who have run successful crowdfunding campaigns for tips.

I also recommend checking out Shopify’s guide to crowdfunding for a more complete overview.

5. Meet customers in person

Another method we can confidently recommend is to sign up for a craft show or local market. This was so helpful for us when we were starting Jaswant’s Kitchen. It provided a convenient way to gather quick, first-hand feedback from potential customers.

Selling in person has the added benefit of a strict deadline that you need to take action by, which is why we personally love it. This deadline acts as a forcing function that pushes you to get your products ready, and to get yourself ready to sell them. Once you’re able to meet in person, you’ll benefit by getting to talk to potential customers, seeing their initial reactions to your product, and finding out if they are willing to spend money on it.

Selling in person at a craft show or local pop-up is a great way to share your story, get feedback, and explain the benefits of your product to potential customers. (Photo credit: Edible Toronto)

Search for markets and craft shows in your area to find ones that fit well with your brand and product. Consider having a set of questions ready to ask customers, such as their preferences on color and flavor, and what if any competing products they might currently be using.

Finally, test different price points to see if there is a certain price that works best for your product, especially when you are in the early stages.

Selling products people want

There are a number of other ways to validate your product, and we share additional resources in our full course on Shopify Academy. In the course, we also cover other important lessons we’ve learned about reaching new customers and scaling our business.

One final point all entrepreneurs should keep in mind is to not let validation turn into procrastination. Doing the initial legwork to validate your product is undeniably useful: it will give you the confidence necessary to put yourself out there, and it can help you avoid costly mistakes, saving you time and money.

The truth is every business owner has to learn as they go, and trying to perfectly predict how everything will play out just delays you from shipping and selling a real product. Dipping your toes in the water can teach you a lot, but all of your research and analysis is ultimately just a lead up to that pivotal moment when you finally dive in.

Shopify Academy Course: Sell Your Homemade Goods Online

Have a product you’re ready to sell? The Kular family shares their experience building a business around mom’s recipe book. From selling one-on-one to reaching the aisles of Whole Foods.

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Do you have another method for validating a product idea that has worked well for you? Let us know in the comments!

You’ve been saving to buy your first home. But timing is important if you want to find the best value for your budget. Certain times of the year are often better for buyers than sellers. Prices tend to drop during these periods, and that can mean sizable savings.

It’s best to research price trends thoroughly before starting to look for a home. Find out when is the best time to buy a house with the information below.

The best time to buy a house is usually autumn and winter

Autumn and winter are generally the best seasons to buy a house across all regions in the US. As the holiday season picks up, buyers and sellers are making plans and celebrating with family. In areas affected by the cold weather, this trend maybe more pronounced. As a result, people who are in the market to purchase homes are focused on other things, so there’s often less competition at this time of year.

Prices may also be lower in winter. In January and February, houses typically cost 8.45% less than they do in June and August, according to a study from NerdWallet. Sellers are often encouraged to wait until spring to list their homes, and those who keep their properties on the market through fall and winter may be more willing to negotiate a deal.

Conduct your own local research

It’s important to remember that real estate markets vary, so the best time to buy a house in your area may differ from overall national trends. It’s best to ask local realtors to determine if your target market fits general patterns or if there’s something unusual about it.

For example, if you live in Southern California, where temperatures remain mild for much of the year, home prices may not vary much seasonably. Or if you’re in a place where people vacation during the winter, housing prices might rise right before the busy season.

Prices may also vary by circumstance. If demand is weak because an area has been hard-hit by an economic downturn or developers have been overbuilding new homes, home prices may fall. These drops may not dovetail with the normal seasonal trends for that region.

The reverse may be true, too. A neighborhood that’s becoming more desirable can fetch higher prices.

Research pricing trends

Home buying requires work and that includes developing a sound understanding of pricing trends. Such information can increase the likelihood that you find the right house at an affordable price. Visit real estate websites to look at a variety of trend statistics to get a feel for the market in the area where you’re thinking of purchasing.

The sale-to-list-price ratio, for example, is a percentage that indicates if homes are selling at, below or above their listing prices. If the number is above 100%, homes are selling above their listing prices, and vice versa. Median list and sale prices indicate the average value of home prices in a particular area, which can help you discern if homes tend to sell within your budget range. Many sites generate these numbers monthly or even weekly, so it’s easy to keep an eye on the trends.

Once you’ve closed on your new home, you’ll need to protect yourself and your house. Learn how Nationwide can help by requesting a homeowners insurance quote today.

For most Americans, purchasing a home is one of the biggest investments they’ll make. Buying a home is a major commitment because you might be paying for your home for around 30 years if you take out a typical mortgage loan. Plus, once you’ve purchased a house, selling can be time-consuming and costly. That’s why it’s so important to be smart about the home-buying process.

One of the key things potential home buyers need to decide is when it’s the right time to buy a home. You can try to time the real estate market or buy when interest rates are low, or you can buy at certain times of year when you’re more likely to get a favorable deal or find the widest selection of homes. Ultimately, though, you’ll also need to make sure that you’re buying at the right time for you, which means you need to take your personal situation into account as well.

If you’re not sure whether you’re ready to become a home buyer, or if you’re interested in exploring what time of the year is the most advantageous time to buy a home, we have the answers.

Image source: Getty Images.

Timing the real estate market

First things first: The best time to buy a home is when housing prices are low. When prices are low and there are fewer buyers than sellers, the market is considered a buyer’s market. Buyers can get homes for lower prices and can often demand more concessions from homeowners eager to sell. By contrast, in a seller’s market, home buyers may become involved in a bidding war as homeowners consider multiple offers.

Unfortunately, trying to time the real estate market is difficult, even for professional real estate investors. If you’re hoping to try and buy when prices have fallen, here are some key factors to consider:

  • Pricing trends in your area: Compare historical sales to what homes are selling for today. If home prices are significantly higher, your market may be in a bubble. Redfin provides information on pricing trends for different regions across the United States, and Zillow also has similar data. Case-Shiller home price indexes also provide data on national home sale prices, as well as prices in specific metro areas.
  • The months of supply: Months of supply is the real estate term used to describe the inventory of homes for sale. It’s a metric that looks at how much time it would take to sell all houses currently for sale based on current demand if no new homes came onto the market. You can also obtain this information from Redfin. In a balanced real estate market, there’s generally around a six-month supply of housing. If the supply is lower, bidding wars are more likely to occur.
  • The time it takes for homes to sell: If houses sit on the market for a long time, it’s likely a buyer’s market. But if homes are selling very quickly, it’s a seller’s market — and you can expect to pay more for a home. Redfin provides details on the days-on-market for sold homes.
  • New construction: When new construction lags, this keeps housing in short supply and puts upward pressure on prices. The U.S. Census Bureau provides data on new residential construction.
  • How housing prices compare to income and employment: The housing market is overvalued in your area if prices are high in relation to the income of local residents. This isn’t a sustainable situation, so prices are likely to fall. The National Realtors Association publishes data on home affordability to provide insight.

Even with a careful assessment of market conditions, it’s challenging to predict what home prices will do. Still, if prices are very high in your area — especially relative to local incomes — this could be a sign of a housing bubble. In that case, it may be worth waiting so you don’t overpay for a home that might quickly fall in value if the bubble bursts.

Comparing renting vs. buying

Another key factor to consider when deciding whether now’s the right time to buy a house is whether it makes more economic sense for you to rent or buy in the market where you live.

The price-to-rent ratio can help you compare total costs of owning a home versus total costs of renting a similar property. The cost comparison typically considers total rental costs to include rent and renter’s insurance, while total ownership costs include mortgage payments, real estate taxes, closing costs, homeowner’s insurance, and any homeowners’ association (HOA) dues. Ownership costs also take into account favorable tax benefits for homeowners, such as a tax deduction for mortgage interest.

You can calculate the price-to-rent ratio yourself by comparing mean or median home prices in your area to average rental prices for comparable properties. Zillow provides data you can use to do this calculation, and Trulia has a calculator you can use.

If you could rent a comparable home for much less than the cost to buy, it may not make sense to sink your cash into real estate. Instead, you may be better off renting and investing the difference. However, if you can buy a home for much less than it would take you to rent a similar property, this is usually a good indicator that it makes financial sense to purchase.

Evaluating interest rates

Another factor to consider is whether interest rates are high or low. If interest rates are high, borrowing money for your home will cost more. If interest rates are low, your mortgage payment will be smaller and you’ll pay less in interest over the life of your loan.

Predicting interest rates, like predicting home prices, is difficult. The Congressional Budget Office and the Federal Reserve both provide projections on interest rates, as do many experts. Freddie Mac also provides details on historic and current mortgage interest rates.

If you think interest rates are going to rise soon, buying your home now to lock in your low rate would be advised, but if you believe rates will fall, then it can make sense to wait.

Choosing the right time of year

Home prices not only vary over time, but they can also vary over the course of the year.

Supply and demand are big reasons why house prices change with the seasons. Summer has proved to be the most popular time to move and is a popular time for sellers to put their home on the market. While you’ll likely see more inventory in the summer, it’s the worst time to buy if your goal is to get the best deal because prices rise when demand increases.

Price increases in the summer can be dramatic. One 2009 study found prices are between .86% and 3.75% higher on average during the summer months than the winter months. A 2013 study using data from 138 different statistical areas also saw pricing variation from month to month, with prices at their highest in June and July.

Image source: Journal of Housing Research, Volume 22, Issue 1.

While this data suggests you should buy during the winter months, a lower supply of housing may mean it’s more difficult to find your ideal home. In fact, one reason housing prices may be lower in winter is that buyers aren’t able to find homes that match their preferences as closely with fewer houses on the market, so they aren’t willing to pay as much of a premium.

If you can find a home you like in winter and pay less for it, this is a smart financial and personal choice. But if you aren’t able to find a home that’s a good fit, you’ll need to decide whether to settle for what’s available or wait until inventory expands as the warmer months arrive.

Making sure your personal financial life is in order

The real estate market, interest rates, and home prices in your market all play a role in determining if the time is right to buy a house. But the single most important factor in deciding whether it’s time to buy is whether you’re personally ready to make a home purchase. That means you’ll need to have your financial life in order.

Some of the key factors to consider before you buy a home include:

Your income

Most financial experts recommend you keep housing costs to 30% of your income or less. If you can’t find a home that’s affordable based on this ratio, consider waiting to buy until your income increases or you’ve moved to an area with a lower cost of living where your home won’t take such a large percentage of your take-home pay.

Many home buyers are housing-burdened because their mortgage, property taxes, insurance, and other costs exceed 30% of income. While you technically can purchase a home that will put your payment above this threshold — as long as you meet qualifying criteria for a mortgage — it will be much harder to accomplish other goals such as saving for retirement.

You’ll also want to consider how long you’ve been earning your income and how stable your source of income is. Typically, mortgage lenders want to see steady income for at least two years. If you just increased your income last month, lenders may consider a lower amount when deciding how large a loan they’re willing to give you. And if you have reason to suspect you’ll lose your job or see your income decline, buying a home and committing to a mortgage is probably a bad idea.

Your credit score

Your credit score makes a big difference in your mortgage interest rate. As of May 29, the national average mortgage rate for a borrower with a FICO score above 760 was 4.251%, while the average mortgage rate for a borrower with a FICO score between 640 and 659 was 5.294%.

If you borrow $300,000 at 4.251%, your monthly payment would be $1,476 and the total cost of your mortgage would be $531,358. But if you borrowed instead at 5.294%, your payment would be $1,665 and the total cost of your mortgage would be $599,327. Having a lower credit score would cost you $2,268 per year, and you’d pay almost $68,000 more for your home.

Because the costs of bad credit are so high when borrowing a large amount over a long time, it’s often worth waiting to buy a home until you’ve improved your score. You can raise your credit score by developing a history of on-time payments and reducing the total debt you owe so you have a better credit utilization rating.

If you have a late payment on your credit report, ask your lender if they’d be willing to remove this black mark on your record as a courtesy. Many lenders will, in most circumstances, if you’ve reliably paid on time. And check your credit report for errors as you don’t want incorrect information lowering your score.

Your down payment

In 2017, the median down payment for a new home purchase was 10%, according to the National Association of Realtors. A down payment below 20% means you’ll have to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI).

PMI protects your lender in case of foreclosure — the insurance pays the lender if your home is foreclosed on and sells for less than you owe. Although you’re the one who pays for PMI, you don’t benefit directly. PMI has an annual cost equal to between .5% and 5% of the total loan amount, depending on your credit, the total loan cost, and the amount that would likely be paid out if a claim was made on the insurance. On a $300,000 loan, if PMI costs equaled 1%, you’d pay $3,000 annually or $250 per month.

Not only is paying PMI a waste of money but buying a home with a low down payment or no down payment can be a big mistake for another reason: It leaves you very vulnerable to fluctuations in the real estate market.

If you buy a home with just 10% down and home prices fall even slightly, you may need to come up with cash to bring to closing if you must move — or you could be forced to ask your lender if you can do a short sale, which could ruin your credit.

Home values wouldn’t have to fall a full 10% for you to find yourself in financial trouble if you made just a 10% down payment. You have closing costs to pay if you sell, along with around 6% in commission to a realtor, so even a slight drop in the price of a home could mean you’re effectively underwater, because you wouldn’t generate enough from the sale to pay off your mortgage and other costs of selling. And the smaller your down payment, the more likely it is you’ll end up in this situation.

Waiting to buy a home until you can put at least 20% down gives you a financial cushion so if you need to move but your house isn’t worth what you paid for it, you won’t be in dire financial straits.

Your savings for closing costs

When you buy a home, you’ll need money in the bank for closing costs. Home buyers typically pay around 2% to 5% of the value of the property in closing costs, according to Zillow. In April 2018, the median price of a new home was $312,400, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Assuming you paid at the low end, you’d be looking at closing costs of around $6,248. And these costs could go higher.

Closing costs cover expenditures for home appraisals, land surveys, loan applications and origination fees, property taxes, transfer taxes, recording the deed, a home inspection, title insurance, homeowner’s insurance, and more. While some home buyers borrow for closing costs and roll the costs into their loan, this would mean paying interest on closing costs over several decades. Borrowing would also adversely impact your loan-to-value ratio. The loan-to-value ratio is the amount of your loan compared with what your home appraises for. It usually needs to be below 80% so that you qualify for the best interest rates and avoid PMI. Borrowing an extra $6,248 means you may no longer be within this ratio.

Your emergency fund

Having an emergency fund is important before you buy a home, for a few reasons.

First, it can protect you from being foreclosed on. Foreclosure can happen if you’re unable to afford to make payments on your home. Having an emergency fund valued at three to six months of living expenses — including your mortgage — ensures you can keep making mortgage payments for a long time in the event of a job loss or other financial calamity.

You also want to ensure you can afford the costs of home repairs. As a homeowner, you can’t just call your landlord if the roof leaks or the water heater breaks. You could regularly incur expenses of several thousand dollars or more once you own a home. And the older your home is, the more likely it is you’ll incur big costs.

While ideally you’ll save a home-maintenance fund and put aside around 1% to 2% of the value of your home each year for routine repairs and big projects, many home buyers have little or no money set aside after saving for a down payment. If you don’t have a home-maintenance fund or emergency fund, you could end up in debt if something goes wrong.

Savings for the move and getting your new home set up

When calculating how much you need in savings, don’t forget to factor in the cost of moving. You may need to pay professionals to move your possessions or may need to rent a moving truck and purchase moving boxes. When you’ve moved into your new home, there may also be furniture and other incidentals to buy.

The costs of getting set up in your new abode can be several thousand dollars. Make sure you’re prepared so you don’t end up in debt for furniture or sleeping on the floor of your new house.

Your other debts

Finally, it’s important to consider whether you have a substantial amount of other debt.

Mortgage lenders look at your debt-to-income ratio when deciding if you can qualify for a loan and what your interest rate will be. Your debt-to-income ratio equals total monthly payments on your debt — including mortgage costs — divided by your gross monthly income. If you gross $4,000 per month and have total debt of $2,000, including a $1,400 house payment, a $300 car loan, and a $300 student loan payment, your debt-to-income ratio would be 50%.

Most mortgage lenders will not give you a loan if your debt-to-income ratio exceeds 43%. Unfortunately, this can make it difficult for you to purchase a home if you have many financial obligations or a substantial amount of student loan debt.

If your debt-to-income ratio is too high for you to qualify for a mortgage, you’ll have no choice but to wait to buy a home. You can work on paying extra money toward your debt to bring your ratio down, or consider purchasing a cheaper home so your housing costs are lower and you fall within the 43% ratio.

Thinking about your short-term and long-term goals

If your finances are in order and market conditions are good, it still may not be the best time to buy a house. You also need to consider what your future plans are.

In particular, make sure you’re going to stay in the same place for a while. This is important because a home is a very illiquid asset. Eighty-nine percent of homeowners used a real estate agent or broker to sell their house in 2017, according to the National Association of Realtors. This means most home sellers who listed their homes paid commission. Since commission averages about 6% of a home’s value, the costs are substantial. You’ll also have closing costs to pay when selling your home.

In order for your home to hopefully appreciate enough in value to cover the cost of a sale, most financial experts recommend buying a home only if you plan to stay for at least two to five years. Of course, there are never any guarantees about what the housing market will do, but the longer you stay put, the more likely it is you’ll break even on the home purchase even after paying costs associated with a move.

You also don’t know how long it will take to find a buyer, so if you suspect you may need to move quickly, tying yourself down with a home is a bad bet.

So, is now the best time to buy a home?

As you can see, there’s no one right answer to the question of when is the best time to buy a home. By considering your personal financial situation, your plans for the future, and the state of the real estate market, you can make a fully informed choice about whether now is the right time for you to buy.

Ultimately, buying a home is not just a financial investment, but it also gives you the opportunity to set down roots and build traditions. It can be a great purchase — just as long as you’re responsible about when and how you buy.

Despite spring commonly being thought of peak homebuying season, there’s actually another time of year when it makes the most sense to buy a home.

And it’s coming right up.

According to new analysis from ATTOM Data Solutions, there are only three days out of the year that see homes sold at discounts below their estimated market value – all of which happen to fall in December.

The report shows that buyers willing to close on a home the day after Christmas see the biggest discounts below full market value, with an average discount of 0.3% over the expected sales price.

Beyond that, the next best days to buy are New Year’s Eve (December 31) and December 4, both of which offer discounts of 0.1%.

“Closing on a home purchase the day after Christmas or on New Year’s Eve can be one of the most financially beneficial holiday-season gifts you can get,” said Todd Teta, chief product officer of ATTOM Data Solutions.

ATTOM determined the best days to buy by conducting an analysis of more than 23 million single family home and condo sales over the past six years.

The analysis showed that December is the best month to buy, but buyers in December will stay pay about 1.2% premium above estimated market value.

But that’s better than every other month, including June, which sees buyer pay the highest premium, 7.1%.

Despite the drastic jump in premiums, home prices hover around the same median throughout the year; $197,500 in October; $198,018 in November and $198,000 in December.

Broken out by state, homebuyers in Ohio saw the biggest discount below full market value, buying at 7.4% under expected market value in January.

Following Ohio was Michigan, with prices down 7.2% in February; Delaware, with prices down 6.3% in February; Tennessee, with prices down 6.2% in January and New Jersey, with prices down 5.8% in December.

“While lots of folks are shopping the day-after Christmas sales or getting ready to ring in the New Year, our data shows that buyers and investors are buying homes on those days at a discount,” Teta said. “That’s a far cry from buying during June, when they are likely paying about a 7% premium.”

When is the Best Time to Buy a House?

3 minute read

When you’re looking to purchase a new home you hear location, location, location.

But, timing can also be quite important.

There are some parts of the year that are a better time to buy a house than others.

In this article we’re going to break down some statistics that show the best time of the year to buy a home.

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Housing Market Trends

The best time to buy a home really depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for the widest selection of homes, giving you more options and a better chance of finding that “dream home”. The summer months usually offer the widest selection.

However, if you’re sickly trying to get the best deal on a home, the most home for the lowest price.

Winter months are where most bargains are seen, but inventory is at it’s lowest.

This chart shows the amount of new listings, days on market, and percentage of homes selling above the list price.

Real Estate Chart – Home Listing and Sales Data

Best Time of the Year Get the Lowest Price on a Home

November – December

As you can see from the chart, November and December are the months in which the fewest percentage of homes sell for more than the asking price at 15% and 16%.

And they are the third and fourth ranks months in terms of average days on the market, but home listings are also at yearly lows.

The pool of home buyers is at it’s lowest in November and December, there are less options but the homes that are listed have been on the market for a few months.

This means you can expect to get the best deal on a house in November and December, however, your options will be limited.

Best Time of the Year to find the Most Options

April – July

The most popular part of the year for buying and selling happens in the Spring through early summer. Between April and July you will find the most home listings of the year.

Prices will also be higher, bidding wars may be taking place because there are more buyers and the number of homes selling above list price is also at it’s highest.

In these months, houses are flying off the market at their fastest rates of the year.

You can expect to find many more options in April, May, June, and July but you’re going to pay for it.

With a larger pool of buyers, sellers are less willing to take low offers, or offer incentives like paying for buyers closing costs.

Best Days to Buy a Home


The best days of the year to purchase a home are days when the competition is very low. Real estate agents say Holiday’s are the best days to submit a home offer. Christmas, Thanksgiving, Mother’s day, Father’s day and even Valentine’s Day are good days to submit an offer with little to no competition.

The Bottom Line..

If you’re looking to get the best bargain on a new home, then buying in the winter months is the best time to buy a house.

If you’re more interested in a wider selection of homes, the Spring and Summer months have the most home listings. However, homes sell faster and often for more money than other times of the year.

Are you ready to buy a new home?

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When Is the Best Time to Sell Your House?

Figuring out the right time to sell can help you maximize the sale price of your home and take some stress out of the process. Here are tools and tips for deciding when is a good time — both financially and emotionally — to sell your house.

When is the best time to sell?

Nationwide, the best time to sell a home in 2019 to maximize return and minimize time on the market is May 1 to May 15. Homes sold in the first half of May sell six days faster and for $1,600 more than the average listing. And homes listed on a Saturday receive an average of 20 percent more views in the first week on the market compared to homes listed on Tuesdays.

However, market circumstances influence the best time to list your house, including job growth, mortgage rates and tax incentives. In fact, the ideal date to put your house on the market can be as early as April 1 or as late as July 15, depending on your location.

Best month to sell a house Best day of the week to list
May Saturday

Best time of year to sell a house in your area

Although many people will tell you that the ideal time of the year to sell your home is spring, that may not be true. The best answer to “When is the best time of the year to sell?” really depends on the location of your home. The Zillow Owner Dashboard is the fastest way to learn which month is the best to list a house in your area, and estimates a home’s selling price now vs. your optimum sales month. And it’s not conventional wisdom or gut feelings — it’s an analysis of seasonal sales patterns of homes in your area, based on the month they were first listed on Zillow.

Here is the best-selling window for top real estate markets, by population:

City Day of the week to list Date range to list Average sales premium Days sold faster than average
New York Friday May 16-31 $3,100 11
Los Angeles Thursday May 16-31 $6,000 3
Chicago Friday May 1-15 $3,300 10.5
Dallas Saturday July 1-15 $1,400 2.5
Philadelphia Friday April 16-30 $2,400 9.5
Washington, DC Thursday April 1-15 $3,800 6
Miami Saturday July 1-15 $1,400 1
Atlanta Friday June 1-15 $1,300 5.5
Boston Wednesday May 16-31 $5,500 5
San Francisco Friday April 16-30 $10,000 2.5

The following factors determine the best time to sell a house:

  • Seasonality in your local market
  • Listing in a sellers market
  • Local job growth
  • Low mortgage rates
  • Tax incentives
  • Your own readiness

Seasonality affects when to sell a house

Selling a house in the spring

As you can see from the trends above, people tend to shop for homes as the weather gets warmer, so prepping your home in the winter months to sell in spring usually makes sense. With tax refunds in their pockets, nicer weather for moving in the forecast, and summer break from the kids’ school coming up, it’s easy to see why spring is typically the most popular time to buy and sell.

Prepare in the winter if you want to sell your home in spring. Photo from Zillow listing.

Selling a house in the summer

Many of the same reasons buyers shop in the spring apply to home buying in summer as well — warm weather, school breaks, and simply having more hours of sunshine to hit up open houses and take home tours. Of course, summer is the time when most people take their vacations, so that might account for a bit of a slowdown. And, there are parts of the country where real estate is slow in the summer because it’s simply too hot to shop comfortably. Among the largest U.S. real estate markets, Charlotte, Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas, Miami and Tampa share the latest prime selling window — July 1-15.

Selling a house in the fall

Many buyers shopping in the early fall may be trying to move in time to get settled before the school year picks up or before the weather gets bad, and that feeling of urgency can be a benefit to sellers. However, many off-season shoppers are moving because of a job transfer, layoff, short sale, or family issue, so they can also be more sensitive to price.

Selling a house in the winter

While winter is traditionally the slowest season for home sales, if your climate is warm year-round (think Florida and the Southwest), your window for selling may even be better in the winter months as snowbirds flock to the sunshine.

List your home for sale in the optimal housing market

Of course, seasonality isn’t the only factor to keep in mind when deciding if it’s the right time to sell your house. It’s also important to consider the state of your local housing market.

Selling in a buyers market

A buyers market occurs when the number of available properties for sale exceeds the number of people looking to buy. When inventory is high, sellers can expect their home to stay on the market longer before receiving an offer, and you may have to sell below list price or make additional concessions to the buyer. (Learn more about selling a home in a buyers market.)

Selling in a sellers market

In a sellers market, there are more potential home buyers than there are available properties. A sellers market is the ideal time to sell your home, as you can expect it to sell more quickly and you’re more likely to receive multiple offers and sell for full price (or above).

If you’re listing your home for sale in a sellers market, a steady stream of potential buyers may tour your house. Photo from Stocksy.

Local job growth makes it a good time to sell

If your local job market is booming, it’s a great time to sell your home, as there are likely job seekers or recent transplants eager for housing in your area.

Low mortgage rates inspire new buyers to purchase homes

For the last four years or so, mortgage rates have been historically low, but rates have started to rise lately and most economists agree that rates are going to keep creeping up as the economy strengthens. The higher the rates, the farther a buyer’s budget has to stretch to get the home they want. When rates are low, though, first-time buyers are especially apt to buy.

30-year fixed-rate mortgage rates over the last eight years:

Tax incentives on purchases improve home selling odds

While there are currently no major federal tax incentives for first-time home buyers, like the popular First-Time Homebuyer Credit of 2008-2010, potential sellers should keep track of local, county, and state financial news, as incentives and tax laws can make it easier for potential buyers to take the leap and become homeowners.

Your readiness marks the best time to sell

When it comes down to it, the best time to sell is the best time for you. All kinds of personal factors can play into your decision to sell, from job changes to family changes to just generally feeling ready. Keep the following factors in mind:

  • Lifestyle changes: Job changes, relocations, a growing family, and downsizing are the most common reasons people decide to sell. Job-related moves often require a stricter timeline, whereas family-related moves can sometimes be timed to take advantage of beneficial market factors.
  • Emotional preparedness: No matter the reason for your move, it’s important to make sure you’re emotionally prepared. Even if you’re moving for a logical reason — for example, you’re a recent empty-nester downsizing after your kids are grown — it can be hard to let go of the memories associated with your family home. Give yourself time.
  • Financial benefits: If your home has gained substantial equity, the value you’ve built may be enough to get you a healthy down payment on your dream home or give you a comfortable cushion for retirement.

What if local factors make it a bad time to sell?

If you’re in a hurry to sell but the local housing market, interest rates, or seasonality are working against you, consider selling your home with Zillow Offers. This program allows you to sell your house directly to Zillow. You’ll answer some basic questions about your house, have your home evaluated for free and receive an all-cash offer on your house in as little as a week. After accepting that offer, you can close in 7-10 days.

How long does it take to list a home?

Once you’ve decided on listing your house, it’s only natural to want just get it sold. However, there are lots of important steps that need to be taken to ensure that the process goes smoothly and you get top dollar.

Experts suggest allowing at least two months to prepare, which will give you ample time to research your local market, hire an agent you trust, clean your home thoroughly, do any minor repairs, crunch the number on your payout, take those beautiful photos, and then sit back and watch the offers roll in.

Many people list and buy their homes from early spring through the summer, said George Ratiu, senior economist at Realtor.com. By fall, most families with kids want to be settled into the school system, so markets see a decrease in activity.

In general, buyers face 26% less competition across all markets while inventory increases by 6.1% during the first week of fall, compared to the average week of the year. These effects are most notable in the West, where buyers see 29.6% less competition, followed by the Midwest (28.5%), the Northeast (28.2%) and the South (26.2%).

Ratiu said that the West is seeing a boom in new construction, which has produced an influx of homes above $200,000. “A lot of new homes are not really geared toward entry-level buyers,” he said.

Read more: Home Depot and Lowe’s Stock Have More Room to Run Up, Says Citigroup

People are buying up the entry-level homes on the market, which leads to a decrease in inventory below $200,000, while new construction adds to the luxury inventory, he said. “There a lot of opportunities for luxury buyers,” he added.

Additionally, there are 22% more properties available to buyers with a total of 116,000 new listings added to the national inventory. The West saw a 22.5% increase in inventory followed by the Northeast (10%), the Midwest (8.4%) and the South (6.1%).

Read more: It’s a Great Time to Refinance Your Mortgage. What That Means for the Economy.

As a result, during this “Black Friday” week, 5.8% of listings nationwide see price cuts, making them, on average, 2.4% less expensive than during their peak. This effect is still the most noticeable in the West, where homes on the market see an 8.6% reduction — to 4.6% lower than their peak — followed by the Midwest, the South and the Northeast.

This article was originally published on MarketWatch.


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This Is The Best Time To Buy Your First Home

As a financial advisor who works with clients in their 20s, 30s, and 40s, the question of buying a home for the first time comes up often.

My clients are financially-savvy enough to understand there are a lot of factors that go into this decision — including the landscape of their local real estate market, how student loans could impact their ability to buy, and the fact that they have a lot of competing financial goals that may need to take priority over purchasing a property.

People at this stage of life try to juggle countless different things at once — all of which require some level of funding from cash flow or savings to accomplish.

It makes sense that, given all this, my clients frequently ask, “When is the best time to buy a home?”

Here’s my answer.

Don’t Treat Home Ownership As A Strict Case Of “When” — Think “If”

Well, let me rephrase that — because I don’t have an actual answer to the “when” question. I actually think it’s a terrible question to ask.

You should stop framing the decision in terms of “when.” Consider starting the conversation with another question altogether:

“Do I even want to buy a home? And if the answer is yes… why do I want to buy?”

Too often, people breeze by these questions (if they ask them at all) without giving them serious thought and consideration. Even if your answer is “yes, I want to to buy,” I always encourage people to take the time to truly reflect on that.

Is that what you want — or does your desire to buy actually stem from pressure you feel from friends, parents, family, coworkers, or society at large?

That’s not a rhetorical question, nor is the idea that you could be subtly (or obviously) pressured into thinking you need to buy a far-fetched one.

Whether it’s inadvertent or deliberate, many of your peers or members of your family may make you feel like you need to buy a home in order to be successful, financially responsible, or generally secure in life.

But that’s just not true. Owning a home and being successful, responsible and secure are not correlated. They’re mutually exclusive, and thinking any other way stems directly from anecdotal evidence, societal norms, feelings or emotions… and it’s all based on faulty information.

You might simply feel swept up in the idea that buying a house is the next step in your life if the people around you (friends, siblings, cousins, coworkers, etc) are currently in that process, or because parents and others you deem “successful” own a home.

It might look like this is just what everyone does… so you should do it, too.

Doing something just because you think you should, and not because you made a deliberate, intentional, and mindful choice about your actions, is not a good way to make a decision about buying a house.

(It’s not a good way to live your life in general, either.)

You need to take the important step of questioning what you really want for your life before making a decision so massive as spending (and borrowing) hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy a huge responsibility.

If You Want To Buy, Ask Why

That makes the “why” question an important follow-up to “what do you want?” No matter what your answer, ask yourself “why.”

If you want to buy a home, why is that? Here are some common answers:

  • Because I’m throwing money away on rent.
  • Because we want to start a family and owning provides more stability than renting.
  • Because I want a place of my own.
  • Because buying is always a good investment

Once you come up with your answer… ask “why” again. If you believe you’re throwing money away on rent, why do you believe that? Similarly, if you believe owning creates more stability, why do you think that?

The purpose of digging into and questioning your own beliefs is to test whether or not they’re based on objective facts and sound reasoning. In many cases, the beliefs we hold are not founded on a basis like that.

It’s not just you: human beings are subject to a number of cognitive errors and biases.

One thing that gets in our way when it comes to making good decisions is the way we form beliefs, which is most often based on thoughts, feelings, and stories that conform to what we already think or what is easiest to comprehend.

Let’s take the “I’m throwing money away on rent” belief. In many cases, this isn’t a fact. It isn’t a universal, objective truth.

Yet we’ve heard this repeated over and over and over again so we believe it no matter what. We believe it, so we don’t take the time to test this notion and do the math to see if it’s true in our specific situation.

What Drives Your Beliefs?

You need to understand where your beliefs come from (especially when they’re not based on facts and data and objective truth, which is the case with so many things we believe) because that allows you to better understand why you think, feel, and act the way you do.

If you dig into your beliefs, you may realize the real reason you want to buy is because you felt a lack of security in your childhood or early adult years — and you associate a house with more stability.

That belief could blind you to the fact that financially stretching to buy a home will actually put you at greater risk for instability and a lack of security, because more of your cash flow will be tied up in home ownership costs (your mortgage, taxes, insurance, maintenance, and so on) and you’ll have to part with a LOT of cash to make the purchase in the first place.

Your beliefs matter because you make decisions based on those beliefs. The more accurate those are, the more you’ll improve the quality of your decisions.

But if your beliefs are based on inaccurate data, misinformation, or lack of understanding, your decision quality suffers as a result and you may put yourself in a bad financial position.

Nothing is more upsetting than to see a client who is at a financial crossroads who turns away from the path of financial stability and success in favor of taking out a massive amount of debt, introducing a ton of variable and unpredictable expenses into their lives, and losing opportunities to leverage their income to grow wealth because they were so single-mindedly focused on buying a home.

I’ve literally watched this happen. I’ve advised a client not to buy a home because it was not a good financial choice for their situation. They bought a home — then, months later, lost a job.

AT the time they bought, they weren’t able to save because their expenses were already high (a bad enough situation). When one of their household incomes vanished, they found themselves in a situation where they were suddenly in the red and sinking.

This was a completely avoidable situation. But unfortunately, this client, like so many other people, were convinced they needed to buy a home because housing prices “were just going to keep going up.”

They refused to look at the real cost of home ownership, failed to understand the myth of building equity, and tuned out the facts and made decisions based off their emotions instead.

A Home Is A Purchase, Nothing More (And It’s Definitely Not An Investment)

Most people put a lot of meaning into home ownership. As a society, we think owning a home means we’ve “made it.” We’re successful; we’re doing the right things; we’re officially responsible.

That is nonsense. Owning a house is not a prerequisite for success; having a mortgage does not make you any more of a responisble adult as the person down the street who chooses to rent.

What owning a home means, in the most basic terms, is that you bought a utility (and likely borrowed a lot of money you now have to repay in order to complete the purchase).

It’s something you purchased, and not only paid a lot of money for, but will continue to pour a ton of money and time and energy into in order to maintain the purchase.

A single family home that you live in yourself is not an investment. Based on the historical returns of owning and living in a single family home, at best you will move sideways in terms of wealth and financial success. You won’t be growing an asset that makes you wealthier.

If you want to grow your money and increase your wealth, you would be wise to contribute your money to a true investment, instead of tying it up in a very illiquid utility with a real return (removing inflation) of about 1%.

Ask Questions Before You Decide When You Should Buy A Home

If you read this far, you might think I’m completely against the very concept of owning a house.

But if you think I’m saying home ownership never makes sense or is never a good idea, you might have missed the point. That’s not at all what I’m saying.

Just like I advocate against simply assuming you “need” to buy a home, I don’t think you can make a blanket statement that buying a home is “always” a bad decision. That’s not true, either.

For my clients who are in strong financial positions, can truly afford to buy a home, and genuinely WANT to buy because it fits with their goals, lifestyle, and what they want to enjoy in their lives, I’m a strong supporter of their desire and I help them through the home-buying process every step of the way.

For my clients who can afford to buy but are honest with themselves and don’t want to, I’m a strong supporter for them, too. (I’m also in the same boat myself!)

These clients and I work together to find out what they do want, and we make sure they make the right choices with their money to get more of what’s important to them.

And for clients who want to buy but it makes no financial sense for them to do so, we talk about a few things:

  1. First, we ask the “why” questions. We want to understand what’s driving the desire to buy. If we discover it’s actually because they feel like they’re “supposed to,” then we may do some work to figure out what they want in life because they actually want it.
  2. If we find the client has a genuine desire to buy but it’s not a smart financial decision right now, then we work to create a set of actions steps they can take to move into a better financial position in the future. We lay out a plan so they can set out to buy eventually, when they can truly afford to do so without jeopardizing their financial security or threatening other priorities.

Buying a home is fine if you can afford it, actually want to do it, and it doesn’t limit your ability to do other things that you truly value. But renting is fine, too. Don’t assume buying a house is a must, a requirement to be an “adult,” or a necessary milestone to hit before you can call yourself successful.

Here’s the real point: take the time to do your research, get the facts, and question your own beliefs and desires before you make a decision.

That’s what I hope more people can start doing — so they can make good decisions based on their circumstances, their financial means, and their goals for their lives.

What’s the best time of year to sell a home?

In this article:

What is the best time of year to sell a home? While in many markets that time is the spring season, this is not always true.

  • The best month to sell depends on the market in which you’re selling
  • Winter buyers tend to be more serious and up against deadlines
  • Fall sellers have less competition, and prices for repairs tend to be lower
  • Summer brings lots of competition, but also families who need to move before school starts

So the best time to list your home depends on your situation and location.

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Consider where you’re selling a home first

The best time of year to sell a home fast and for more money depends on where you live. While most people automatically think “spring” when selling, that’s not true in places like Phoenix, Florida, Southern California and Texas. That’s because the weather gets intense in those areas–think triple-digit heat, hurricanes, and tornadoes.

Related: Home maintenance is essential for preserving home value

Before you consider the pros and cons of selling during each season, research the best time of year to sell a home in your region.


In most areas, the best time of year to sell a home is during the first two weeks of May. You can expect to sell 18.5 days faster than any other month and for 5.9 percent more money. In other places, early April or June is better for home sales than May. There are pros and cons to spring home selling.


  • Tax refunds come in the late winter or early spring, making more funds available for repairs and renovations
  • Warmer weather and longer days mean more home buyers go out searching for homes
  • Curb appeal improves as trees, flowers, and grass bloom (and less muck gets tracked into your house)
  • You can get ahead of summer competition and beat the rush
  • School lets out, allowing kids to finish the school year just as buyers close on a home
  • The best time of year to move is coming up for buyers, so they’re more likely to purchase a home with that in mind.


  • It might not be the best season to sell if your weather is still rainy, snowy or muddy
  • Competition is fiercest, so if your home is imperfect, it may be a harder sell
  • If you have kids, you may have to pull them out of school if your home sells quickly
  • The weather might be unpredictable, messing with your open houses
  • Neighbors might take on major renovations or have spring events (like graduation parties) that make parking and tours harder


Like spring, summer is a top time of year to sell. In some regions, June is tops for home closing. In fact, June 28 is the most likely day in the year to close a home, according to ATTOM Data Solutions. There are a variety of other reasons that summer is the best time of year to sell a home. But drawbacks to listing between mid-June and late August exist, too.

  • More daylight hours and predictable weather in most places mean more time for home showings
  • Time for you (and buyers) is more flexible with vacations and more time after work hours showing or touring houses
  • Buyers have a sense of urgency to get their school-aged kids settled
  • There is more available data from spring home sales to use to price your home
  • With their buying window closing, buyers are more likely to make more competitive offers and move faster to close.
  • Weather in some areas is very hot and not conducive to house hunting
  • Competition in areas where summer is prime selling season gets higher with buyers demanding more concessions and features
  • It’s vacation time, and fewer buyers may be looking for homes in your area
  • You may experience higher costs of showing because you’ll kick up the air conditioning and maintain your yard constantly
  • Your kids may hate it if you keep pools and other outdoor spaces constantly show-ready and they can’t use them — not to mention they’ll be out of school and their stuff all over your house
  • Professionals are busier, so finding the best real estate agent, landscapers, contractors, and others gets harder, driving up selling costs more


While fall is not the best time of year to sell a home for most sellers, it is for others. You may live in one of the places where it’s blazing hot starting in late April and straight through summer, or you live in tornado alley.

Related: How to sell your house in the fall for more money

Your house might not be “family-friendly” or you may live on the coast, where some areas can be foggy and cold all summer but warm and beautiful in the fall. And your yard may be spectacular with changing colors. If so, this might be the best time of year to list your home.

  • Less inventory and competition from people selling family homes
  • Serious buyers who couldn’t buy during spring and summer have the motivation to close before the holidays
  • Costs for fixing up your home get lower, and you’ll have more access to professionals to help you as their busy season ends.]
  • Sellers can make home listing images more vivid with fall foliage and decor, making their homes stand out from remaining competition.
  • Safety increases as prime season for home burglaries end
  • Buyers can get more demanding if there is less competition for your home
  • Market slows as school starts, and people settle in for winter in some like New England and the Midwest
  • Colder, wetter weather and coming snow keep buyers away
  • In some areas, curb appeal disappears as your trees lose leaves, flowers die, and grass grows browner
  • Heating costs go up as you keep your home warmer longer for house hunting
  • Landscapes get harder to maintain as leaves fall and foliage deteriorates


Like the cold weather, most people shiver thinking about selling their home during this time of year. It’s likely the hardest to sell a house in most areas.

Related: Don’t rule out buying a home this holiday season

But, in resort areas like Florida, Arizona, Southern Nevada and ski towns, winter is the prime selling season. Either way, if you understand the pros and cons of selling in winter, it might be the best time of year to sell a home for you.

  • Highly motivated buyers who want to close before the year ends to take advantage of tax breaks
  • Less inventory means lower competition for buyer attention, especially in off-season markets
  • Relocating buyers need to find a home to start new jobs or take other opportunities in December, January or February
  • Top real estate agents looking for year-end sales rise to the challenge to sell your home
  • Giving your home a holiday feel helps buyers envision living there during that time of year
  • Snow can cover some of the uglier features in your yard — at least until it gets tromped into mud
  • Selling in hot winter markets means more competition
  • Many buyers are “thrift shoppers” looking to play on seller desperation to get a deal
  • Curb appeal isn’t the best, and snow-covered landscapes are harder to see.
  • People are focused on the holidays and hibernating for winter.
  • Days are shorter everywhere and colder in most places in the U.S.
  • Moving after you sell is harder in the winter, especially around the holidays or in coldest months of the year like January and February
  • It’s the worst time of year for any significant renovations or repairs inspections reveal you must make
  • The inconvenience of keeping your home ready-to-show while enjoying the holidays, especially with kids

Understand that people successfully sell even when it’s not the best time of year to sell a home. Changes in your financial or family situation could force an immediate home listing. But those same things could force another family to come shopping.

As long as you know the pros and cons of selling during each season and in your area, you’re apt to make your home sale happen.

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The US real estate market is pretty strong: Expert

DeBianchi Real Estate’s Samantha DeBianchi gives her take on the U.S. real estate market.

If you’re thinking about selling your house, you’d be better off doing it in the spring and summer months, according to Bankrate.

Continue Reading Below

In fact, the best month to sell your house is in June, according to the financial services company’s report, published on Tuesday.

Bankrate used information from ATTOM Data and ranked the months by seller premiums. According to Bankrate, sellers could potentially make thousands of dollars more if they sell in peak months.

Summer months are the best time to sell a house because of the nicer weather and because people are trying to buy new homes before school starts in the fall, Florida-based realtor Liede DeValdivielso explained to Bankrate.

Another realtor said it could also be because of the longer days.

“One of the reasons buyers are more eager to view properties during spring and summer may be due to the longer days,” Marilyn Blume, a real estate agent in New York City told Bankrate. “By getting more exposure for your listing through more traffic, you increase the chances to receive more offers.”

Conversely, the winter months are the worst time to sell a house, with December being the worst overall.

According to Bankrate, that could be because of several factors including the new school year, the busy holiday season, which can involve travel and other events, colder temperatures and shorter days.

DeValdivielso said the only real exception for home buying in January and December is for people who are moving for work.

To see Bankrate’s full results, here are the ranked months, including the median sales price during each month and the seller premium.

June – $200,000 median sales price; 9.2 percent seller premium

May – $190,000 median sales price; 7.4 percent seller premium

July – $199,500 median sales price; 7.3 percent seller premium

April – $184,063 median sales price; 6.4 percent seller premium

March – $178,000 median sales price; 6.1 percent seller premium

August – $195,706 median sales price; 5.8 percent seller premium

February – $170,000 median sales price; 5.6 percent seller premium

September – $190,000 median sales price; 4.7 percent seller premium

November – $188,173 median sales price; 4.0 percent seller premium

January – $170,000 median sales price; 3.7 percent seller premium

October – $188,000 median sales price; 3.3 percent seller premium

December – $188,000 median sales price; 3.3 percent seller premium

For a quick round-up of how we find the best time to sell homes across the country, watch the video below.

Historically, real estate agents are aware of local trends in the real estate market so we figured they’d know a little bit about when to list a home for sale across the nation. Here’s what we asked:

What are the best months to list a home for sale?

These results represent “the best” time of the year to sell a house according to the top agents across the country. Agents ranked March as the best time of year to sell a house, with April and May close behind. November and December tied for the worst time to sell a house.

Overall, top real estate agents say Spring is likely the best time to sell homes.

The real story’s not that simple though.

We wanted to double check the top agent’s recommendations against actual fluctuations in the market so we pulled our nationwide housing data from 2015 to add some color.

The top real estate agents were onto something. We found that Spring is a good time to list in most local markets but when we dug deeper we found that the best time to sell is more complicated.

The best time to sell your house depends on where you live.

Gregg Phillipson ranks in the top 1% of seller’s agents in San Diego, so we looked to him to give us some professional insight on the best time of year to list a house.

Get this:

Low mortgage rates and year round sun tamper seasonal trends in San Diego’s housing market.

Gregg said, “I definitely think matters in other areas. I think San Diego’s a unique market to where you can wear shorts and flip flops most of the year. It’s different. People don’t mind going out in all seasons.” The data supports Gregg’s insight: see our San Diego chart down below. If March isn’t the best time to sell in San Diego anymore, we thought that result could apply to other cities across the US, and we were right.

Weather, temperature, hours of sunshine, even time zone can affect the best time of year to sell your house. We looked at housing transaction data in major cities across all four of the US’s major time zones and pulled out two cities from each: Pacific, Mountain, Central, and Eastern to help us illustrate the point.

Then, for each of the cities in our sample set, we ran the 2015 housing data to pull the average home sales price in the city for each month and we compared that number against the average home sales price in that city for the entire year.

Essentially, we used housing transaction data from 2015 to figure out which months were the most profitable for sellers. Though the data changes from year to year, the general trends seem to stay consistent for each city market over time so they should work as we move into 2017 and beyond.

We built a series of charts to show the best time to list a home for sale in each of the cities in our little cross section of America.

Best Times to Sell Your Home On Pacific Time

Our Pacific Time cross section showed different best times to list in San Diego and the best time to sell in San Francisco. While April is a great time to list in San Francisco, it was the worst month to list in San Diego for 2015.

Best Time to Sell a House in San Francisco: Spring and Summer

San Francisco sticks to the real estate agent standby: the best time to list a home for sale in San Francisco is Spring through early Summer. Though San Francisco’s temps are pretty mild throughout the year, January ranked by far the worst for home sale price.

Best Time to Sell a House in San Diego: Anytime

Throw that Springtime fixation away, because in San Diego the housing transaction data from 2015 showed November as the best month to sell a house. As Gregg Phillipson pointed out, San Diego’s warm climate makes the market pretty even for sale price throughout the year.

Best Times to Sell Your Home On Mountain Time

Denver and Aurora hit their lowest home sale value in December and January, respectively. Avoid selling in these Mountain time cities when temperatures drop.

Best Time to Sell a House in Denver: Late Spring

Denver shows good sales in late Spring and early Summer. Denver sales prices significantly drop in the Summer, though, so stay away from a July and August list date. As we said earlier, Denver prices drop significantly as temperatures start to drop, so November and December are definitely not the best time to sell a home in Denver.

Best Time to Sell a House in Aurora: June

Aurora follows Denver’s suit with low sale prices in the winter, but Aurora’s worst month is January while Denver’s is December. Break out Summer flowers and open house signs because June was the best time to sell in Aurora in 2016.

Best Times to Sell Your Home On Central Time

The first half of the year was a great time to list in Central Time cities in 2016. For Houston, late Spring and early Winter were the best months to list. March and April were by far the months with the highest sale prices, with other Spring months showing a good return as well.

Best Time to Sell a House in Houston: Late Winter, Early Spring

The worst time to list in Houston for 2016 was December, and the best time to sell a house was late Winter through the Spring. Spring is your best bet to get the most from your home sale in Houston.

Best Time to Sell a House in Kansas City: July

Homes sold for big bucks in July in Kansas City in 2016. If you’re wondering when to sell you’re home in Kansas City, Spring in general is a prime time to list in this Missouri spot.

Best Times to Sell Your Home On Eastern Time

Spring was a great time to sell in both Eastern Time locals. March was best for Kansas City, while April was best for Columbus.

Best Time to Sell a House in Atlanta: May

Prices skyrocketed in the Spring in Atlanta, with Winter months dipping quite a bit for home sale prices. Chances are, the best time to sell a home in Atlanta is in the Spring. September home sales also did extremely well, and September was the second highest month overall in Atlanta for 2016.

Best Time to Sell a House in Columbus: Spring

Columbus is spread across the board, but the best time to list for 2016 was in the Spring, with April being the best month. Stay away from early Fall and Winter in Columbus: December showed as by far the worst time to list, with October also showing high negative numbers.

Every city across the eight major hubs we pulled ranked Spring as one of, if not the, best time to put your house on the market. While we do believe in the real estate standby of “Spring is best time to sell your house” (temperatures are usually moderate, times aren’t as busy with holidays and new school years to start), the best time to list your house really depends on your local housing market.

Find the Best Time to Sell Your Home In Your Area

We thought you’d like to know when the best time to sell your house is in your city, so we pulled data for 100 major cities across the US.

Here’s a table with the best time to list a house for sale in 100 different US cities:

Alexandria, VA November 10% Find Top Agents in Alexandria
Asheville, NC July 4% Find Top Agents in Asheville
Atlanta, GA June 11% Find Top Agents in Atlanta
Aurora, CO June 7% Find Top Agents in Aurora
Austin, TX November 6% Find Top Agents in Austin
Bakersfield, CA September 33% Find Top Agents in Bakersfield
Baltimore, MD May 15% Find Top Agents in Baltimore
Boca Raton, FL May 13% Find Top Agents in Boca Raton
Boston, MA January 10% Find Top Agents in Boston
Breckenridge, CO February 106% Find Top Agents in Breckenridge
Buffalo, NY March 18% Find Top Agents in Buffalo
Canyon Lake, TX September 41% Find Top Agents in Canyon Lake
Charlotte, NC June 8% Find Top Agents in Charlotte
Chicago, IL March 0% Find Top Agents in Chicago
Colorado Springs, CO December 21% Find Top Agents in Colorado Springs
Concord, NC July 5% Find Top Agents in Concord
Corpus Christi, TX December 55% Find Top Agents in Corpus Christi
Cumming, GA August 6% Find Top Agents in Cumming
Dallas, TX June 9% Find Top Agents in Dallas
Denver, CO May 6% Find Top Agents in Denver
Detroit, MI July 180% Find Top Agents in Detroit
Durham, NC December 12% Find Top Agents in Durham
Everett, MA October 10% Find Top Agents in Everett
Fairfield, CA September 7% Find Top Agents in Fairfield
Fort Lauderdale, FL April 14% Find Top Agents in Fort Lauderdale
Fort Myers, FL June 18% Find Top Agents in Fort Myers
Fort Worth, TX February 3% Find Top Agents in Fort Worth
Franklin, TN March 10% Find Top Agents in Franklin
Fredericksburg, VA March 8% Find Top Agents in Fredericksburg
Fremont, CA May 17% Find Top Agents in Fremont
Fresno, CA August 6% Find Top Agents in Fresno
Fullerton, CA October 7% Find Top Agents in Fullerton
Greenville, SC July 150% Find Top Agents in Greenville
Houston, TX June 8% Find Top Agents in Houston
Jupiter, FL September 20% Find Top Agents in Jupiter
Key West, FL February 40% Find Top Agents in Key West
Las Vegas, NV June 3% Find Top Agents in Las Vegas
Littleton, CO February 13% Find Top Agents in Littleton
Long Beach, CA June 9% Find Top Agents in Long Beach
Los Angeles, CA June 7% Find Top Agents in Los Angeles
Lubbock, TX October 6% Find Top Agents in Lubbock
Marietta, GA June 16% Find Top Agents in Marietta
Mesa, AZ August 0% Find Top Agents in Mesa
Miami, FL June 15% Find Top Agents in Miami
Milwaukee, WI November 10% Find Top Agents in Milwaukee
Minneapolis, MN August 10% Find Top Agents in Minneapolis
Murfreesboro, TN December 9% Find Top Agents in Murfreesboro
Nashville, TN November 12% Find Top Agents in Nashville
Newton, MA August 10% Find Top Agents in Newton
New York, NY August 23% Find Top Agents in New York
Norwalk, CT February 63% Find Top Agents in Norwalk
Oakland, CA December 60% Find Top Agents in Oakland
Orlando, FL May 15% Find Top Agents in Orlando
Philadelphia, PA June 14% Find Top Agents in Philadelphia
Phoenix, AZ August 0% Find Top Agents in Phoenix
Pittsburgh, PA December 13% Find Top Agents in Pittsburgh
Plano, TX May 6% Find Top Agents in Plano
Portland, OR September 10% Find Top Agents in Portland
Raleigh, NC June 6% Find Top Agents in Raleigh
Reno, NV August 0% Find Top Agents in Reno
Richmond, VA July 44% Find Top Agents in Richmond
Riverside, CA December 5% Find Top Agents in Riverside
Sacramento, CA November 5% Find Top Agents in Sacramento
Salem, OR August 0% Find Top Agents in Salem
San Antonio, TX October 55% Find Top Agents in San Antonio
San Diego, CA November 3% Find Top Agents in San Diego
San Francisco, CA May 11% Find Top Agents in San Francisco
San Jose, CA September 4% Find Top Agents in San Jose
Santa Clarita, CA November 6% Find Top Agents in Santa Clarita
Scotts Valley, CA June 23% Find Top Agents in Scotts Valley
Seattle, WA June 4% Find Top Agents in Seattle
St. Louis, MO July 9% Find Top Agents in St. Louis
Sugar Land, TX October 40% Find Top Agents in Sugar Land
Sunnyvale, CA May 10% Find Top Agents in Sunnyvale
Tacoma, WA August 8% Find Top Agents in Tacoma
Tampa, FL May 112% Find Top Agents in Tampa
Tomball, TX October 133% Find Top Agents in Tomball
Toms River, NJ July 86% Find Top Agents in Toms River
Walnut Creek, CA January 95% Find Top Agents in Walnut Creek
Washington, DC May 7% Find Top Agents in Washington

Still Not Convinced?

Sure, Spring is the best time to list in some real estate markets, but not all. Check our table and talk with a top real estate agent near you to figure out when the best month to list your house is. It’s probably not what you think!