The state of Washington attracts nature lovers who love its mountains, rivers, and ocean, musicians who dream of creating the next grunge scene, and tech gurus. Its mild climate, with winter temps that rarely drop below 46 degrees, is another selling point.
Because winters aren’t as harsh as in other parts of the country, there is less seasonality to home sales. People will still want to move before school starts, however, and overall timing is still important. A real estate agent can help you determine when to list, but it doesn’t hurt to do your own research.
If you’re thinking about putting your house on the market, here’s everything you need to know about the best time to sell in Washington.
Best Time to Sell in Washington
Washington’s housing market has been characterized by price appreciation for a long time. Home values rose 6.6% in 2018 and will rise another 4.7% in 2019. The median price of homes sold is $364,000.
Home values vary greatly by the part of the state they’re in, homes in Spokane have a median home value of $208,400, whereas the median home values of Seattle homes is $729,400. It’s extremely important to look at local market conditions.
The first two weeks of May are the best weeks to sell your home, according to Zillow, and you could see an average premium of $9,600 versus other times of the year. Listing at the season’s height, or mid-summer means that there will be increased competition for buyers. You’ll want to start preparing your home for sale in late winter, early spring, to hit the market just when buyers are starting to look.
Key Factors That Help Washington Homes Sell Faster
If your home is centrally located, with a shorter commute distance and time, or proximity to the 520 bridge or 1-90 that will help it sell faster. Commute times in Washington are the ninth worst in the nation, and home buyers are very conscious of their possible drive to work when purchasing.
Pricing your home right also helps sell it faster. Yes, areas of Washington such as Seattle have low inventory and a hot housing market. But that doesn’t mean that you can price your home ridiculously high. Buyers still look within a price range that they know they can afford, and if your price isn’t in line with the market they won’t even stop by for a showing.
3 Tips for Maximizing Your Profits When Selling a Home in Washington
1. Consider Your Specific Market
A home in Queen Anne will be priced differently than a home in Spokane. Your buyer will be different, too. Buyers in the Western part of the state love views of Lake Washington, Puget Sound, or the ocean. Buyers east of the Cascade Mountains want mountain views or to be close to a lake or river.
A Comparative Market Analysis or CMA is a great tool when you’re trying to decide when to list and your home’s price. It gives you information about recent home sales in your neighborhood, data on whether or not the sellers had to lower their price and how quickly it sold. It can also help you narrow down your price range.
To find out more about how to analyze a CMA, read our article Understanding a Comparative Market Analysis.
2. Make Impactful Repairs and Renovations
What you call charm and character a buyer calls a project. Patch up walls and paint, fix leaky faucets and make sure all your lights work. You want your house to show to its best advantage, and a buyer won’t have your emotional attachment. Ask your real estate agent for some dispassionate advice on what to fix.
When making larger repairs, try to prioritize. Investing a lot of money in remodeling a bathroom doesn’t make sense if you won’t see a return in your final selling price. Some renovations may not lead to a dollar for dollar return when you sell the home but could be necessary to sell, such as repairing a leaking roof or a broken front stair.
Take a look at our 6 High-Value, Low-Cost Repairs for Home Sellers before you start calling for estimates.
3. Find a Great Real Estate Agent
Perfect timing is just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to maximizing a home’s selling price. Knowing how to market your house to buyers in your area, staging to appeal to your target buyer, and uncovering cost savings, can all increase your profit. A great real estate agent will save you time researching the market and save you money on realtor commission fees.
A real estate agent has years of experience in your neighborhood that they can draw on when pricing, staging, and negotiating. Clever draws its Partner Agents from major brands and brokerages that you’ve heard of, such as Century 21 or RE/MAX. They’re top-rated in their local markets and offer you full-service, but for significant discounts or a flat fee.
If you’re ready to get a free market analysis or talk to an agent, complete our online form. A Clever rep will be available to answer questions and connect you with a local Partner Agent. When you’re ready, they can help you quickly sell your home in Washington.