Few experts foresee a rosy real estate market in 2023. High mortgage rates, ongoing inflation, and the looming risk of a recession have tamped buyer demand and caused the real estate market to cool. Despite the headwinds, lives go on, and Americans will still buy and sell homes.
In a challenging market, the results of your sale may depend on when you list your home. Sellers are most likely to list in the spring and summer, but each part of the calendar year will have its pros and cons.
Selling in winter means a limited number of serious buyers
Winter is a traditionally unpopular time to list a home on the market. The weather is cold and deters house hunting, kids are in school, jobs are in full swing, and the brown and gray winter landscape in much of the country makes it hard for properties to look their best.
However, listing a home in winter comes with benefits. For one, there's less inventory, resulting in less competition among sellers. Buyers have fewer options, and if you list, your property is more likely to stand out.
Plus, buyers who enter the winter market tend to be serious, motivated, and willing to move quickly. That means winter real estate transactions move fast. Real estate agents are also less busy in the winter, which means your listing agent should have more time to market, show, and sell your property.
Selling in spring means diving into busy season’s bidding wars and heavy competition
As the weather warms, so does the real estate market. The spring real estate market is the start of “busy season” – the time of year when Americans are most likely to sell and buy homes.
Spring home selling is popular because there are simply more buyers. The weather is more conducive to moving, the school year is ending, and homes’ curb appeal increases. If you put your home on the market in the spring, high demand means you can likely list at a higher price and even stoke a bidding war between interested buyers.
For all its benefits, listing in spring 2023 could come with downsides. Other sellers are bound to list in the spring, too, and more inventory means more competition among sellers. Real estate agents are less likely to provide you with their undivided attention because other clients will be listing, touring, selling, and buying homes, too.
Buyer demand this spring may be more muted than in the past few years. Mortgage rates remain high, inflation has shaken consumer confidence, and the threat of a recession could cause some buyers to wait to buy a home – reducing the springtime leverage to which many sellers are accustomed.
Summertime home selling is convenient but brings casual buyers
Summertime living is easy, and in some ways, listing a home on the market in the summer is easy, too.
In the summer, long days and more daylight extend the amount of time for home showings. Warm weather means your home is also more likely to show well.
Plus, more buyers are likely to arrive at open houses. School is out, vacations are underway, and buyers have time to conduct a proper house hunt.
Listing a home this summer won't be without its challenges. As with the spring, the summer real estate market is saturated with competition. If buyer demand in summer 2023 is lower than past years, it may be hard for your home to stand out.
If you have children, home showings in the summer can be inconvenient because you’ll need to arrange for child care.
Remember, summertime attracts less serious buyers who may tour homes on a whim. Having a good real estate agent can help you weed out buyers who want to window shop from buyers who are serious about purchasing a home.
Autumn is a beautiful time to sell, but it can be challenging to find a new home
Fall 2023 feels far away, but it may be the best time to put your home on the market. In autumn, homes often look their best. Beautiful foliage, cool weather, and a comforting atmosphere can boost a home's curb appeal.
Listing in autumn comes with other benefits. Buyers tend to be more serious and eager to close on a home before the holidays. By fall 2023, mortgage rates and inflation may have dropped, which could bring potential buyers into the market.
Still, selling a home in the fall can be challenging. There is less buyer demand because school is back in session and many families are settled for the coming year. With lower demand, sellers may have to reduce their listing price and give up hope of a bidding war.
Selling a home often means having to buy a home, too. If you sell in the fall, you'll have fewer choices because housing inventory likely won’t rise again until the spring.
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Sell Your Home at a Time That Matches Your Goals
Selling a home at any point during 2023 will come with opportunities and challenges. The spring and summer are popular times, and most sellers will decide that the warm-weather months are the best time to list their home.
However, make sure your home-selling strategy reflects your goals, property, local market, and real estate agent’s advice. 2023 could be the year in which you withstand a challenging market and sell your home at a competitive price.