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A recent report from the research team Realtor.com showed that mid to late April is the best time to sell a home in the San Francisco Bay Area and nationwide. Specifically, the company’s data revealed that the week of April 16 – 22 is the best time to sell a home, and for various reasons.
Home sellers in the Bay Area who list their houses by mid April could get top dollar when selling, due to an increase in demand from buyers. So, if you’ve been thinking about putting your home on the market but have hesitated up to this point, you might want to consider doing it within the next few weeks.
Best Time to Sell a Home in the Bay Area
Historically speaking, the real estate market goes through certain cycles and patterns. One of those patterns has to do with the seasons.
In early spring, for example, many home buyers enter the Bay Area real estate market in search of a property to buy. But the winter months can be slower. Buyers often “hibernate” through the winter by putting their purchase plans on hold until the weather warms up. And when spring has sprung, they often come out in droves.
Because of these patterns, Bay Area sellers who list their homes just before or during early spring could enjoy maximum exposure for their listings. They might also achieve a higher sale price, compared to if they sold during the slower times of the year.
According to Danielle Hale, the chief economist for Realtor.com:
“Many home shoppers kick off their search in the early spring and they often beat the majority of home sellers to the punch. For this reason, sellers who list on the earlier side will get more buyer attention and therefore be more likely to sell quickly and for a higher price.”
Benefits of Selling a House in Early Spring
Realtor.com’s researchers identified these trends by analyzing real estate listing and sale data going back several years.They also explained some of the reasons why it makes sense for sellers in California and nationwide to list their homes in early spring.
Here are some of the benefits outlined in the report:
1. Higher sale prices
Sellers who list their homes in early spring can often hit the “sweet spot” in terms of sale prices. Homes listed during the week of April 16 – 22 had sale prices that were 2.1% higher (on average) than the rest of the year. Sale prices during that week were 12% higher than the beginning of the year, when the real estate market is typically much slower.
2. More demand
As mentioned above, a lot of house hunters postpone their home searches during the winter months, and re-enter the real estate market in early spring. That’s why we typically see more demand during early spring, compared to other times of the year. And the more buyers there are looking for homes, the easier it is to sell one.
3. Quicker home sales
More demand also translates into faster home sales. As the report stated: “Historically, homes actively for sale during this week sold 18.0% faster than the average week.” That’s good news for Bay Area sellers who get their homes listed within the next few weeks.
Anyone who has sold a home in the past knows that it can be a hassle — preparing the home, keeping it clean and tidy, clearing out every time a buyer visits, etc. The sooner you can sell, the better. So it makes sense to do it when demand is at its peak.
A Different Real Estate Market in 2023
Historical trends and patterns can give us some idea of what to expect during the spring home buying “season.” But we also have to acknowledge that the real estate market is in a unique transitional stage right now. This makes it harder to predict exactly what the market will do in the spring, or into the summer months.
For one thing, the market has cooled down a bit since the frenzied days of 2021 and early 2022. Higher home prices and mortgage rates, combined with general inflation, have reduced demand among buyers. Additionally, inventory levels have increased across the Bay Area, compared to the rock-bottom levels we saw toward the end of 2021.
So it’s currently not really a seller’s market — or a buyer’s market. We are somewhere in between right now, and in some ways it’s uncharted territory. During spring 2023, there will probably be more negotiating back and forth between buyers and sellers, compared to the previous two years. And that’s probably a good thing.