If you arrived here after googling this question you likely are a bit confused.  From a simple question, I got several answers to, “When Is The Worst Time To Sell Your Home?”  Conventional wisdom had always suggested Winter.    In reading some of the quotes below it’s worth noting that some markets such as Minneapolis or say Marco Island in Florida are extremely seasonal, while southern states like Georgia or parts of California, the school cycle affects sells of homes more strongly.  When we looked at this it wasn’t just the reverse of when is the best time to sell your home?

“There may not be A best time to sell your home but it’s likely not May.”Huffington Post
“homes listed between May 1 and May 15 sold an average of 18.5 days faster than homes not listed in that span, plus they sold for 1% more than average, translating to a value-add of roughly $1,700 on a $170,000 home.”Zillow
  No comment on the worst time to sell your home.

” homes listed between December 21 and March 21 sold one week faster and for slightly more on average than any other season”Redfin
 No comment on the worst time to sell your home.

When I looked at this as a real estate agent, there was a clear spot at the end of February for Atlanta real estate as the best time to sell a home, but again no “worst time.”  However, I had to get on the ground and ask agents, HONEST agents what the real scoop was.   One agent, Stan Jones in Atlanta, wrote an excellent piece on his blog.   Not only did he debunk the worst time to sell a home but he also covered why these supposed experts information is flawed.

Why Real Estate News Is Flawed

  1. It’s not local.  You can’t compare Davenport FL, to Ann Arbor, MI
  2. It doesn’t account for the lagging timeline.   This is huge!  The time it takes for a home to be “under contract” then close
  3. It’s not accurate and unbiased.  Many of these companies don’t have access to all the sales data.  They use tax records which can be 6 months old and highly inaccurate.  I know you might want to debate me on this one, but let’s think this through.  Government record keeping… end of story.   I know this first hand because our tax record is incorrect.  In fact, that’s how we are able to spot junk mail from a mile away.

So, when is the worst time to sell your home?

worst time to sell your home

If you look at this data and realize it’s just sales, there’s no other dynamics applied to it, then you can see that the worst months are November and January.  If you back that data up 45 days or so, which is our average time it takes to close a home, you can see the worst time to list is October/November and September.  So really FALL is the worst time to list, not Winter.  See Stan’s blog post about Winter home selling. Stan Jones, Duluth Real Estate Agent

According to Michael Goodman, a Realtor in Tampa, “the worst time to sell your home is during the holidays.  People are so distracted that they can’t focus on looking at your home.”

In Conclusion, When Is The Worst Time To Sell Your Home?

This debate may never end because there are so many factors to consider.  Locality is one big one, but also a style of homes is important.  Homes, where schools are not a big emphasis, have less seasonality relative to schools.  Likewise, luxury real estate has a different seasonality, as do retirement communities.