Survey Says ‘The Sweet Spot’ to Sell a Home will be April 16-22
Real Estate In-Depth | March 15, 2023
SANTA CLARA, CA—While any astute real estate professional will tell you it’s nearly impossible to time the real estate market, there is one week that is most likely to get home sellers the best possible outcome, according to Realtor.com. Nationally, homeowners who list the week of April 16-22, 2023 will hit the sweet spot in terms of the best combination of higher prices, fewer homes to compete against, faster sales time and strong buyer demand.
A survey released on March 15 from Realtor.com and HarrisX found that 60% of home sellers took up to three months to get their home ready to list, so for homeowners who have been making preparations, listing during that crucial April week could get $48,000 more for their home than they would have at the start of the year.
“Many home shoppers kick off their search in the early spring and they often beat the majority of home sellers to the punch,” said Realtor.com Chief Economist Danielle Hale. “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.”
Why is April 16-22 the Best Time to Sell?
While mortgage rates are expected to remain elevated through 2023, for-sale inventory is still well below pre-pandemic levels, so sellers can still expect well-priced homes to be in high demand. Those looking to take advantage of seasonal market trends should consider getting ready to list April 16-22, which is anticipated to have the best mix of market conditions for sellers, including:
Higher prices—Homes listed during this week have historically had prices 2.1% higher than the average week throughout the year, and are typically 12.1% higher than the start of the year. If 2023 follows the typical seasonal trend, the national median listing price could reach $8,400 higher than the average week, and $48,000 more than the start of the year.
Strong buyer demand—The more buyers looking at a home, the better, as the home is likely to get more offers and sell quickly. Historically, this week garnered 16.4% more views per listing than the typical week, but in 2022 this week got 32.5% more views per listing than the average week, as buyer demand dropped in the latter part of the year.
Fast-selling homes—Thanks to above-average demand, homes tend to sell more quickly during this week. Historically, homes actively for sale during this week sold 18.0% faster than the average week. In the fast-moving 2022 market, this week saw homes typically on the market for 32 days, 13 days faster than the year’s average, and 37 days faster than was typical in 2019. The 2023 market is not expected to move as quickly as in 2022, but the best week is still expected to see faster sales than the year’s typical pace.
Less competition from other sellers—Typically, there would be 9.3% fewer sellers on the market during this week compared to the average week throughout the year. Last year saw significant inventory gains as buyer demand cooled, but sellers responded by pulling back on listings by the end of the year. Active inventory was 65.5% higher at the start of 2023 versus 2022, but still 43.2% lower than pre-pandemic levels. This gap means there continues to be opportunities for sellers who enter the market this spring.
Tips on Prepping a Home for Sale
According to Realtor.com’s survey, it took most recent sellers (80%) between two weeks and six months to prepare their home for sale, with the sweet spot being between one-to-three-months (32%). For most (56%) it took more time than expected to list their home, while 23% said it was faster than expected and 22% said it took about as long as they expected. For those considering a home sale this year, it’s best to start preparing now in case it takes longer than anticipated.
For the best chance at a quick sale and high price, homeowners should make sure that their home looks its best, has been well cared for and is up-to-date with routine maintenance. To get ready to list, about a third of recent sellers (35%) made repairs/updates to the home, did some cleaning and decluttering (33%) and found an agent to help them (31%). In order to best market their home, owners and their agents had listing photos taken (34%); created marketing materials such as flyers (27%); created a 3D/virtual tour (20%) and staged the home (11%).
Making minor repairs can go a long way during a showing. Potentially, a buyer who sees leaky faucets and closet doors that don’t close might become concerned about larger potential problems with the home. The most common repairs made by survey respondents were:
• Minor cosmetic updates such as replacing light fixtures or faucets (16%)
• Carpet/floor replacement or refinishing (14%)
• Landscaping such as mulch, vegetation, etc. (13%)
• Full painting of exterior (12%)
• Touch-up paint (12%)
• Full painting of interior (12%)
• Replacing appliances such as kitchen or laundry (11%)
• Replacing the roof (9%)
• Replacing major systems such as HVAC, hot water (8%)
• Caulking (6%)
• Replacing grout (6%)
“In today’s market, it’s really important to price your home well and make sure that it looks its best in order to get top dollar and find a buyer quickly,” said Hannah Jones, economic research analyst Realtor.com. “There are still buyers in the market, but due to high prices and interest rates, they’re being a bit more picky than they were the past several years.”
The survey was conducted online from Feb. 3-10, 2023, among 2,286 adults in the U.S. by HarrisX. The sampling margin of error of this poll is +/- 2.1 percentage points and larger for subgroups. The results reflect a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults. Results were weighted for age by gender, region, race/ethnicity, and income where necessary to align them with their actual proportions in the population.