When Is The “Right” Time to Buy or Sell?

April 15, 2016 | Buying a Home | By: Allison

By Allison Goodhart DuShuttle, Lead Agent, The Goodhart Group

Ask Allison:  There are a lot of thoughts about when the “right” or “wrong” time to buy or sell a home might be. The general consensus tends to be that the right time is “The Spring.” Why? What does “The Spring” actually mean? Finally, is that always true? I’ll break it down for you.

First, let’s tackle timing. Spring means different things to different people. To some, spring means when you no longer have to wear a coat or it’s nice enough to enjoy a glass or sauvignon blanc or a cold beer while you {finally} break out the grill. To others, it’s simply by the calendar, this year March 20th – June 19th. In the world of real estate, Spring means when the spring market officially kicks off – when sales pick up steam. This timing shifts every single year and is very difficult to predict. It can start in January, or it can start in April. For example, in February the market was on fire and March has proven to be a moderate month for sales. While we anticipate a busy April and May to round out the spring market with a slowdown as the election heats up this summer and fall, you just never know.

So, WHY is it the prevailing consensus that Spring is the right time to both buy and sell? Well, there are a couple of reasons.


If you only look at overall numbers, it’s easy to interpret. More homes traditionally sell in the second quarter of the year (April, May, June) than in any other quarter. Because of this data, sellers like to wait until Spring because they know this is when more buyers are in the market. Buyers wait until Spring because that’s when sellers put their homes on the market. Supply is high and demand is high. Economics 101.


In our area, Spring is when many people come out of their winter hibernation. It’s sunny, we lose the heavy coats, it’s light out longer in the evening. All of these things make it easier to be out and about looking at homes. They also make us actually feel happier and thus, homes seem more appealing. The spring flowers also start to bloom, making the homes look cheerier. It’s easy to see why homes easily sell in these conditions.

It may seem obvious that Spring is the time to buy or sell; and for many people, it is! But it might not always be right for you depending on your situation.


Spring can be a very competitive time to purchase, so if you are a first-time buyer looking to get into the market or looking in a very competitive area, you might end up paying more for a property than you are comfortable or needing to remove some contingencies in order to get the house you want. In a slower time of year, there are still great properties on the market for those sellers that really need to move and can’t wait for the “perfect time,” creating a buyers market and giving you a way to win.


If your home is in fantastic condition and priced well, it will sell quickly in the spring market. But, if your home needs some work or is overpriced, many buyers know they can wait and another great property will come on the market and choose to pass on your home. In slower months, there are always buyers relocating, having more children, getting married, and rightsizing or downsizing. Those buyers are more motivated and don’t have the luxury of time, so might be willing to compromise on condition or location. But no matter the time of year, price always matters!


Want to chat about if now is the right time for YOU? Contact us at your convenience and we would be happy to help.