Market timing can make a significant difference when selling or buying a home. Ultimately, when selling you want that moment in time when there are plenty of interested buyers, but not too much inventory.  When buying you hope to get in before rates start to climb again, you want to avoid competing offers… then you want everyone to compete and drive up the price of the next one! Much like the stock market, however, it can be difficult to impossible to find the perfect timing.

Reality is, ideal moments in the market can happen in December, as well as in May. In general, it is my opinion that when you are ready to sell your home, or when you have all your ducks in a row to buy a home, THAT is the right timing. Nonetheless, when we scan the data there is one time during the year when the market tensions have a tendency to align and your chances of finding an ideal market landscape are greatest.

There will be no surprise that the most ideal selling window falls within the Spring housing market. HOWEVER, it is not the entire Spring Market and it is often a surprise to learn just how small that ideal window can be each year. Depending on weather patterns, the spring market can trickle to a start sometime in March, and can reach into early June. When you break down the data further though you can see a narrow window of ideal opportunity that typically lands amid the same stretch of time each year. That ideal window falls between mid April, and about mid May, and is defined (by me) by higher buyer activity combined with a spring inventory season that hasn’t gotten all the way to its peak just yet.

There are years where the market adds some runway on the front or back end of this time-frame, but it rarely deviates from this main tendency. For instance, in 2018 you can see that while the general window held true, listing as early as February played out pretty well for folks. You can hope for an extra bit of runway, or try to target the consistent window of opportunity. Hitting this time-frame spot on is not a guarantee of success, but it should increase the odds. 

I fully appreciate that it’s not always possible to orchestrate the perfect move and pinpoint just the right time to sell or buy your home. However, for those who are interested in trying, and able to take the time to prepare their home and wait with their finger on the “go” button, knowing what that ideal window might be can make a big difference. Yes, this is all perfect world stuff. Thankfully, there are plans and standards of practice out there that will help you put your best foot forward any time of year. So, whenever you need to, and are ready to, buy or sell I don’t recommend getting too emotionally tied up in timing the market. I would spend much more time considering your preparedness, and your considering Realtor® partner for the journey. 


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