Owning a home

When is really the best time to sell your home?

3 min read

The traditional thought is that summer is the best time to sell your home and that winter is the worst, but is that right?

Sales actually fluctuate less from season to season than most people think. Of course you have to forget the months of December and January when there is very little activity by buyers or sellers because of Christmas and summer holidays. According to analysis by the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand, June to September (winter) show the lowest number of actual sales, but even then they are only down a maximum of 5% below the average.

February to April (summer) is the most active period, with sales up to 17% higher than the average. With supply and demand being the key considerations, what happens during the year in terms of homes coming on to the market and buyer viewing activity? The numbers of would-be buyers viewing properties online varies very little from month to month.

But new listings vary dramatically. During summer, number of listings increase to 25% higher than average whilst buyer viewers increase only about 7%. So the competition for buyers is intense and they have a great choice of homes for sale. That can make it tough for sellers.

On the other hand, new listings typically drop about 15% below average during the winter months, but buyer numbers fall only very slightly. This can offer a comparative advantage for sellers and shouldn’t be overlooked. It’s not just about selling your home of course; it’s about selling it at the very best price. Homes offered for sale during the sunnier months look their very best and often don’t betray their many shortcomings.

Arguably more buyers might fall in love with them and offer higher prices during the summer because of that. The decision about when is the best time to sell is a tricky one.

Certainly you shouldn’t rule out winter, especially if you have a home that presents well all the year round. But if you have a home, gardens and pool area that transform themselves beautifully during the summer it will likely reward you to sell then.

This article is intended as a general discussion only. BNZ recommends the recipient get independent advice. The views expressed are the writer’s own and do not necessarily represent those of BNZ or its related entities.