Looking to Sell Your Home? Why May Could Be the Best Time to List

by Maurie Backman | Updated July 19, 2021 - First published on May 6, 2021

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A mature couple discusses paperwork with a businesswoman in a home.

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Data shows there are benefits to listing a home in May.

Ask anyone who's in the market for a home today, and you hear the same thing -- there's just not enough inventory to go around. If you're a seller, that gives you a solid upper hand. The absence of competition means you're more likely to command a higher price than usual for your home, and have an easier time finding a buyer.

If you've considered selling your home but have yet to move forward, you may want to get going sooner rather than later. That's because on top of those favorable market conditions, May is a prime time to sell a home in general.

It pays to list in May

Generally speaking, spring is a good time to sell a home. But homes that sell in May tend to command a premium of 13.4% above estimated market value, according to ATTOM Data Solutions. By contrast, homes that sell in June tend to command a premium of 11.7% -- still impressive, but not as high as May's numbers. The smallest premiums tend to come in October and December, when sellers get an estimated 5.8% above their homes' market value.

If you're deciding whether to list your home, also remember that if you sell, you then need someplace to move. And remember that tight housing market we talked about? It means that you may have difficulty finding a home to replace the one you're unloading.

That said, if you're planning to sell your home and rent a place instead, now's a good time to put your property on the market. Similarly, if you want to downsize, you may have a prime opportunity to sell your home at a nice premium and take out a minimal mortgage on your next home (or, if you make enough money on the sale, perhaps avoid a home loan altogether).

Should you list your home solo?

The housing market is working in sellers' favor right now, so if you're going to sell, you may toy with listing your home on your own without a real estate agent. The upside there is simple -- you avoid paying a real estate agent a commission that eats into your profits. However, the downside is losing out on an agent's expertise. That expertise could help you better market your home -- and command a higher price for it.

Though an influx of inventory typically hits the housing market in spring, so far, that hasn't happened in 2021. But as things improve on the pandemic front, more sellers may get on board with listing their homes. If you're interested in selling, you may want to get out ahead of the competition -- and perhaps capitalize on the fact that May sellers tend to walk away with more money.

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