Why It Makes Sense To Sell a Home Before the Summer Rush

Thinking about selling your house in 2024? While many home sellers wait until summer to put their property on the market, there are some distinct advantages to getting ahead of the curve this year and listing sooner rather than later.

Generally, the cold weather season causes home sales to be sluggish, but this winter is a bit different. High interest rates kept much of America’s real estate market in a deep freeze for most of 2023. But now that rates have subsided a bit in the new year, there is a whole lot of pent-up demand (and supply) that could burst onto the market at any moment. Some of it is out there already.

When selling a home, timing can make a difference: Home prices rise and fall, similar to stocks. Head to market at the peak moment, and you can stack the deck in your favor and reap higher profits and better terms.

Mortgage Rates Are Falling

One of the main reasons home sellers were reluctant to sell in 2023 had to do with mortgage interest rates. In late October, rates for a 30-year fixed mortgage reached a 23-year high of 7.79%. This created a “lock-in” effect: Homeowners felt stuck in their houses since, if those properties sold—and they had to buy a new house—they would have to get a new mortgage at a much higher rate.

Indeed, Realtor.com reported that around two-thirds of homeowners had mortgages with an interest rate below 4%. More than 90% had a rate lower than 6%. Yet mortgage rates have recently begun to fall. The Realtor.com 2024 housing forecast anticipates that mortgage rates will continue to decline and settle in the mid-6% range by the end of the year.

This, in turn, means home sellers won’t lose out as much by trading in their current mortgage for a new one.

More Buyers May Soon Enter The Market

In recent months, high mortgage rates, rising home prices, and inflation have priced many buyers out of the market. But now, with mortgage rates finally dipping, experts predict some of those buyers will come out of hibernation, unleashing their pent-up demand on the few sellers smart enough to be on the market.

With more buyers will likely come more homes on the market, which will inevitably lead to increased competition among sellers. If sellers list now, they might be able to enjoy less competition before other sellers crowd the market.

Home Sellers Won’t Have To Work As Hard

Seasonally, experts say the first months of the year can be a great time to sell. Many people find themselves with extra cash from work bonuses and tax refunds. This could lead to more (and higher) bids.

Homeowners who list in the winter months typically won’t get as many offers as those who list in the summer as there aren’t as many people house hunting. Still, he says that those few offers in the cold season could be more meaningful, as sellers might not have to work so hard to get them.

Sellers Who Also Plan To Buy Can Beat The Crowds

Another advantage of selling now is that homeowners can both get a good price on their home and move into their next place before the market starts heating up.

The best time to move is when there isn’t too much buyer competition. Sellers who get out of their homes now can still enter the market as a buyer before the prices get spring- and summer-crazy.

Personal Reasons To Sell Often Trump Market Uncertainty

While timing the market when listing a property can work to a seller’s advantage, homeowners should not be dissuaded from listing if they need to move, whether for a job, change in family size, retirement, or any other reason.

Sometimes sellers need to remind themselves why they wanted to move in the first place. If there’s a change in their life, or they need different things out of a home, there are always options to help make a move possible.

Courtesy of Realtor.com