When is the best time to sell a home in Chicago? Should you list in the spring when the rush happens or in the slower months of fall and winter? Should you avoid the holidays?
When should you sell your house in Chicago?
There are a lot of circumstances to consider when deciding when to sell your home in Chicago. The number one reason should always focus on your need: why are you selling and when do you need to sell by?
If you have a job offer in New York in September that would like you to start in November, it doesn’t make sense to wait until the busy spring market to sell your home. If you’re thinking of moving and upgrading to a nicer place, perhaps you want to find that new home first and THEN put your home on the market. This is dependent on what your particular niche market is doing at the time, but you may not want to list until you find a home.
If you’re thinking of listing your place in October and are flexible on buying a new place or renting, then it may make sense to wait until the spring market. Answering this first question of ‘why are you selling your home’ will give you a start on when you should sell your home.
Another point to consider is if you’re comfortable with carrying two housing payments for a time. If you buy or rent a new place before your house sells, are you able to cover both payments for awhile? If not, you may need to wait to buy a place or have a home sale contingency in your contract.
The reason for the season
If you are purely looking to maximize the number of buyers interested in your home and therefore the final sale price, there is without a doubt no question that you should list in the early spring to late spring months. February through April seems to be the sweet spot although a month before or after will still yield a large number of eyes on your property.
The reason the spring market is so heavy with buyers is due to a number of factors. First, no one wants to move in the bitter cold months of winter unless they have to. They also are generally busy with holidays and vacations and buying a home is not on their priority list.
Secondly, many buyers would like to be in a home before summer when they want to enjoy the city, go on vacations, or prepare before the next school year.
Lastly, many leases tend to end in the months between April and July due to landlords and management companies either offering the most places for rent then (mainly due to college graduates moving in those times) or structuring leases to end during those months from the off seasons (such as offering only 16 month lease options in October).
Summer is still a great time to sell however. Plenty of buyers do not find what they’re looking for in the spring or get out-bid on places and will still be looking. Additionally, there is less competition in the summer, so if you’re looking to sell your home in the summer, you will still have buyers coming through. Many times they, again, will want to be in a place before the school year starts, if they’re families with children.
After Labor Day we see another uptick in the market. Many people are back from summer vacations, settling in for the school year, or they have leases that are ending before the cold winter months. Fall is second best next to spring to list your home. It’s a tighter window, generally Labor Day to Thanksgiving, but it will still allow plenty of time to successfully market your home and find a qualified buyer.
The holidays are generally the least attractive time to list your home in Chicago. Around Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Festivus, and New Years’ Eve, people are spending time with friends and family, going to work holiday parties, shopping, etc. and not looking to move. That being said, it can still be a viable option due to the number of people that take their homes off the market – meaning less competition for you. While it may not be best to list your home on say, Christmas Day, you may not want to take it off just because it’s the holiday season.
The bottom line is that the best time to sell a home in Chicago is when it’s most convenient for your needs. If you’re in a situation where you must move, then a combination of listing quickly, pricing accordingly, and marketing it well will ultimately give you the success you’re seeking. If you’re flexible, then perhaps you’ll want to wait until the spring to list.
If you’d like more information, my team and I are always available for a listing consultation. Please call/text me at 847.373.8114 or email at email@example.com.