Finding the Best Time for Selling Your House in Washington

How do you know when the time is best to sell your home in Washington? It is a big decision to make, so don’t take it lightly.

If you rush into the sale, you might regret it later. But if you hesitate for too long, your lack of initiative could end up costing you big-time. If you’re undecided about when the best time would be to sell your house with an agent, there are a few things you should consider about the Washington housing market trends — including the signs that it’s time to move. 

By understanding Washington real estate market trends and when a house is ready to list, you can decide with confidence on the best time to begin a home sale.

What’s the Best Time of Year to Sell a House in Washington?

The “best” time and “worst” time will always be subjective to a point, but you can look at local data around the Washington housing market to see when would be the best time to sell a house high and fast with an agent.

Best Time in Washington

According to Redfin Data, May is the best month to sell a house on the market with a real estate agent in Washington. The typical sale price premium (the difference between the median sale price and annual average median sale price) is $18,917. The local data also shows that home sales in May sold 12 days faster than average.

Know that this information isn’t the same from city to city, and zooming in on the annual data of your local area may provide better insight as to when you’re best off aiming for a home sale in Washington.

Best Time by City

While May is the best month on average state-wide, other months may yield better results when you sell a house with an agent. One thing to note is that, though the months may vary, we can see in the data that seasonally, the summer is the best month to sell your house with an agent in Washington.

In Seattle, the best month is still May. However, for Tacoma, Olympia, and Bellevue, the data shows that the best month is June. In Vancouver, data shows that the best month is a bit later, in August.

Washington Housing Market Trends: What to Know

Nationally, annual pending sales typically spike in May, but there is also much more competition fighting for interested buyers because there is more inventory. Focusing on regional, state, and even local real estate market trends is a better way to understand the best time to sell a home.

Learning more about the competition you’ll face, the seasonal changes, sale-to-list ratios, median prices, and average days on the market can help you time your entry right so you can get the most as home sellers.

Competition

If you relied only on information about when the most real estate sales happen to determine the best time to sell a house on the market with an agent, you’d probably be calling a selling agent in April. That way, you could get your place ready and listed by May. But relying on the most popular month alone to sell a house with an agent isn’t the best strategy. 

Indeed, it can put you at a disadvantage. With more available listings and sales, there is also much more competition.

While deciding to sell a house during the annual low in December isn’t the best move either, it might not be the worst time. It’s essential to consider what the other competition in your area will mean for the best chances of selling your home, which means it might not be the worst time for everyone.

Seasonal Considerations

There are some things and real estate data points to keep in mind seasonally as you gauge the best time to sell your house.

  • Winter: This is the slowest time for the housing market, but it may also present the opportunity to sell your house to off-season buyers who typically are more serious and qualified than when the competition is high. Ask an agent about winter sales records in your area.
  • Spring: Home buying demand peaks during this season but so does the supply as more sellers hit the market, so the competition gets very high.
  • Summer: Competition for both buyers and home sellers is high, but families are usually more motivated at this time because they hope to get settled before school starts.
  • Fall: The activity of buying and selling a home with agents will start to slow down as sellers begin to settle down.

Washington Median Sale Price

The median sale price can help you figure out how much home sales usually go for in Washington at their annual highs and lows. 

In 2019, for example, the month in Washington that had the highest median sale price was May, with no surprise there. That median price is $461,000 at a premium of $18,917 over the annual average.

Month to month, median sale prices in Washington steadily increase from January to May and taper through September until October, when they increase a bit and stay generally stable through the end of the year.

Sale-to-List Ratio in Washington

The sale-to-list ratio is another one of the most critical market conditions to consider when figuring out the best time to sell your home with an agent. 

The data describes the percentage of the listing price that the seller can expect to get through the home sale. If it’s 100%, that would mean the full listing price. 

The month in Washington with the best Sale-to-List ratio is May at 100.4%, which is a bit higher than the average annual ratio for Washington, which is 99.73%.

This real estate data point helps you understand the demand among buyers, what market conditions are like (buyers’ vs. sellers’ market), and how much leverage you have in negotiations.

Expected Days on Market

Finally, you’ll want to know the expected days on the market. In Washington, May has the fastest home sale rate, with just a 12-day average, 12 days faster than the annual average.

When Should You Sell Your Washington Home?

Once you understand the housing market trends in Washington and your local city, take inventory of your current situation. These tell-tale signs indicate now is the best time to sell your house with an agent:

When the Size Is Not Right

If your house feels too big—perhaps it was once your family home, and now you’re empty nesters—it can be hard to maintain. Downsizing to a smaller house can save on property taxes and reduce time and money on upkeep.

On the other hand, if the house is too small—maybe you’ve got a toddler with another on the way—you might need more space. Many young families will sell a home when they have a child on the way.

Know there are ways of selling a home without a real estate agent who charges high commission rates. You can sell directly to Kind House Buyers, get cash for your house, and sell it quickly without much effort or cost. 

When There’s Great Money in Selling

There are times and places in the real estate market where there is tremendous money to be made. If your neighbors are selling their place for high profits, there may be a lot of potential money in selling your home. 

Even if you weren’t planning on selling a home at the moment, sometimes the financial benefits are too good to pass up, making it the best time to sell.

When You Need a Better Neighborhood

Neighborhoods and cities change, and the neighborhood you first moved into may not be the same after all these years. If you want real estate with quieter neighborhoods, less foot traffic, better schools, or fewer parking challenges, a change of scenery might be what you need.

When It’s Too Expensive or Too Much Work

Sometimes, good people fall on the worst times. If you struggle to make your mortgage payments or keep up with maintenance and repairs, it may be time to consider selling your home. 

A real estate agent can set you up with a property that has a more accessible price point or has more modern amenities. With Kind House Buyers, you can also sell your house for cash and forego the costs of commission and upgrading the property.

Conclusion

Sometimes, you need to move or sell your home regardless of the timing of the Washington housing market. Other times, it can pay off to follow trends and wait for the best moment in the Washington real estate market to sell your home and make great money. Wondering if now is the best time to start selling your home? Contact a local professional at Kind House Buyers for further data and advice.

Keith Sant

Keith is a blogger, entrepreneur, and real estate investor who truly enjoys helping others. He grew up in Washington where he graduated from UW with degrees in Marketing and economics. Besides flipping houses, Keith enjoys snacks, cycling, and hiking the Pacific Northwest with his fiancee Amanda and their boxer Tuna.

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