Zillow Says This Is The Best Time To List Your Home

Nationwide, a Thursday during the second half of April is the best time to list a home for sale, according to a new Zillow® analysis of millions of 2021 home sales. Homes listed during those weeks can expect to fetch 2.8% more, or about $9,300 on the typical U.S. home. And homes listed on any Thursday, when shoppers are planning for weekend showings, can sell for about $1,100 more.

The pandemic-era housing market barely resembles the one from two years ago, with sky-high demand and record-low inventory driving intense competition for homes. Homes are selling fast year-round, with a difference of only a few days between the fastest and slowest periods. But one thing that’s remained constant: Listing a home for sale in the spring will yield the best results.

The potential price benefit from listing at the right time has grown as home values have increased. Listing during the best or worst times of the year can impact a sale price by as much as $21,000, compared to a difference of only $12,500 before the pandemic.

“With inventory as low as it is, home sellers can expect a quick sale pretty much year-round,” said Zillow economist Nicole Bachaud. “Even as frantic buyers are snapping up homes days after they hit the market and often bidding them up above list price, there is still value to be had by listing a home during the right time of year, which is in the spring in most cases. This is a friendly market for sellers, but those who are simultaneously buying need a firm grasp on the right tools and strategies to win their next home.”

Of course, all real estate is local, and the advice differs across major U.S. markets. If 2021 trends hold true this year, among the 35 largest metro areas, San Francisco, San Jose, Portland and Austin would have seen the best time to list a home to be as early as the second half of February. Los Angeles, where winter weather does not deter buyers, has the latest ideal time to list; those who listed their home in late December last year saw the biggest price benefit, just edging out late March. Los Angeles metro inventory was 20% lower in December than March, likely contributing to increased demand for each home.

Still, those markets are outliers. In most large markets, listing in April or May is the sweet spot. Nationwide, the worst time to list a home is during the first two weeks of November, when homes sell for a 3.5% discount.

Regardless of when they are listed, homes are selling quickly. The difference between the periods with the fastest sales (late January through April) and slowest sales (August) was only three days last year, compared to a difference of 12 days in 2019.

Most home sellers become buyers as well, as they look for their next home. As the best season to list a home approaches, buyers should be prepared for a competitive and fast-moving market. Home listings in April get more than 30% more page views per day than average, meaning more interest and potentially a bidding war that ends in the home selling above list price.

Buyers should sort out their finances early: deciding their budget, finding a lender and getting pre-approved for a loan, all of which can be done on Zillow’s home loans page. Features like SharePlay and Zillow’s Homes to Compare tool help compare homes quickly with a shopping partner or team. According to customer research, 86% of Zillow users report shopping with a partner, spouse or housemate, and most successful buyers (81%) say they had to make at least one compromise in order to afford their home. The ability to compare more than 70 key listing details on one screen with Zillow’s Homes to Compare tool elevates shoppers’ ability to consider tradeoffs and what they and their shopping partners truly want and need in a new home. And whether buying or selling, a real estate agent with the right skills and experience can help expertly navigate the process. Zillow’s agent finder can help identify a top-rated local agent.

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Metro Area* Best Time to List Potential
Sale Price Difference on Typical Home
Worst Time to List Potential
Sale Price Difference on Typical Home
Best Time to List Potential Difference in Daily Page Views Worst Time to List Potential Difference in Daily Page Views
United States Late April $9,300 Early November -$11,700 Early April 31.1% Late November -20.1%
New York, NY Late April $8,800 Late September -$8,200 Early March 25.1% Early September -19.1%
Los Angeles, CA Late December $25,000 Early August -$17,900 Early April 20.4% Early October -11.4%
Chicago, IL Late April $7,600 Early November -$11,100 Early April 40.1% Late October -15.7%
Dallas–Fort Worth, TX Late April $12,400 Early November -$17,000 Early January 30.2% Late November -18.7%
Philadelphia, PA Early May $6,900 Late September -$8,400 Early April 35.4% Late November -20.3%
Houston, TX Late April $8,600 Late October -$9,000 Early April 25.7% Late October -18.5%
Washington, D.C. Late March $15,300 Early October -$20,100 Late March 46.7% Late September -22.0%
Miami–Fort Lauderdale, FL Early May $12,800 Late October -$17,700 Late April 33.8% Early January -17.8%
Atlanta, GA Early May $9,100 Early December -$15,000 Late March 29.5% Late November -20.0%
Boston, MA Late March $13,100 Early December -$36,300 Late March 50.6% Late October -19.0%
San Francisco, CA Late February $106,400 Late October -$93,200 Late February 50.7% Early October -23.8%
Detroit, MI Late April $9,700 Late October -$10,900 Late April 54.9% Late November -22.8%
Riverside, CA Late March $20,000 Late October -$20,100 Early March 50.7% Late October -28.5%
Phoenix, AZ Early May $13,600 Early November -$15,400 Late February 43.2% Late November -26.5%
Seattle, WA Late March $42,000 Early October -$52,700 Late February 52.5% Late September -20.1%
Minneapolis–St. Paul, MN Early April $14,500 Late November -$20,600 Early March 42.7% Late September -20.1%
San Diego, CA Late March $43,000 Late October -$29,700 Late February 41.3% Late August -21.4%
St. Louis, MO Early May $7,200 Late November -$7,000 Early May 34.6% Late November -17.2%
Tampa, FL Late April $9,200 Early January -$11,200 Early April 43.6% Early September -20.1%
Baltimore, MD Late March $9,700 Early October -$12,700 Late March 60.2% Late November -23.5%
Denver, CO Early March $30,200 Late October -$36,700 Early January 66.6% Early August -20.9%
Pittsburgh, PA Early March $6,100 Late October -$7,000 Late April 52.2% Late November -22.7%
Portland, OR Late February $19,700 Early October -$25,000 Late February 51.0% Early October -25.7%
Charlotte, NC Early May $11,400 Early December -$14,200 Late April 28.2% Late November -15.9%
Sacramento, CA Early April $26,300 Late October -$24,600 Late February 89.3% Early October -29.9%
San Antonio, TX Early May $9,000 Late December -$11,800 Early April 29.9% Late November -23.7%
Orlando, FL Late April $9,600 Late December -$12,200 Late April 39.0% Early January -25.1%
Cincinnati, OH Early May $8,100 Early November -$10,900 Late April 49.0% Late November -25.6%
Cleveland, OH Early March $7,200 Late December -$9,400 Late April 50.5% Early January -21.8%
Kansas City, MO Early April $8,800 Late November -$10,900 Early March 61.7% Late November -27.4%
Las Vegas, NV Late April $13,300 Late November -$13,200 Late March 59.9% Late October -28.8%
Columbus, OH Late April $10,700 Late November -$13,300 Late March 56.6% Late November -27.9%
Indianapolis, IN Late April $5,900 Late November -$12,900 Late April 41.5% Late November -28.1%
San Jose, CA Late February $124,200 Early July -$82,600 Late December 43.1% Late July -21.2%
Austin, TX Late February $62,400 Late November -$55,000 Early January 193.3% Late November -34.3%
*Table ordered by market size

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