The Best Time of Year to Sell a House in Seattle
Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 12:38PM
Bonnie Beddall in Buying a Home

When is the best time to sell a house in Seattle?

Many Seattle Home Owners ask when is the best time of year is to sell?  That’s a great question however there can be several “right” answers to it in the Seattle Real Estate Market.

Historically spring is our busiest time of year.  Starting in late February the Seattle Real Estate starts to really pick up.  Then by mid April it’s usually in full swing until about mid June, when it starts to slow down and by August it’s pretty much dead until mid September.  We have seen this trend now since I’ve been in the Seattle Real Estate Market starting in 1999.

That being said here are some other observations about timing your Seattle Home sale.  First of all if you need to sell your home and move because you are being transferred for a job, then when you find out when you have to more, that is the best time to put your home on the market.  So if you learn that you are moving on August 1st, you should put your home on the market as soon as possible.  The market may be slower in August but Seattle Homes still sell in every month of the year.  You may need to do a bit more work on your home to get it ready and you may not be able to push the price, but get it all cleaned up, price it correctly, and get it on the market.

I’ve had many clients that have been transferred for a job at all various times of the year and I get the home sold.  It may take a little longer, say 45 days instead of 30 days to sell, but it does sell if it’s a good home, in good condition, and at a fair price. 

Another question I get frequently is: “Is it better to move out and have the home vacant, or to sell it while we are still living in the home?”  That’s a great question and the answer depends on how your home shows while you are living there.  Some homes just have too much “stuff” in them to show well and some homes show great just the way they are.  Sometime I recommend to my clients that they have to move anyway so start getting rid of the things they normally would before they move and if necessary put other things in those mobile storage containers that get delivered to your home.  In general homes need to be rather sparse rather then cluttered to show well.  However a furnished or well staged home usually sells faster and maybe for a bit more money than a empty or overly cluttered home.  What I have learned over the many years of working with sellers and buyers and that when a buyer walks into a cluttered home they are more focused on the clutter than they are on the home.  A great selling tip is that you want you home to feel warm and cozy but you also want to allow the perspective buyers to visually and emotionally be able to place there belonging in the home.  And thing like too many personal and family photos covering walls really inhibit the typical buyer because that make them feel like they are invading someone else’s personal or family space.

Having pets can be a determining factor as well.  Some folks that have dogs and leave them in the home while they are at work can be a problem sometimes.  I would usually recommend that they put the dog in a kennel during the day until the home sells.  Then if you work from home you have to be able to leave the home when someone comes to view it.  Homeowners that stay in the home while the home is being showed, really inhibit a buyer.  98% of all homes are not perfect and you want the perspective buyers to tell their agent what isn’t perfect about the home while they are in the home so the agent can deal with the objection right then and there.  When the homeowner stays in the home or even hiding in the garage or basement the buyer is very inhibited and usually won’t express any objections while they are in the home for fear that the homeowner may over hear them.  They just leave thinking to themselves that they didn’t like the home.  Or you hear this one a lot as well, ”the home just didn’t feel right.”

Every situation is different and as a result each and every circumstance needs to be evaluated by a competent Seattle Real Estate Agent.  Here a last thought however.  The month of December can be a great time to sell a home in Seattle.  First of all many people take there home off the market in December or wait until January to put the home on the market.  In December many home are decorated nicely for the holidays and they feel and smell warm and inviting.  Couple that with the fact that there are not that many people out in December looking to buy a home.  But the ones that are usually “have to buy” something because they are being transferred here.  So we have a much lower inventory in December and fewer buyers but  usually much more motivated buyers.  That’s a great combination for selling your home in Seattle.

Image credit: Flickr

Article originally appeared on Seattle's Best Real Estate (
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