“When’s the best time to list my home?” It’s a question many sellers keen on fetching top dollar for their property often pose to real estate agents. Now Zillow has debuted a tool aimed at pinpointing the answer.

  • New tool is designed to pinpoint price premiums and discounts associated with listing a property during different times of the year.
  • Sellers have the most to gain or lose by listing a property at a certain time in markets with distinct climate changes.

“When’s the best time to list my home?”

It’s a question many sellers keen on fetching top dollar for their property often pose to real estate agents.

Now Zillow has debuted a tool aimed at pinpointing the answer.

The listing portal’s “Best Time to List” tool estimates how much the timing of when a property is listed will influence its sales price, based on the sales history of the property’s local market.

“Sellers can use this information to have a more informed conversation with their local real estate agent to determine the best time to put their home on the market,” Zillow said when announcing the tool.

The tool shows up on home details pages, which users can access by entering a property’s address on Zillow’s home page or requesting a valuation after clicking Zillow’s “Sell” tab.

It’s designed to generate seller leads for Zillow’s agent advertisers. A “Contact An Agent” tab appears prominently beneath a bar chart illustrating price premiums or discounts associated with listing during every month of the year.

Screenshot showing Zillow's Best Time to List estimate for a property.

Screenshot showing Zillow’s Best Time to List estimate for a property.

In December, Zillow debuted another tool that can capture seller leads for agents: “Price This Home.” It builds on Zillow’s automated home value estimates, Zestimates, by allowing users to create more customized valuations and request professional estimates from agent advertisers.

Optimal listing window

Zillow has found that, nationally, homes that sell between May 1 and May 15 sell around 18.5 days faster and for 1 percent more than the average listing.

The national optimal listing window has shifted since Zillow’s first analysis, when it found that homes listed between mid-March and mid-April sold the fastest and for the highest price. That’s likely because inventory has fallen by 9 percent since its first analysis, the listing portal said.

“Faced with increasingly competitive markets, many buyers are forced to consider several homes and make multiple offers, elongating the home shopping experience,” said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Svenja Gudell in a statement.

“By listing homes further into the shopping season, sellers may attract buyers who are increasingly eager to purchase and may be more willing to pay a premium for the home.”

Markets with the largest sale differences between the best months to list and the worst months to list tend to be located in regions with distinct climate changes, such as Seattle, Minneapolis and Washington, D.C., according to Zillow.

That means that sellers in those markets have the most to gain or lose by listing their properties during certain times of the year.

Meanwhile, sellers in areas with more consistent weather throughout the year don’t have as much riding on when they list a property, since those areas show little variation in sale price based on listing month, Zillow said.

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Email Teke Wiggin.

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