Best Time of the Year to Sell a Home – 2022 Report

best time of year to sell a home

Seasonal real estate market trends in Portland have an enormous impact on a home buying and selling. Tell me what month of the year it is and I can tell you how buyers and sellers are experiencing our local real estate market, within the year’s larger trend. Licensed since 2003, I’ve seen the seasons trends in Portland repeat year after year. Whether it is a hot sellers market (it is) in Portland or a cold buyers market, the seasonal trends have their sway.

Read our 2022 Portland real estate market forecast here.

Best Time of the Year to Sell a Home in Portland

The best overall time to sell a home in Portland is 2022 will be Feb. through May. This is due to the simple equation of available inventory vs. the number of qualified home buyers looking for homes. While inventory is incredibly low in January for instance (often the lowest inventory of the year), there simply aren’t enough buyers out yet to make it a premium month. The lower the inventory coupled with the highest number of able and willing buyers – creates the optimum moment to sell. Home buyer activity steadily increases from Jan. until mid-summer. Inventory tends to remain relatively stagnant from Jan. through March and doesn’t start increasing in significant numbers until May rolls around.

Best Time of the Year to Buy a Home in Portland

The best overall time of year to buy a home in Portland is July through October. Inventory is up and often peaks in September. Home sellers that didn’t manage to sell over the summer months are getting desperate and willing to negotiate. Multiple offer situations still exist, but are no longer the norm.

2022 Month by Month Expectations for Portland Real Estate Market

Sell a Home in January

As is typical the early part of Jan. is slow. Almost no inventory for sale or home buyers to speak of. Many people are still recovering from the holidays. Inventory remains low throughout the entire month. You can read our finished Jan. 2022 market report here. It isn’t the absolute best time of the year to sell only because the upcoming spring months are going to bring increased prices and the multiple offer situations that are coming will be more intense. January is an easy time to sell, long as the current year’s trends include low inventory (which they do).

Homes outside of market norms (think homes on busy streets, homes with strange layouts, luxury homes with higher than usual price tags for their neighborhoods, extreme fixers) may want to try to start selling in Jan. as extremely low inventory can help properties that are difficult to sell. When a home has one or more reasons why it wouldn’t be immediately desirable by a large audience, then starting the listing in a low inventory month can be a good idea and having a long runway to sell that property (with the upcoming spring months) is also a good idea.

Bottom line: it is fine to sell in January, especially if inventory is low (it is), but for most property types it is better to wait a little bit if you can.

February

Feb. continues the low inventory situation every year and buyer traffic grows from Jan. When inventory is low (it is) most everything sells in Feb. and multiple offer situation are common. However, the multiple offer situations in Feb. are not typically dozens of offers or reflect the wild stories of spring. Feb. will also start to gain price appreciation in the new year while Jan. typically has similar prices from the preceding holiday months. Feb. starts a onramp of fast rising home prices that won’t peak until we hit June or sometimes July.

Bottom line: February is a great month to sell a home and is the beginning of the best overall timeframe of the year to sell a home (Feb. through May). However, if you wait a little longer the market will improve for sellers and you’ll likely get a higher price.

March

March or April tend to be the absolutely best month of the year to sell a home after we look back at the numbers at the of the year. This means for sellers it is the time of year with the most multiple offer situations, which both means a high price and great terms (as-is, few or no conditions, appraisal gaps covered, and more). In March gardens start to come to life and we often get some days of sunlight, glimpses of spring. Home buyers are out in mass, but inventory is still low, both of which lead to a feeding frenzy in the local real estate market.

Bottom line: March is a great month to sell almost anything. Perhaps you’d wait if you have a waterfront home (for even clearer, hotter weather), but otherwise I couldn’t think of a reason not to sell in March. Sure prices will be a touch higher in April, but waiting for that appreciation would be so marginal I don’t think it would be worth the delay.

April

As mentioned above, March or April tends to be the best month of the year to sell a home in the Portland area, every year (and it is a common national figure as well). In very low inventory years (we are likely in one in 2022) April is probably going to win out marginally over March. The reason why March sometimes wins over April is April tends to be the first month where we see significant amounts of inventory hit the market. Not nearly enough inventory hits the market in April to quench buyer demand, April is full of multiple offer situations and desperate home buyers, but if the year is likely to have enough inventory overall, then March is likely to beat out April. If we are in an extremely low inventory year, then April is likely to beat out March. Either way, you’re in the middle of the overall best time of the year to sell for the year and you can’t go wrong in April. The weather is a notch better than March as well and so is even better for homes with beautiful landscapes to show off to eager buyers.

Bottom line: April is likely to be the best month to sell a home in 2022, unless you have a home that is in ANY way difficult to sell, then you’d be better off starting in a lower inventory month like March.

May

May is still in the best overall time of year to sell. The weather here is absolutely fantastic and home buyers are out in force. The only reason it is not the absolute best month to sell a home is because inventory comes up in big waves every week of May. Large deposits of inventory will continue to happen weekly from May through August, and May is better than any summer month to sell a home. May will not have as many multiple offers situations as March and April, but there will still be plenty, likely over 50% of homes. The one benefit to listing in May is prices will be higher now. Most of the price appreciation for the entire year happens from Feb. and continues through June.

Bottom line: May is a fantastic month to sell a home and is better than any summer month.

June

Many homeowners have to wait until June to sell because they are waiting for school to get out and then still have some time to get the home ready for market. This is okay. While huge amounts of homes hit the market every week in June, there is just as high a buyer pool waiting to purchase them. The inventory and home buyer numbers become more even in June, so there isn’t as many multiple offer situations (though if you price your home low to start, it is still likely to go multiple in June, just not as certain as in previous months). Price appreciation is still occurring as homes get gobbled up, but not in as high a rate. June is a fine time to sell a home, but we do recommend pricing for market. Now is not a time to overprice your home as July will be a much slower month in the market and you won’t want your property lingering until then.

Bottom line: June is a great month to sell with very high prices and plenty of buyers to purchase your home, but don’t overprice your home or it could linger into a much slower month (July).

July

If you need to sell a home in July, do you best to sell it the first part of the month (which is often still decent). Most home buyers purchase earlier than the public might realize. They are often done purchasing before late July rolls around. With a 40 day average to close on a sale in our area, buying in late July would put the homeowner moving in around the same week school starts in September (depending on the school). July (especially the first part of the month) has plenty of buyers but the month also have plenty of inventory. Some years inventor exceeds buyer traffic in July. I think this is unlikely to happen in 2022, so July won’t be a terrible month, but in some prior years (I’ve been licensed here since 2003) July is a terrible month to sell in because inventory exceeds demand.

Bottom line: You have have a great experience selling in July if you put your home on the market early in the month. Things can get dicey if you wait. If you need to sell in July be sure to price your home at market value or a little below, don’t push it.

August

August can be a tough month to sell a home. Inventory is high and sometimes peaks in August. (Inventory will sometimes peak in Sept. or Oct. but always drops by Nov.) This year I do not think inventory will peak in August as I expect 2022 to be an especially low inventory year. But inventory will be high and home buyer traffic will have dropped significantly from spring and earlier summer months. Prices are still good because you’ve earned all the appreciation from the year, but there is some chance of price drops in August as home sellers that started too high in previous months are still lingering and are not getting desperate. If you live in an area that tends to collect inventory, not is not a great time to add your home to the mix. If you live in a neighborhood or area where everything sells fast, August is still okay, but unlikely to generate a multiple offer situation due to the abundance of inventory around in the general market and lower buyer traffic counts. Of course the occasional low-priced home or extremely desirable location may still see a bidding war, but it will be uncommon for the general metro area. The weather in August if often no longer fantastic anymore (can get hot) and many people are out on final summer vacations, doubling down on the lower buyer traffic from earlier months.

Bottom line: August isn’t the best month to sell a home. Check the local inventory in your area before listing. You may want to wait until some inventory clears out (which it will).

September

The school swing in September keeps buyer traffic relatively low. This effect doesn’t apply to certain properties such as many condos or 55+ residential areas. But also many home buyers traditionally wait until summer to purchase in our area and tend to hibernate in the fall and winter months. Since September is a high inventory month (I think likely to be peak inventory in 2022) and a lower buyer traffic month, it isn’t an ideal time to start a listing. However, any property will sell if properly priced and you have still gained all the appreciation for the year (that mostly occurred Feb. through June). A homeowner can always sell, but they have to be more careful in September with their pricing than in other months.

Bottom line: September isn’t a great month to start selling, but since this will be a hot year in real estate, everything that is properly priced can still expect to sell in a reasonable amount of time. Since there will be high inventory, don’t count on a multiple offer situation or a quick sale. Be prepared to be patient.

October

October is often a better month to sell in than September as inventory will drop (both from sales and from homeowners that didn’t sell over the summer finally giving up). Also the weather is still decent (unlike the coming months of Nov. and Dec.). Also there is not a huge holiday factor that limits buyer activity. If you need to sell in the fall months, October is a great choice! Home buyers can also be anxious to purchase and close on the home before the holiday season rolls around.

Bottom line: Inventory comes down to reasonable levels and home buyer traffic remains solid. October is a time to sell if you need to sell in the fall or if you want to sell before the next spring season rolls around.

November

The first part of November can be pretty good. Inventory tends to be very low and the weather can sometimes be okay. Take a careful look around at your immediate area before listing. It may be better to wait until after the New Year if you have much competition. Also be careful not to price the home too high, you definitely do not want the property to still be for sale in December. Don’t start a listing too close to Thanksgiving. Keep a careful eye on the weather and avoid any potential snow weekends.

Bottom line: The first part of November can be good if you don’t have much direct competition. Selling now avoids having to wait (potentially) until Jan. or Feb. for better selling conditions.

December

Inventory is very low in December, but so is buyer traffic. Unless you need to sell a home asap, it is generally better to wait until after the New Year. Buyer traffic plummets every year in December around the Christmas holiday to almost zero. You have to watch out for potential snow weekends as well. As many homeowners are aware already, December isn’t the first choice to sell a home. It is always possible to sell a home for the right price, but generally speaking a homeowner will have a better experience a different month of the year.

Bottom line: You’re better off waiting to sell most homes until after the New Year, but anything will sell for the right price in December if needed.

Sell your Home with Confidence

No matter what the market is doing or what time of the year you need to sell in, I can help. Licensed since 2003 with over 2,000 local team home sales, we can give personal in-home advice that fits your situation. Give my team a call today at 503-714-1111 or chat with our bot on this site. Our sellers agents are top 1% in the metro, or if you prefer, ask for Stephen FitzMaurice direct. Thank you.

February 9, 2022
AUTHOR

Stephen FitzMaurice

Stephen FitzMaurice, Realtor is a top 5% real estate agent in the U.S. A Principal Broker in Oregon, Managing Broker in Washington, he has been licensed since 2003 for residential real estate sales. Call his team in Oregon at 503-714-1111 or in Washington at 360-345-3833.

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