When Is the Best Time to Sell a House in Massachusetts?


If you’re preparing to sell your Massachusetts home, knowing the best time to bring your house to market can help maximize your home sale’s potential.

Bringing a house to market during the peak season will get the most eyes on your property, and the more interested buyers you have, the higher your chances are for pulling in multiple offers.

But being able to choose between offers isn’t the only benefit to putting your home up for sale at the right time. Another perk is increased odds for a quick sale.

Statistically speaking, the U.S. national average days on market (DOM) for homes in January 2022, a month considered the offseason, was 61 days. In April 2022, a popular selling time, this number fell to a mere 31 days. In Massachusetts, during peak season the average DOM for single-family homes is a quick 13 days.

So, when exactly is Massachusetts’ peak home-selling season?

“In Massachusetts, typically the three best months of active spring market are March, April, and May,” says Josh Muncey, a real estate agent with over 16 years of experience selling in greater Boston and over $500 million in career sales.

Muncey explains this is because it’s when there’s the most buyer demand, meaning that as a seller, you’ll have the highest number of buyers competing for properties. A big win for any home seller.

In this post, we’ll take a closer look at when the best time is to bring your house to market, local factors that influence selling trends, and we’ll provide insider tips to help you sell your Massachusetts home faster and for more money.

What’s Your Massachusetts Home Worth?

Get a near-instant real estate house price estimate from HomeLight for free. Our tool analyzes the records of recently sold homes near you, your home’s last sale price, and other market trends to provide a preliminary range of value in under two minutes.

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

“Truthfully, the best time to list a house is when you’re ready,” says Jeffrey Chubb, a top-ranked real estate agent in greater Boston who’s worked with over 72% more single-family homes and sold over 233 more condos than the average Boston agent.

“But if you’re looking for the most active part of the market in Massachusetts, that’s definitely going to be the spring,” says Chubb.

Depending on your selling objectives, historically, spring, and in particular March have proven to be the best time to sell a home fast and for maximum profit in greater Boston, Massachusetts. Our data finds that sales average 2.39% higher in March than the yearly average, and homes sell around 14 days faster.

Although these are popular trends within greater Boston, depending on your Massachusetts city, your housing market may experience different seasonal trends.

Top factors that influence an area’s housing market include:

  1. Demographics (age, income, population size)
  2. Migration patterns
  3. Inventory levels: supply vs. demand
  4. Unemployment rate and the local economy’s overall health
  5. The area’s affordability
  6. Current interest rates

Learn more about 10 factors that influence real estate property values with this guide.

To give you a better idea of your area’s current market, we’ve looked at actual real estate transaction data from 15 cities of varying sizes to provide an overview of what might be the best times to sell your Massachusetts home and the possible benefits. Your selling results will vary depending on what’s happening in your market and other home-selling variables.

5 large cities in Massachusetts

City name Population Best time to list for higher price Best time to list to sell fast
Boston 696,959 March (2.39% more) March (14 days sooner)
Worcester 185,047 May (5.93% more) April (12 days sooner)
Springfield 151,437 April (4.98% more) July (9 days sooner)
Cambridge 121,255 July (4.95% more) March (8 days sooner)
Lowell  109,902 May (5.40% more) April (10 days sooner)

5 mid-sized cities in Massachusetts

City name Population Best time to list for higher price Best time to list to sell fast
Taunton 57,761 May (3.81% more) April (8 days sooner)
Peabody 53,004 June (7.62% more) March (4 days sooner)
Everett 45,905 August (7.58% more) May (11 days sooner)
Beverly 42,111 September (4.95% more) July (12 days sooner)
Chelsea 38,949 May (10.93% more) February (8 days sooner)

5 smaller cities or towns in Massachusetts

City name Population Best time to list for higher price Best time to list to sell fast
Reading 25,132 March (6.31% more) March (13 days sooner)
Marblehead 20,500 June (12.87% more) March (13 days sooner)
Abington 16,436 July (3.87% more) March (10 days sooner)
Hull 10,455 April (9.80% more) April (20 days sooner)
Whitinsville 7,220 April (3.99% more) May (15 days sooner)

All charts based on historical home sales data, 2014-2021

Despite popular trends, Chubb explains that for the right client winter can still be a great time to sell a house in Massachusetts.

“If the house isn’t as attractive or if the landscaping isn’t as nice on the outside… since it’s cold up here, people don’t spend as much time outside looking at the house. The snow on the ground can kind of hide some things that might be really glaring in the spring, summer, or fall.

To find the best month to list your house for the highest price and the fastest sale, enter your city in our free online Best Time To Sell Calculator.

Factors that impact home-selling trends in Massachusetts

Many factors impact selling trends in Massachusetts; popular lease cycles, buyer’s purchasing vacation homes on the Cape and the islands, and parents looking to get their children into highly desired school districts.

“If you’re in the city and the area’s outside of the city, we have a lot of leases throughout Boston that are tied onto a lease where the lease ends at the end of August,” says Chubb. He explains how this has a drastic effect on first-time homebuyers since many are “stuck” in their lease and need to have move-out and move-in dates line up fairly close to one another.

Chubb says because of these popular lease days and because of local school rules and regulations, while most local markets end around May or June it’s common to see Boston’s spring market extended until the middle of June.

Chubb further explains how in most towns in the area buyers need to close on a property to enroll their children in that town’s school district. Since the average closing period runs around 45 days, this places pressure on families to close on a house so they can be in their new residence by the end of August before the school year begins.

Because of these deadlines, “you’re ultimately looking at the latest closing date mid-July,” says Chubb.

Other popular area factors that impact home sales and real estate transactions are:

1. A home’s proximity to Boston

“Areas that are closer to the proximity of Boston have an edge,” says Chubb, referring to homeowners’ wishes for shorter commute times to the city.

2. Vacationers scooping up second homes

From Chubb’s experience, buyers who are looking to purchase vacation homes near the Cape or the islands around Boston will usually purchase in the winter.

“That way, they’re not sitting on a mortgage payment until they’re able to rent the property out and start getting some rental income.”

3. Schools districts

Chubb says that a common factor many homebuyers are looking for is a house that’s located close to a good quality school.

In fact, the National Association of Realtors® found that 25% of homebuyers consider a school’s quality one of the top deciding factors when purchasing a home, while 20% consider the home’s proximity to the school.

4. Economic factors can influence inventory levels

Historically, real estate transaction data reveals that housing inventory rises in April and continues to climb through October before dropping in the winter.

“If you look at the graph for all available single-family inventory throughout the state of Massachusetts, we had increasing inventory all spring long, and our inventory topped at 4,975 units,” says Chubb, explaining that it wasn’t until the end of February that inventory levels dropped.

“All fall long we were selling more houses than sellers were putting on the market.”

Muncey experienced the same inventory trends and warns how economic factors can easily change trends in the area, saying it’s all about supply and demand and how the two align.

“If the demand really outstrips the supply, then a seller has the flexibility to list in other months and expect a very quick sale, or, as well as, a high sale price,” says Muncey.

Connect With a Top Agent to Sell Your Massachusetts Home

It takes just two minutes to match clients with the best real estate agents, who will contact you and guide you through the process. To connect with an agent, simply tell us a little bit about your property and how soon you’re looking to sell.

Our data shows the top 5% of agents across the U.S. help clients sell their home for as much as 10% more than the average real estate agent.

Insider tips to help sell your Massachusetts home

No matter what time of year you decide to sell, or need to sell, here are some tips from our expert agents that can help you with a fast sale or get you top dollar for your home:

  • Declutter the home to give buyer’s a clear view of the home’s potential
  • Consider repainting in a neutral color palette
  • Apply a fresh coat of paint to the interior and/or exterior of the home
  • Power wash the exterior of the home
  • Deep clean the home’s carpets
  • Advertise the home’s proximity to the city
  • Stage the home to paint a picture for potential buyers
  • In winter, keep the lights on for buyers who want to see the property in the evening
  • In winter, keep the property’s thermostat set above 55 degrees

Chubb says that having a finished basement can increase the value of a Massachusetts home since many houses in the area are smaller and square footage is scarce.

“In Delaware, you can get a 5,000-square-foot mini-mansion for short money, but here that same money will get you a 1,500- to 2,000-square-foot house.”

When selling a house in Massachusetts, Muncey advises sellers to plan ahead and talk to a real estate agent early on so they can start planning the right way to market their property.

One example of how this can help, Muncey explains, is how although March and April are the best months to list, they’re also months where the trees in Massachusetts are bare. By connecting with a real estate agent early on, the agent can determine when the best season is to take photos of the house to showcase it in its best possible light.

Another tip Muncey says is to resist the temptation to jump on the first offer you receive. Even if it looks like the perfect offer.

“When we see a buyer that offers a very aggressive offer upfront, usually their offer is even bigger once they see that there are competing offers against theirs,” says Muncey.

As for when to avoid bringing your house to market, Muncey suggests steering clear of the week leading up to Memorial Day weekend, Easter weekend, or any holiday for that matter.

“Many people head out of town and it’s just not conducive to having full market exposure for the property you’re selling,” explains Muncey.

Answers to other Massachusetts home-selling questions

What is the median price of a home in Massachusetts?

The Massachusetts Association of Realtors® reports that pricing trends are on the rise, with single-family homes increasing in price by 13.3% to a median price of $549,450. The average price for a condominium rose by 4.6% to a median price of $480,000.

Are homes in Massachusetts appreciating in value faster or slower than in other states?

A recent study found that single-family homes in Massachusetts are appreciating by 14.83% annually. This puts Massachusetts as the 32nd fastest state in the U.S. where homes are appreciating.

The following five states are where homes appreciated the fastest in 2021:

  1.     Arizona
  2.     Utah
  3.     Idaho
  4.     Florida
  5.     Tennessee

Want to find out what your Massachusetts home is currently worth? Use HomeLight’s Home Value Estimator. Our free tool uses transaction data from multiple sources to create a real-time ballpark value estimate based on current market trends.

What if I need a fast sale and closing in Massachusetts?

If you’re facing a life change that requires a fast home sale, or you don’t have the time or money to make needed repairs, consider requesting an all-cash offer using HomeLight’s Simple Sale platform.

Simple Sale provides cash offers for homes in almost any condition in Massachusetts. You can skip the repairs and showings and close in as few as 10 days. Complete a short questionnaire and receive a no-obligation cash offer within 48 hours.

What is the biggest mistake sellers make when selling a home in Massachusetts?

From Chubb’s experience, one of the biggest mistakes he’s seen Massachusetts sellers make is limiting their number of showings by requesting that the listing agent be there for every showing.

“What that does is ties up the schedule and then these listing agents will only be showing the house during an hour and a half or a two-hour time period,” explains Chubb, saying that this can make it tough for buyers to see the house due to scheduling conflicts.

“By doing that, you’re limiting the availability of potential buyers, and maybe even buyers that are willing to spend more money than the buyer who gets their offer accepted.”

Are more people moving into or out of Massachusetts?

A study by United Van Lines reports that in 2021 Massachusetts had an outbound rate (people moving out of the state) of 57.6%, with an inbound rate of 42.4%. Massachusetts was ranked in the top 10 outbound states in 2021.

The biggest recorded reasons for people leaving Massachusetts are:

  1.     Retirement (22.40%)
  2.     Job (31.24%)
  3.     Family (24.59%)

Pricing matters more than anything. If a listing agent lists a house and they get twenty offers on that property, they’re going to feel like they should be bragging and they did a good job. But I’m going to make the argument every day of the week, that agent did a huge disservice to their client. They underpriced the property.

Find a top agent in Massachusetts for a successful home sale

In Massachusetts, whether it’s a beach house, a condo, or a nice farm or country house, “you can get it here,” says Chubb.

In the end, Chubb has the following advice to offer sellers who are preparing to list their house in the hot market that is Massachusetts.

“Pricing matters more than anything. If a listing agent lists a house and they get twenty offers on that property, they’re going to feel like they should be bragging and they did a good job. But I’m going to make the argument every day of the week, that agent did a huge disservice to their client. They underpriced the property.”

Chubb explains no matter the time of year, this is why it’s important to hire an experienced agent that knows the current market and its stats and trends in order to maximize a home sales potential.

“Anything underpriced will always sell,” says Chubb. “But how much money did you leave on the table by hiring an agent that wasn’t familiar with the market?”

Now that you know spring is statistically the best time to sell your Massachusetts home, another question you might ask is what’s the best way to sell? Our data shows that the top 5% of real estate agents across the U.S. sell homes faster and for as much as 10% more than the average agent.

Partner with a top Massachusetts agent by using HomeLight’s free Agent Match platform. Our matching service tool analyzes over 27 million transactions and thousands of reviews to determine which agent is best for you based on your needs.

Header Image Source: (Larry Ferreira / Unsplash)



Source link