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When is the Best Time to Move?

By Jen McCann, Realtor

Real estate trends show that most people move during May and September, but is that the best time to move for everyone? Let’s explore the pros and cons for buyers, sellers, and kids when moving at different times of the year.


If you want a large selection of homes and options before you decide on a place to call home, buying during the late spring or early summer may be the perfect time for you. As the weather gets warmer, we tend to see an increase in inventory during May through September providing buyers with a greater selection of homes from which to choose. Other advantages to a summer move are longer days, warmer weather, and the school break. A few disadvantages that are worth considering are increased competition from other buyers and the cost of moving (e.g., movers, contractors, etc.).

An increase in the supply of buyers typically results in an increase in the sales price, so if you are looking for the highest return on the sale of your home, putting your home on the market in the early spring or summer may be the best time for you to move. Sellers will share the same advantages as buyers with longer days, warmer weather, and the school break, as well as the disadvantage of an increase in costs for a move. Something else to keep in mind is that an increase in traffic through your home does not mean they are all serious buyers. There may be more interruptions from showings during the summer with more people “window shopping” than during other times of the year.

Moving during the summer allows school-aged kids to have closure and to finish the end of the school year with their friends. The break may allow them to get settled into their new home and neighborhood before starting a new school. Be sure to plan ahead so your kids can be involved in summer camps or other activities to meet new friends rather than waiting until school starts.


Whether you are in a tight price range or just want to get the best price for your money, moving during the winter months may keep your bank account “warm.” Sellers (including new construction builders) are more willing to negotiate on the sales price and options. Buyers can find some great deals during November through March. Other potential advantages to a winter move are less competition from other buyers and decrease in moving costs (e.g., movers, contractors, etc.). A few disadvantages of a winter move worth considering are the higher chance of inclement weather and fewer homes on the market.

While the numbers of buyers may be fewer, those buyers are typically more serious. The fall and winter can also be a great time for a unique property or if the seller does not want a lot of competition from other sellers like what is normally found during the high summer season. A strong strategy for sellers can be to put their home on the market in late winter. This can be the perfect time to find buyers who have been looking at limited housing inventory during the fall, while also capturing a new set of buyers who have decided after the holidays that it is the time to move. The potential for inclement weather can be a deterrent for some sellers and should be planned for when listing your home.

Moving during the fall or winter has its advantages for kids, too. While school-aged kids may be leaving their friends during the school year, they will be able to get settled into a new routine and have the opportunity to meet new friends sooner than may be available during the summer months. Teachers also tend to be able to spend more time helping a new student adjust during the year rather than at the very busy beginning of a new school year when they are helping a whole classroom of students get adjusted.

The best time to move will be different for each family depending on their circumstances and priorities. However, knowing a few advantages and disadvantages to the moving seasons will help you determine the best time for you to start the moving adventure.

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