My clients always ask me the same question when thinking about selling their home. "When is the best time to list our house?"
There is no secret time of year to list your home. There is no "best" time to list your home. So the answer, as silly as this is about to sound, is to list it when it's ready and when you're ready. Meaning you the sellers are prepared to have your home on the market and you think you know what your next move is, and that your home has all of it's odds and ends tied up and it looks polished for potential buyers.
Seattle can look dreary in the winter months and of course your yard looks better in the spring. But if you list your home in the winter, then it will competing with other homes also listed in the winter. If you list it in the spring, same concept.
I sell houses year round. A couple of years ago, the holidays were my busiest season. Last year the holidays were slow. There's really no predicting the market. The facts are that peoples' lives are always changing, families are growing, empty nesters are downsizing, and all of these things drive the market. Divorce, babies, jobs, don't really have a particular busy season--and so neither does home selling. People need a place to live all year round.
Here are some pictures of different houses I've listed throughout different times of the year.
Listed in the spring, this home on a major arterial was beautifully designed. While not in a terribly hot market at the time, this house shined. I received 5 offers in the first few days, and the house ultimately sold for well over asking price. Listed at the end of March (2012). Sold immediately. It's stage presence was undeniable. Keri Petersen of KP Spaces put her final touches on it before it hit the market to really give it that polished look.