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When Is the Finest Time to Promote Your House? This Week Might Get You Prime Greenback.

Dust off those yard signs: The third week in April will be the best time to sell a house this year. 

Homes listed during the week ending April 20 stand to draw strong demand and a quicker sale, according to a Realtor.com analysis published Thursday. These conditions mean homeowners have a little extra pricing power: the typical home this week historically has been listed for 1.1% more than average, according to the online home listings company. 

“Spring is generally the high season for home sales, and buyers tend to be more plentiful earlier in the year,” said Danielle Hale, Realtor.com’s chief economist. (

News Corp

which owns Barron’s, also owns Move, which operates Realtor.com.) Buyer demand, measured by page views, has historically been 18.4% stronger than usual during the third week in April, and homes sell about nine days faster than average, according to the analysis. 

The past several years have been anything but typical, as mortgage rates plunged to their lowest level on record then climbed rapidly. A sudden movement in mortgage rates this spring could drum up—or snuff out—buyer demand. 

“Falling rates may increase spring demand, while steady or rising rates may prompt some buyers to hold off,” Realtor.com wrote. The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate last week was 6.74%, according to

Freddie Mac

—well above the sub-3% rates typical in 2020 and 2021, but down from a recent peak near 8% late last year. 

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Mortgage rates look set to fall in the near-term, based on the Treasury market’s reaction to Wednesday’s Federal Reserve decision to keep rates unchanged. The Fed still expects to cut interest rates by three quarters of a percentage point by the end of the year.

Higher mortgage rates have also dried up home listings. In February, there were about 40% fewer homes for sale than before the pandemic. “This gap means there will continue to be opportunities for sellers entering the market this spring,” Realtor.com wrote. “With inventory levels remaining low, sales may happen more quickly as buyers compete for fewer properties.”

The period of time is several months before the seasonal peak in prices, which typically happens by the end of June—but new listings typically mount as the year goes on, according to the analysis. “By entering the market earlier, sellers can head off that competition, increasing the odds of a successful close and favorable terms,” Realtor.com wrote. 

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It typically takes sellers a month or less to prepare their home for the market, Realtor.com said—but if that feels like a tight turnaround time, don’t stress.

“When I talk to clients, I say: ‘Let’s sell the home when it makes the most sense for you, when you’re ready’,” Tara DeSelms, a Nashville-area Sotheby’s broker. 

Times have changed since the bidding war and buying frenzy of 2021. Once change for sellers: When it’s time to list, presentation matters, says DeSelms. She suggests sellers handle decluttering on their own, and bring in a stager to help with overall presentation.

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Their services cover a spectrum, she says: “It could be as simple as having someone come in and use the items that you have to highlight the aspects of the house, [or] it can be having someone bring in all new furniture and staging the house completely.”

When it comes to paint and décor, “neutralize, neutralize, neutralize,” says Damon Knox, a San Francisco-based Coldwell Banker sales manager. “You’re looking to market your house to the widest possible buyer pool,” he says. “We need to do everything we can to not turn buyers off.”

Write to Shaina Mishkin at shaina.mishkin@dowjones.com

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