The Best Month to Sell A House in Chicago

What is the best month to sell a house in Chicago?

First things first . . . where in Chicago and what are we selling?

Chicago is a big place!  And it is impossible to make vast generalizations about the different areas and pricepoints. But we wanted to give some idea of what is going on in the city so selected the area on the north side that is roughly south of Lawrence, north of the Chicago River and east of I-94.  This area represents about 12% of the total housing stock in the city. We also decided to focus only on single family homes.  Again, single family detached homes represent only about 13% of the housing stock in this north side area. We can pull data for any area and/or type of home. If you are selling, you really should review the data for your personal situation so reach out to us and we are happy to put the information together for you.

While condos and towhomes are somewhat immune from the school calendar, single family homes do follow the same trends as are found in the suburbs. The best month to sell a single family house in Chicago is influenced by the seasonality of the Chicago real estate market. Weather, school calendars and the holiday seasons drive the Chicago real estate market. Analyzing the historic ebbs and flows of monthly data in Chicago real estate, reveals clear trends. Understanding these trends reveals the best month to sell a house in Chicago and provides strategic advantages to sellers.

Let's Consider these Statistics:

  1. "Under Contract" Activity by Month
  2. Showing Activity by Month
  3. Total Homes on Market by Month

Monthly Under Contract Activity

The number of homes that go “Under Contract” in a given month represents the number of buyers who have made an offer that was accepted. To capitalize on the best month to sell a house in Chicago, ideally we want your home on the market during the months when the greatest number of buyers make offers (keep in mind that buyers start shopping 30-60 days in advance of making an offer).

Over the last three years, March has taken the top spot in "under contract" activity. In 2019, April tied for very strong activity as well.  March 2017 led the way with 133 "under contract" homes. March 2018 had 108 "under contract" homes. And, in 2019, March (tied with April) won again with 112 "under contracts".

March wins! With well over 100 homes consistently going "under contact" in March, there is nearly double the chance to sell over the fall months. After peaking in March and April, "under contract" activity tapers off through the remainder of the year.

Notice the slight bump in activity in September and October. While some of these fall buyers are scooping up a "bargain", others desire to buy before the cold weather and holidays set in.

Best Month to Sell a House in Chicago: Under Contract Activity by Month

Monthly Showing Activity

Historic showing activity provides insight into the best month to sell a house in Chicago. We like to monitor showing activity for our listings so that we can identify any unusual trends.

Not surprisingly, showing activity mirrors the "under contract" activity with the greatest number of showings happening in March for the last three years.  While showing activity doesn't taper off quite as much as "under contracts" do, it appears that the buyers in the late summer and early fall have less urgency and are not as likely to actually buy. As a seller, there is a clear benefit to listing your home in February or March when the greatest amount of showing activity is happening.

Opportunity alert! More showings happen in February and March even though fewer total homes exist on market during those months (see below chart). More demand and lower supply always provide an advantage to sellers!

Best Month to Sell a House in Chicago: Showing Activity by Month

Total Homes on Market By Month

When determining the best month to sell a house in Chicago, consider the historic total number of homes on the market each month. In other words, this statistic demonstrates the level of competition (ie., the supply of homes) to which buyers have access.

Notably, February and March historically possess fewer total homes on market than in other months.  Therefore, February or March list dates benefit sellers because less competition exists at exactly the same time that demand peaks (ie., more showings occur). In conclusion, the data suggests March is the best month to sell a house in Chicago.

Best Month to Sell a House in Chicago: Total Homes by Month

And the Best Month to Sell a House in Chicago is. . .

If we have to pick the best month to sell a house in Chicago, March gets the win! Of course, remember that homes priced well and in move-in condition will sell quickly and for closer to list price at nearly any time of the year. So don't worry if you must list at a different time of the year. March may be the best month to sell a house in Chicago but it is not the only month in which many homes sell!

Improve Your Chance to Maximize Profit and Minimize Hassle with Compass Concierge

To increase the sale of your home, take advantage of our exclusive seller program:  Compass Concierge. With this unique program, Compass will front the cost of nearly all prep work to get your home ready to sell. You merely pay that money back at closing with no interest or fees.

Get more information about the Compass Concierge program here. If you are thinking about a spring list, get prepared now!

A Note for Chicago Buyers. . . 

Given the data, what is the best month to buy a house in Chicago? It depends on your goals. . . A house priced well and in move-in condition will sell fast at any time of the year. Although rare to find great value and move-in ready, if you find one don't delay! It is much better to strike quickly to avoid a multiple offer situation.

The greatest number of move-in ready homes will come on the market in early spring (February - April). Of course, sellers are feeling confident at that time and buyer competition is highest so it is hard to get a good deal but you do get first pick!

If you would prefer to get a "deal", many gems can be found in late summer and early fall. Inventories are still high and buyer activity has slowed so sellers get nervous and are often more inclined to negotiate rather than carry a house through the winter. Late summer/early fall is the best time of the year to get aggressive with offer price.

Maximize your Options with Compass Bridge Loans

(coming October 21, 2019)

To provide you with maximum power and every advantage when purchasing the home of your dreams . . . Buy your next home before selling your existing one with Compass Bridge Loans!  The Compass Bridge Loan program grants security to sellers, allowing them to purchase their next home before their current home sells and resulting in a higher sale price, since well-staged empty homes generally sell for more than homes that are occupied.

Your home is a major investment.

Leave nothing to chance.

Make Your Next Decision Data Driven.

Compass Concierge

Concierge will assist you with the execution of a tailored plan for updating and staging your home for prospective buyers. Compass Real Estate  will cover the upfront costs associated with home-selling improvements and collect

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Merging their individual knowledge, resources and expertise, Lisa & Lourdes offer their real estate clients superior advocacy skills and exceptional results.

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