We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs.

For a long time, if you wanted to list your home, the best time of the year to jump on it was early spring (specifically the first week of April) or right around Labor Day (ideally the Thursday before the long holiday weekend). If sellers timed it just right, they would have the best chance at securing multiple offers on their home. But a lot has changed since the pandemic. In 2023, Zillow’s chief economist, Skylar Olsen, clocked a shift: Homes listed in the first two weeks of June last year sold for 2.3 percent more nationwide, translating to an average $7,700 boost. In other words, early June was super-rewarding for sellers and—on the flip side—fueled competition among buyers. 

The old logic was that sellers could get more bang for their buck by listing at a time when their home would be on the top of the pile of listings and search activity was at its peak.

“Now, with persistently low inventory, mortgage rate fluctuations make their own seasonality,” says Olsen. Last June, rates pulled back slightly from 6.79 percent to 6.67 percent, which probably inspired buyers who felt they could afford to transact, boosting competition and sale prices. Going into this season, Olsen suspects to see a similar pattern, especially if the Federal Reserve lowers interest rates.

More competition equals more opportunities to get stuck in a bidding war. But as we’ve learned from home buyers in the past who have lived through it, the best thing you can do is be firm with yourself about your budget and make the process personal by writing a letter to the seller about why you love the house (or chat with neighbors—you never know who might put in a good word for you).

And if you really want to avoid the competition? Compass sales agent Cassidy Iwersen recommends looking at listings that have been around for at least a week. They might not be turnkey, but if you can look past sad wallpaper and dated carpeting, you could avoid a multiple-offer situation and have some negotiation power.