Key Highlights

  • Consider weather when deciding when to list a house for sale.
  • Consider lifestyles of prospective buyers for when to list and where to market.
  • Consider prime rental income seasons when deciding when to list a house for sale.

Best listing times to generate best home sale prices are different for vacation properties than for primary residential properties. While prime listing times for a residential property may center around a school year calendar or holidays, a prime listing time for a vacation property may center around “on and off” seasons for the property’s location to reach the most buyers dreaming of a vacation retreat.

Some of the factors to consider when timing a listing to sell a vacation property include:

  • Weather – when is the best time to “show off” the property?
  • Lifestyle – if living in a “winter wonderland,” does the prospective buyer like to ski?
  • Comparable homes on the market – when are “ski town” homes on the market…when are “beach town” homes on the market?

According to Rob Borden, a broker with Douglas Elliman Realty in Aspen Co, “I would not necessarily bring a property to market right as the off season is starting. We’re marketing to consumers but it’s equally important to market to other brokers and consider their travel schedules and when they can get the house in front of their clients. Doing this in off-season doesn’t help the cause.”

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Listing a vacation property in a location like Palm Springs would likely be tied to the window of January – April, or “prime time.” Scott Lyle, a broker with Elliman in Palm Springs suggests, “waiting to list a little later in the season…so you’ll have more leverage when your listing is ‘newer’ in the market…you don’t want the listing to become stale while more and more visitors come into town.”

Unpleasant weather, however, can work in the seller’s favor when the property “lives” in a location like the Hamptons. “New York buyers are fantasizing about a summer retreat curing the winter months,” according to Jack Pearson, a Hamptons broker aligned with Compass. “The biggest misconception is thinking no one is looking in the dead of winter…that’s when people are thinking about where they’re going to be in a few months.”

In popular vacation destinations such as Jackson Hole WY, “Our summer selling season is stronger than our winter season,” said Jake Kilgrove with Sotheby’s International Realty.

The time to avoid in the Caribbean is high season. The list-to-sale time is slower because many brokers and agents simply take off at that time of the year, according to Ian Hurell, managing partner of The Agency Turks and Casco office. “You don’t want to be selling in high season because that’s when you’re (the seller) getting prime rental rates. I’d never want to see a seller selling at that peak time (post Thanksgiving – April) unless the seller need to cash out immediately.”

Also, Hurrell informed that the islands of Antigua and Anguilla have no MLS so buyers need brokers and agents present to help them know which properties are available to buy and which properties are not.


Thanks to MansionGlobal’s Alannne Schuback for source material and data.

Also read: First There Were Concierge Doctors – Now There Are Concierge Real Estate Agents, Help Your Clients Become Real Estate Investors in 2020, Podcast: 7 Step Proven Plan To Defeat Laziness and Complacency (Part 3)

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