Best Cities to Sell a House – 2021 Edition

The decision to leave the home you own can be difficult because of the precious memories you have created within its walls. But the process of selling it can be outright taxing, especially when the real estate market is unpredictable. Your asking price, mortgage rate, and other factors will determine how difficult the process will be. However, location is arguably one of the most important factors. With that in mind, SmartAsset gathered the numbers and identified the best cities to sell homes in.

We compared data from 255 US cities and ranked them according to the following metrics: 5-year change in median home value, average number of days on the market, loss rate of home sales , average closing costs and real estate offices per 1,000 residents. For details on our data sources and how we put all the information together to create the final ranking, see Data and Methods below.

This is SmartAsset’s fifth annual study of the best cities for home sales. Payment procedures 2020 version here.

Main findings

  • Western cities are still the best places to sell homes. For the fourth year in a row, all of our top 10 cities are in the Western states. This year includes two cities in Colorado, two cities in California and six cities in Arizona.
  • Home values ​​have increased. On average, our research shows that home values ​​rose 28.7 percent over the five-year period from 2014 to 2019. The city where home values ​​increased the most was Hayward, California, which increased 71.1%. The last city for the index was Waterbury, Connecticut, where home values ​​fell 7.1% during the same period.
  • The sale took almost three times longer than the bottom 10 group. The top 10 cities in our study had an average of 46 days on the market. Waiting times for the bottom 10 group – located in Illinois, Connecticut, Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania – can take nearly three times, an average of 127 days.

1. Aurora, CO

According to our research, this Denver suburb is the best city to sell your home in. The median home value in Aurora grew 61.7% over the five-year period from 2014 to 2019, 14order– the highest jump for this metric in our study. Aurora homes have an average of 53 days on the market, ranking 46order for this data. Furthermore, Aurora holds 24order– Highest ranking in terms of number of real estate offices per resident – 1.92 per 1,000 people.

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2. Mesa, AZ

Mesa, Arizona is the first of six Arizona cities to make the top 10 of this list. These properties in suburban Phoenix have a 44-day average on the market, ranking 22nd-best for this metric. Median home value increased 50.2% over the 5-year period from 2014 to 2019, completing 37order for this indicator in general. In addition, only 12.17% of houses in this city were sold at a loss, ranking 54order-best for this metric across all 255 cities in the study.

3. Palmdale, CA

The median home value in Palmdale, California increased 61.2% from 2014 to 2019, 15order– the highest jump in the last 5 years in the study. This Los Angeles suburb has 1.53 real estate offices for every 1,000 residents, rating 55order over 255 for this metric. Palmdale is also in the top quartile of the study for a relatively low percentage of loss-making homes, at 10.79% and ranking 30th.order. However, it ranks in the middle of this study in terms of closing costs, averaging $4,121.

4. Glendale, AZ

The average home in Glendale, Arizona on the market in 43 days, is 17order– fastest turnaround in our study. The city is another Phoenix suburb, and has grown 51.7% in median home value over the five-year period from 2014 to 2019, ranking 24th.order over 255 for this metric. Closing cost for Glendale homes is $3,280.50order-lowest in our study.

5. Thornton, CO

Coming in at number 5 is the city that sells your home, Thornton, Colorado is the second Denver suburb (along with Aurora) to make our top 10. The average time a Thornton home is on the market is just 41 days, 12order-The shortest lead time in our research. The median home value in this city also increased by 53.0% in the five-year period from 2014 to 2019, ranking 22nd-best for this metric. Furthermore, only 12.06% of homes sold at a loss, making Thornton 49order– best for this indicator overall.

6. Antioch, CA

Located in the East Bay of San Francisco, Antioch is the second California city in our top 10. Median home values ​​rose 65.6% from 2014 to 2019, ranking ninth in this study of five-year change. Homes there took an average of 22 days to market, the third-shortest sale time in the study. However, closing costs are relatively expensive – $4,722 on average, 156 ratingorder out of 255.

7. Surprise, AZ

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Amazingly, Arizona was the third Phoenix suburb in the top 10. The average home took 49 days to sell on the market, ranking 35th.order for that metric in our study. The median home value in the city rose 39.5% over the five-year period from 2014 to 2019, with less than 13% of homes selling at a loss. Incidentally there are 1.46 real estate offices for every 1,000 residents, which is a county-level measure, relative to 73rd out of 255.

8. Phoenix, AZ

Phoenix, Arizona saw median home value increase 51.0% in 5 years from 2014 to 2019, ranking 32nd for that data in the study. Phoenix ranked 39order-lowest out of 255 for the average number of days a home is on the market – less than two months (51 days). That said, 15.95% of homes sold at a loss, which puts Phoenix in the second half of the study for that metric.

9. Gilbert, AZ

Gilbert, Arizona is Phoenix’s fourth suburb in the top 10. The city’s population has skyrocketed from nearly 30,000 in 1990 to more than 255,000 in 2019, making it one of only 10 autonomous cities. largest in Arizona. The Gilberts have 19order-The shortest lead time on our list, 44 days in the market on average. Gilbert’s median home value rose 42.2% over the five-year period from 2014 to 2019, ranking 65order overall for that data. Closing costs in this city averaged $3,773.

10. Tempe, AZ

Located in the East Valley of metropolitan Phoenix, Tempe made the top 10 in our study of the best cities to sell a home. These Arizona homes have an average of 37 days on the market, the seventh-shortest sale on our list. The median home value rose 38.4% in the five years from 2014 to 2019. Less than 14% of homes in Tempe sold at a loss – 13.54% to be exact, ranking 87th.order over 255 for that metric.

Data and Methodology

To find the best cities for home sales, SmartAsset looked at available data for the 255 largest US cities according to the following metrics:

  • Average home value change over 5 years. This is the percentage change in median home value from 2014 to 2019. Data taken from the Census Bureau’s 2014 and 2019 5-year American Community Surveys.
  • Average number of days in the market. This is the average number of days a home is on the market before being sold. The data comes from SmartAsset’s December 2020 study of the healthiest housing markets.
  • Loss of home sales. This is the percentage of homes sold for less than their previous sales price. The data comes from SmartAsset’s December 2020 study of the healthiest housing markets.
  • Cost ends. This represents the average closing costs by city. The data comes from SmartAsset’s December 2020 study of places with the lowest closing costs.
  • Real estate office per 1,000 residents. This is the number of real estate offices per 1,000 residents. The data comes from the Census Bureau’s 2018 County Business Model Survey.
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To create the final score, we ranked all cities by each metric. Next, we find the average rating of each city, giving a single weight to all measures except one measure change in home value, getting double weights. Using this average rating, we created our final score. The city with the best average rating receives a score of 100, and the city with the worst average rating receives a score of 0.

Tips for selling your home

  • Don’t short sell yourself. Invest in expert guidance. If you’re looking to sell (or buy) a home, a financial advisor can help you create a plan to set and achieve financial goals for your home. SmartAsset’s free tool will help you connect with financial advisors in your area in five minutes. If you are ready to be matched with local advisors who will help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
  • Take note of all possible costs. If you want to calculate how much it will cost to buy a new home, SmartAsset’s closing cost calculator will help you estimate how much you might end up paying.
  • Move? Forecast your new payroll taxes. If you’re moving to work in one of the cities from our study, SmartAsset’s salary calculator will help you break down your new home based on local taxes.

Questions about our research? Contact press@smartasset.com.

Image credit: © iStock.com / Feverpitched

Ben Geier, CEPF® Ben Geier is an experienced financial writer currently working as an investment and retirement specialist at SmartAsset. His work has appeared on Fortune, Mic.com and CNNMoney. Ben is a graduate of Northwestern University and is a part-time student at the City University of New York Graduate Center. He is a member of the Progressive Association of Business Writing and Editors and a Certified Educator in Personal Finance (CEPF®). When he’s not helping people understand their finances, Ben enjoys watching hockey, listening to music, and experimenting in the kitchen. Originally from Alexandria, VA, he currently lives in Brooklyn with his wife.

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