The Best Cities to Sell a House – 2018 Edition

According to data from the US Census Bureau, Americans sold 612,000 homes in 2017 and 44,000 in January 2018. For most home sellers, selling a home at a profit can be one of the goals. your spending. Location is an important factor in this, as some housing markets favor sellers while others favor buyers. Below SmartAsset looks at the best cities to sell homes for.

To rank the best places to sell a home, we looked at data on four factors. Specifically, we looked at the change in home values, the average number of days on the market, the percentage of homes sold at a loss, and the number of real estate offices per 1,000 residents. Check out our data and methodology below to see where we get our data from and how we combine research to create rankings.

This is the 2018 version of this study. Check out the 2017 version here.

Main findings

  • California dominates – Seven of the top 10 cities are located in California. The state has seen home values ​​soar in recent years, meaning many sellers are making a profit from selling their homes. Most California homeowners also sell their homes relatively quickly. In Fremont, for example, the average home is only on the market for 12 days, according to our data.
  • Cities in Virginia score poorly – Virginia cities like Chesapeake, Newport News, Virginia Beach and Norfolk all made the top 10. Homes here have been on the market for a while, and our data shows the majority of homes end up last. were also sold at a loss.

1. Lakewood, CO

Lakewood, Colorado takes the top spot. This city is a great place to sell homes for two reasons. First, condominiums in the area experienced a significant increase in value. From 2012 to 2016, the median home value increased by just under 15%.

The second reason Lakewood ranks so well is the short time homes have been on the market. According to our data, the average home in this city spends only 16 days on the market. For both of those metrics, the city ranks in the top 10.

2. Moreno Valley, CA

The average home in the Moreno Valley was worth nearly 19% more in 2016 than it did in 2012, a development that homeowners and sellers can be happy to see. Of course, just because median home values ​​are going up doesn’t mean the value of every home is up. In the Moreno Valley, however, most people who sell their homes make some profit. Our data shows that only 2.6% of homes here are sold at a loss.

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3. Elk Grove, CA

Located just south of California’s capital, Sacramento, is Elk Grove, the city’s third best-selling home. With the top 20 for change in median home value, average days on the market, and percentage of homes selling at a loss, you could be forgiven for thinking this city should rank higher.

However, the overall score is affected by the fact that closing costs in this city average just $4,800, giving Elk Grove the seventh highest closing costs in our top 10..

4. Gilbert, AZ

Not many sellers lose money buying their home in Gilbert, Arizona. According to our data, about 2.8% of homes were sold at a loss in this city. Furthermore, the median home in this city has seen its value increase 12%, making it a great city for those looking to sell their home.

5. Hayward, CA

Many Hayward homeowners have had the good fortune of seeing their home’s value skyrocket. Between 2012 and 2016, Census Bureau data shows that the average home in Hayward saw its value increase by more than 20%.

This doesn’t seem to be slowing down as buyers are still hunting for homes as soon as they hit the market. According to our data, on average a home here is on the market for 15 days. For that metric, the city ranks seventh.

6. Fontana, CA

Home values ​​in Fontana, California are not rising as fast as in some other cities. The average home’s total value grew 12% from 2012 to 2016, the 22nd fastest but second slowest in our top 10.

However, the city comes in at the top third for average days on the market, and real estate offices per 1,000 residents remain in our top 10.

7. Aurora, CO

If you’re the type of seller who’s comfortable going it alone without the help of a real estate office, Aurora is a good place to be. The city has one of the lowest scores for real estate offices per 1,000 residents. However, it ranks in the top 15 for change in median home value, average days on the market, and percentage of homes sold at a loss.

8. (tie) Fremont, CA

Fremont, one of the best cities to buy a family home, is also one of the best places to sell a home. This Bay Area city has one of the most vibrant home-buying markets, something anyone selling a home appreciates. According to our data, the average home is only on the market for 12 days. That means homeowners can afford to be patient when selling their home in this city.

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The only downside to selling a home here is closing costs. According to our data, closing costs in this city average over $11,400.

8. (draw) Ontario, CA

Ontario, California ranked eighth with Fremont. The city combines an above-average score across the board with relatively low closing costs to climb into our top 10.

From 2012 to 2016, the average home here has increased in value by more than 11.5%. On average a home is on the market in about 3.5 weeks. In both of those metrics, Ontario beats 80% of the other cities in this study.

10. Pomona, CA

Our list ends in Pomona. This market is better for sellers who are willing to be patient and can afford to wait for a big payout. The median total home value here increased 14% from 2012 to 2016, and only 3.1% of homeowners sold at a loss.

However, on average it takes just over a month to sell a home in this city. Not too long (in Chesapeake, Virginia, for example, it takes more than 4 months on average to sell a home) but long enough to stop Pomona from ranking higher.

Data and Methodology

To rank the best cities for home sales, we looked at data on the 165 largest US cities. Specifically, we looked at data for the following five factors:

  • Average home value change over 5 years. This is the percentage change in median home value from 2012 to 2016. Data from the 2012 and 2016 Census Bureau’s 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 healthiest housing market study of 2018.
  • Percentage of homes sold at a loss. This is the percentage of homes sold for less than their previous sales price. The data comes from SmartAsset’s healthiest housing market study of 2018.
  • Cost ends. This is the average closing cost by city. The data comes from SmartAsset’s 2017 Lowest Closing Costs study.
  • Real estate office per 1,000 residents. This is the number of real estate offices per 1,000 residents. Data taken from the Census Bureau’s 2015 County Business Models Survey.
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We’ve ranked each city by metric. Next, we find that the average ranking of each city is doubly weighted for the 5-year change in median home value. Using this average rating, we created our final score. The city with the best average rating received 100 and the city with the worst average rating received 0.

Tips for selling your home

  • Assess the condition of your home. To get the best price for your home, it’s important that you make sure it’s in the best possible condition. It can be beneficial for updating the look of your home including applying a fresh coat of paint, storing cluttered items and fixtures in storage, or similar steps to make your home appear new. unattractive to potential buyers. The exterior of your home is especially important as it is the first thing a potential buyer sees and you want to make a good first impression.
  • Choose a price. If you use an experienced real estate agent, they can help you do your research to come up with an accurate price for a home. If you’re trying to save money and skip the dealership, you’ll need to do some research. Look for homes that have sold in the past few months to see how the market is doing.
  • Time. If you don’t have much time to find the perfect buyer, you may want to list the home at a price that you can attract buyers. This is especially true if you are in a position where you need to move and cannot afford the mortgage costs of two mortgages.

Questions about our research? Contact us at

Image credit: © / LightFieldStudios

Derek Miller, CEPF® Derek Miller is a graduate of the University of Edinburgh, where he studied economics. He’s passionate about using data to help people make better financial decisions. Derek is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance® (CEPF®) and a member of the Association for the Advancement of Business Writing and Editing. He’s a data journalist with expertise in finding stories in the numbers. Derek’s articles have been published on Yahoo, AOL and the Huffington Post. He believes the biggest financial mistake people make is waiting too late to save for retirement and missing out on the wonders of compound interest. Derek lives in Brooklyn.

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