When is the Right Time to Sell at Auction

“When is the right time to sell at auction?” – It’s a question we’re asked regularly by clients, professionals, and friends. Common logic would suggest that warmer weather or dry months are preferred; however, we find that it really just depends on the type of assets or goods to be sold.

The short answer: There’s really not a bad time of year to sell. We tend to find that when a seller engages our company, they are ready to sell. But, at times it’s difficult to find that “perfect timing,” which is why our advisors direct our sellers to optimal timing. 

If you’re considering an auction, here are some typical trends we see on an annual basis:

First Quarter And Last Quarter

We experience a high volume of calls from prospective sellers during the first and last quarter of the year. In most cases, families who are making decisions get together during the holidays to discuss the next steps–Thanksgiving, Christmas & New Years Holidays–which leads to a flurry of activity on settling estates.

During the first quarter, it’s also common to see institutions make decisions on selling assets in order to meet tax deadlines.

Charity and fundraising auctions are also popular during the first and last quarter of the year. This is likely because non-profit agencies are many times looking to capitalize on donor’s giving patterns, which typically occur in line with tax planning.


Winter, obviously during the first and last quarter of the year, usually means it’s a good time to sell tangible assets. During the cold winter months there’s less competition for a buyer’s time. Usually by mid-January they usually have a strong case of cabin fever that a good auction can cure. For many years, our largest crowds for Monthly Markets happen in January, February, and March.


Once spring rolls around, we tend to see more Residential Real Estate sales becoming more active. This is a trend across the market in buying homes. With the warmer weather, more daylight and the motivation to get a new house in order before the next school calendar begins, buyers are more likely to shop during this time of year.

After Fall Harvest

Once the end of fall hits, we typically see a rise in the amount of farmland being sold. This is simply due to visibility of the land. As the crop begins to grow during the summer months, it becomes much harder to view the land in its entirety.

As stated before, there’s really not a “right time” of year to sell. At William Wilson Auction-Realty, we help you find the right timing to sell that combines your needs with the demands of buyers.

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