There are plenty of myths about when the best time is to sell property. Spring is generally called out the most as a preferential time to sell your home, but regional nuances also come into play, as does the type of property you are selling. Ultimately, the best sales are those that are sold for the most amount of money in the quickest possible time, and that can happen at any time of year.
August and December are statistically the worse times of year to try and sell. It’s not difficult to work out why. August is the height of the summer holiday season, while December is all about Christmas.
There are obvious trends in heightened house selling activity, and in the main they support spring as the optimum time to sell. However, the best time to sell is when there are the most buyers looking for your type of property, and that could be anytime.
While it’s agreed amongst most pundits that spring is the best season to put property on the market, property sales still go on all year around. Here, Dakota Murphey, an independent writer and property specialist, gives you some of the seasonal trends in the property market to help you decide when is the best time of year for you to sell your home.
One of the best reasons for selling a property in spring is because of the weather. Brighter sunnier days are perfect for showcasing all your home has to offer. Flowers are coming into bloom and gardens are starting to show potential, and everything about your property generally looks more appealing with some sunshine on it. In property sales it’s all about creating a good first impression.
Parents looking to move into school catchment areas will do so well before the start of the next academic year, so making your home appealing to families if there are good schools in the area is a good tip.
Don’t be tempted to overprice your house, just because you are selling at the optimum time of year. The longer it stays on the market the less appealing the property will appear. Buyers will wonder why the property isn’t selling and it can work negatively. It can make buyers suspicious that you are hiding something.
If your property appeals to families, be wary of selling in the summer months, especially during the school holidays. Parents are less likely to be traipsing around looking at properties when they have their little darlings to take care of.
Families with children of school age are typically away on holiday during the school summer holidays, so you’ll be restricting the amount of buyers looking for property if you try and sell from end of July to beginning of September.
Even young professionals are distracted by summer holidays and weekends away, so be aware that any type of property can be harder to sell during the summer.
From mid September the property market does tend to pick back up again. There’s usually a flurry of activity during the autumn as buyers aim to be moved into a new home before Christmas. October time tends to see a spike in home buying activity, so you could expect a quick sale around this time.
People sell houses all year round for many different reasons. Some people have to relocate with their jobs, or move nearer to family members who need support. There are many reasons why people will be looking for property and that happens 365 days of the year.
While spring is traditionally the time when the property market buzzes, the fact is you can sell your home exactly when it suits you. At certain times of the year you may have to compromise on your selling price to get interest, or you may have to wait a little longer for an interested buyer, but with good marketing there’s no reason why you can’t sell your home during the winter.
February, at the tail end of winter, is a good month to sell rather than just before Christmas, and it tends to be an especially good time to sell apartments and flats. Young professionals looking to buy their first home tend to get Christmas out of the way, and then start to look at property.
Tips for selling your home when the property market is quieter
Don’t be put off trying to sell your house at a time of year that suits you. After all it only takes one buyer to sell your home.
- Clever marketing is even more important at times of year when there are less buyers interested in property. Choose your estate agent carefully, preferably an established one with local property market experience, such as Hunters Estate Agents.
- Make sure the selling photos taken are great ones.
- Know that you are at a disadvantage in terms of the number of buyers around and act accordingly.
- Be realistic about your price. Get the price right and you’ll sell at any time of the year.
- Take the time to get everything ready before putting your property up for sale. Clear up all of those niggling DIY jobs to get your home looking at its best.
Things to be aware of when selling your home
When you are selling your home, it’s not just about getting your property ready for a sale. Be aware of any major works in your area by contacting your local council regarding any planning applications. For example:
- New roads planned
- Construction projects about to start in the area
- New builds in the vicinity (is a new block of flats going up next door?)
- Planned mobile phone masts
There’s no point hiding information about expected developments in your area as your buyer’s solicitor will find out about them anyway. If possible delay selling your property until nearby construction projects and road developments have finished. Buyers are much more wary of the unknown. Otherwise expect considerable haggling over the price.
The impact of Brexit
There’s also the issue of Brexit. In 2 years we’ll be leaving the EU and no one can predict what affect this will have on the property market. Some pundits are saying sell now if you are planning to in the next couple of years as there is the likelihood of tougher lending, a rise in interest rates and a lack of confidence following Brexit. The fact is we really don’t know and there is still the issue of low housing stock. The economy though will dictate, and if interest rates rise, along with unemployment, there will undoubtedly be fewer buyers.
Whatever time of year you decide to sell your home, have a clear list of things you are prepared to compromise on before you put your property on the market. Good luck!