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When is the best time of year to sell your property?

Posted in Tips & Guides on by

If you’re keen to sell up and relocate, it’s tempting to do everything you can to get the ball rolling as soon as possible. However, as with so many things in life, timing is everything. Years of property market analysis have shown that housing sales tend to go through seasonal peaks and troughs, so putting your house on the market at the right time of year could help you to secure a sale faster.

Best time to sell property

At certain points throughout the year demand rises, whilst during other times demand drops, meaning fewer potential buyers are looking which could mean it takes you longer to secure a sale.

If you want to make sure your move isn’t held up by waiting for a buer, it makes sense to think strategically, even if that means delaying putting your house on the market until later in the year when demand starts to increase again.

In this article we highlight the pros and cons of selling up at different times of year, as well as offering a few additional pieces of advice on seasonal property sales that will help you sell your property at any time of year.

Selling in Spring

Selling in Spring

Spring is widely regarded as being the best time of year to buy or sell a property for a variety of reasons, some of which are purely psychological. After all, spring is associated with renewal and fresh starts, which puts people in the right mood to look forward and get moving after the dark winter months.

There are also a number of practical reasons why spring is a great time to sell a home. Good light and mild weather make prospective buyers happier to attend viewings, and the blooming of the local green spaces - including the property’s garden - means the home will look more attractive at this time of year too.

Spring is a particularly popular house-hunting period for families thanks to the Easter holidays which provide an ideal opportunity to get organised, and closing a deal in spring makes it easier to plan a move during the summer months while the kids are out of school.

It’s worth bearing in mind that the fertile market conditions of spring can be a double-edged sword, as you may find yourself having to vie for attention with a large number of other sellers who have the same idea as you.

Selling in summer

Selling in Summer

Selling in summer offers many of the same benefits as the springtime; the sunny weather and long days make it easier to show off your property in the best possible light, while also helping you to fit multiple viewings into the day.

However, for various reasons summer is actually one of the worst times of year to try and sell a property. Many people use this time to go on holiday and with the focus of attention, and budgets diverted towards holidays, it can vastly reduce your pool of potential buyers, and holidays may even affect your ability to get all the necessary paperwork processed on time.

What’s more, potential buyers with families are likely to have their hands full, looking after children while school is out, and may be unwilling to organise a move that would likely coincide with the start of the school year.

If you’re keen to make a sale during the summer, it’s important to get the listing arranged as early as possible; June can be a healthy month for sales, but once late July and early August arrive, the market tends to go quiet until autumn, and you’re likely to find it difficult to make any progress quickly.

Garden in autum

Selling in Autumn

After spring, autumn is generally seen as the second-best time of year to sell a house. After the doldrums of late summer are over, the housing market picks back up again, and many sellers time their listings to benefit from this upswing in activity.

After all, autumn is a period that’s undisrupted by major holidays, and with children returning to school, parents have more time to spend on house-hunting and the associated paperwork. Moreover, the mild weather and autumnal changes to plantlife offer sellers a great opportunity to showcase their property in a flattering light - assuming they don’t allow the grounds to become overly clogged up with sodden autumn leaves, of course.

Autumn house-hunters also tend to be highly motivated, as few want the purchasing and moving process to drag on into winter and Christmas, so sellers can take advantage of this - just be aware that demand is likely to drop off as late October and early November rolls around, so those looking to make an autumn sale should try to do so promptly.

Garden in winter

Selling in Winter

Winter is a period often associated with hibernation, and the housing market is very much subject to this: property services frequently experience a significant downturn in interest and enquiries during the winter months, and it’s generally not seen as a great time to try and sell.

Not only do the frosty weather and dark evenings put potential buyers off attending viewings, but the pressures and expenses of the Christmas period mean that few are willing to take on the additional stress of trying to organise a move. Although there will always be a few buyers out there, it’s likely that many of them will be shopping at this time with the specific aim of landing an off-season bargain, so sellers will not be negotiating from a position of strength.

As such, putting up a winter property listing any time before Boxing Day probably isn’t the best idea; however, there may be opportunities to sell in the immediate post-Christmas and New Year periods, as this is a time when many people start considering a fresh start ahead of spring.

Other variables to consider when selling your home

Although these seasonal patterns are definitely worth considering, it’s important to remember that there are no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to selling a house, and that these annual market trends may be affected by other variables, specifically on the kind of property you're selling and your potential buyers.

For example, if you’re selling a small flat that would be suitable for students, then seasonal demand will be very different. Additionally, economic and regional factors can often also influence the bouyancncy of the housing market.

By taking all of these factors into account, you should be able to work out the perfect timing to put your property on the market, helping you to secure that sale and get moving as quickly as possible.

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