When is the best time of year to sell your property?
When is the best time of year to sell your property?
If you’re keen to sell up and relocate to a new property, it’s tempting to do everything you can to get the ball rolling as soon as possible, with the goal of finding and moving into your next home at the earliest opportunity. However, as with so many things in life, timing is everything when it comes to the successful sale of a property.
Years of property market analysis have shown that housing sales tend to go through seasonal peaks and troughs throughout the year, with certain types of home proving easier or harder to shift depending on the current month. If you want to make sure your big move isn’t held up by a wait for a buyer, it’s therefore sensible to make yourself aware of these trends and wait for the perfect moment to put your property on the market.
In this guide, we’ll give you the lowdown on 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 find the right buyer and the right price all year round.
Spring is widely seen as 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 often regarded as the season of renewal and fresh starts, which puts people back in the mood to go house-hunting after the gloom of winter.
However, there are also a number of practical reasons why spring is a great time to sell a home. The 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 picturesque than at any other time of year. Spring is a particularly popular house-hunting period for families - the Easter holidays 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 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 - the fact that so many people are on holiday during this time greatly reduces the pool of potential buyers, and may also affect your ability to get the paperwork processed on time. What’s more, potential buyers with families are likely to have their hands full looking after their 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 will go quiet until autumn, and you’re likely to find it difficult to make any progress.
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.
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
Although these seasonal patterns are definitely worth bearing in mind, it’s important to remember that there are no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to selling a house, and that these broad trends may be affected by other variables when it comes to your specific case.
For example, if you’re selling a small flat that would be suitable for students, then activity patterns are likely to be different from when you’re listing a three or four-bedroom family home, or a retirement bungalow. Additionally, economic and regional factors can often also play just a big a role in affecting buyer sentiments as seasonal trends, so it’s always a good idea to research the local news and property market data before devising your own selling strategy.
By taking all of these factors into account, you should be able to work out the perfect timing for your sale, allowing you to get the ball rolling on your own big move with a minimum of fuss.
No matter the time of year, Move Home Faster can provide you with the assistance and advice you need when buying and selling your home. Contact us today by calling 01270 263 263.