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When is the Best Time to Sell?

There is no exact science when it comes to the best time to sell your home. When you decide to sell is always going to be a confusing time. With so many attention-grabbing headlines relating to the property industry, you can be forgiven for feeling pressured. Unhelpful scaremongering over political issues, house price trends and stamp duty hikes are all too frequent occurrences, which shouldn’t be taken too seriously.
The truth is, there is no ideal time to sell, there are too many unknown variables to get it exactly right, and it all comes down to your personal circumstances. Some periods are certainly better than others and we are here to help you to make an informed decision that hopefully, you won’t be regretting in the future.
Spring has often been considered to be the best time of the year to place your property on the market. The Christmas holidays are all out of the way, gardens are blooming with colour and there is a suitable amount of day light hours. Most importantly, this period welcomes many new buyers to the market who have been waiting for the winter to end. The downside of selling in the spring is the number of competing properties saturating the market at this time of year.
The success of selling during the summer months depends on the target market for your property. If you are selling a family home, many potential buyers will be away on holiday or preoccupied with entertaining the kids. The holiday season will have a direct influence on the pool of available viewers, but you will also benefit from a decrease in competition as other homeowners may delay selling until late spring and early autumn. The summer season has the main advantage of more clement weather, which will not only present better conditions for photography, but will also produce more available natural light and longer daylight hours for viewings.
Autumn can be another good time to sell, as the summer settles and autumn begins, the weather is a little milder but your property can still look appealing. Autumn presents the best time to show a cosy and comfortable home, as at this time of year people spend most of their time indoors. There are also fewer holidays to contend with and if you sell quickly, there will be time to complete the move before Christmas. It is advisable to place your house on the market as early as possible, however, as after October the market does have a tendency to slow down.
Winter can be a challenging time to sell, especially over the festive period. The majority of vendors decide to wait until the New Year before they go to market. However, the handful who are prepared to sell do so at a time when new instructions are few and far between.
What is your motivation for moving?
Our experience tells us that in order to sell your house effectively (at the right price and in the timescale most suitable for you) you will be motivated to sell and equally motivated to buy – a ‘push and pull’ effect.
You may well be living in a large property and the ‘push’ could be the cost of the upkeep and your ‘pull’ maybe the allure of a smaller property with far less maintenance. Often people will experience several ‘push’ ‘pulls’ providing an increased motivation to move.
Regional Differences
Seasonal variations are fairly universal but it’s worth having a close look at your local area before selling. Pay attention to the houses that go onto the market in your locality and find out what price they are selling for. Comparable evidence will provide a good indication of how things are in your local area and whether the market is leaning towards the buyers or the sellers. Check if the council has granted planning permission for any work nearby, you don’t want to be selling your house whilst major road works are taking place.
What if I’m not ready to start selling?
The simple answer is not to sell, it’s much more important to choose a time that works for you. If you rush your home to the market without preparing it for sale, you could be losing out on the opportunity to achieve your highest possible price. Take some time to make sure you have your home looking at its best, presentation is everything when it comes to selling your home and a little maintenance work to make your property more appealing can really pay dividends.
The market is picking up, should I try and get my property on the market as quickly as possible?
It all depends on whether you are ready to go straight to the market or not. If the market is picking up, chances are the trend will continue whilst you prepare your house for market. If you time it right, you may be able to bypass the influx of new instructions. Vendors are often tempted to inflate the asking price in an attempt to test the market, however, buyers have become increasingly savvy over the years and an overpriced house is likely to remain for sale for a long period of time. The longer your house is on the market, the more buyers will start to wonder what’s wrong with it.
What if circumstances won’t allow you to wait?
If you need to get going and you’re ready to do so then you shouldn’t hold back.
What about larger houses and luxury homes?
Larger houses and luxury homes are more difficult to sell, simply because there are fewer buyers and those who are looking are searching for something truly special. The best time to sell a luxury home is in the spring, as it’s the busiest time for the property market and it makes sense to market when the optimum numbers of buyers are looking. Despite the season in which you choose to place your home on the market, the first four to six weeks provide the best window of opportunity to secure a sale. The standard of marketing will be instrumental in attracting buyers and, therefore, we believe in creating excellent marketing materials to elevate your property above those of the competitors. There may be better times of the year to sell than others, but the presentation of your property is key to achieving that all important sale.