when is the best time to sell a house

When is the best time to sell your home?

When considering the best time to sell your home, you will get a different answer depending on who you ask you. Ask most estate agents and they will give you all the reasons why now is a good time to sell any house. Ask friends and family and they will all have an opinion on what time of year or market climate might be best for you. So, just how can you be sure that you are selling your home at the right time?

We’ve put together a guide on recent UK market trends sourced from impartial research to try and give you the best information to make a decision on when to sell your home.

choose best time to sell your home

Whatever time of year you sell, getting your home ready for sale is essential. Image via Flickr.

Sell Your Home: Timing is Everything

When it comes to selling a house, there are usually two motivating factors; time and money. Most people want to sell quickly and make the most money; others prefer to wait as long as they can to get the best prices whilst some, for many reasons, may simply want to sell quickly.

Understanding your motivation for selling can also inform you and your estate agent about the best time to sell.

It’s worth knowing that placing your house on the market before it’s ready or at an unrealistic price will both result in your home languishing on property boards. To be avoided at all costs, homes that don’t move quickly can turn into millstones around the necks of all involved. Buyers know how long a property has been on the market and their natural instinct is to wonder why; often assuming that something is wrong.

Peaks and Troughs

The housing market, like most financial markets, responds to external factors that influence the rest of the UK’s economy. As a result, seasonal variations can all be subject to change.

However, there are periods that are traditionally more or less active for the property market such as the annual Christmas slow down and the bumper surge following New Year.

The Year in Focus

So, just how does the market perform on a seasonal basis?

Using a metric of how quickly houses sell and the proportion of the asking price achieved we’ve produced a rough guide to the monthly fluctuations in the UK’s market ‘temperature’:

seasonal variation in housing market conditions

Deciding when to sell your home is about more than just picking a hot month.

With the exception of the summer holidays and the Christmas period, the chances of selling your home at any other time of year and achieving a swift offer close to your asking price are good.

Spring

When the costly business of Christmas is put to bed and the New Year begins, the housing markets tend to experience a shift in momentum. From February to April, the weather begins to turn milder, the days longer and houses with gardens begin to look more appealing. There is a sense of change in the air and families with children look to secure a new home in good time for a completion before the start of the new school year. It’s an up-beat time of year and is often viewed as the best time to sell a house to achieve the maximum value whilst securing a rapid sale.

Summer

Widely regarded as the slowest season to sell homes, summer can certainly be a harder market to achieve a sale in. This is particularly true of homes that are suitable for families. So close to the start of a new school term, the chances of a smooth move before that milestone are lower than if they buy in spring. The other reasons is of course that many people take holidays, often costly ones and this can leave little time (or money) for house hunting.

On the other side of the coin, the summer can be the time when most houses look their best, particularly those that have gardens in full bloom. Marketing early in the summer certainly gives your best chance of achieving a prompt sale.

Autumn

Like Spring, Autumn is a traditionally acknowledged peak for buying and selling a home. The mild weather and good light still offers a flattering lens through which to view a property. However, most people don’t want to be moving home just before Christmas so putting your house on at the end of Autumn runs a risk of delays.

Winter

By December, the nights are at their longest, the weather is cold and properties very rarely look at their best unless they are offering features like open log fires or festive charm. There are lots of ways to enhance your home to make it come alive in this period to appeal to buyers but December is certainly a quieter month for buying and selling homes.

when to sell your home

Winter might be a pretty time of year but can make selling your house harder. Image via Flickr.

Some Truth in “Now”

The fact is that there are buyers looking for properties 365 days a year and a well-prepared home, priced competitively that is marketed well should always achieve a sale. So, whilst there is some evidence to suggest that the market is more competitive at certain times of year, the ultimate decision about when to sell your home will be driven by your own influencers.

If you want to sell your home, whenever you want to place your property on the market, Property Assistant UK can make sure your house stands the best chance of selling quickly for the right price. To talk to us about getting your home prepared for market and taking advantage of local market conditions, call 0118 912 2370.