When’s the best time to sell my house?

In terms of the best time of year to sell, the answer you will hear most often is Spring. This is primarily because people aren’t away for the summer holidays or busy with Christmas celebrations.

Another good thing about spring is that your home will look better when the garden is coming into bloom and the sun is generally out for longer.

  • Summer generally isn’t and has never been the best time to sell a home. A lot of people go away and if you’re trying to sell to families, you should remember that they’re either going to be away or having most of their time taken up by child care during the school holidays.
  • Autumn can be a good time to sell. If the weather’s mild your home will still look good and there are no major holidays to contend with. Make sure you’re ready to move quickly if you do find a buyer though because after October the market tends to slow right down.
  • Winter can be a difficult time to sell, especially before Christmas. If you’re not going to be ready to put your home on the market before December, it’s probably worth waiting until January when people are starting to think about the year ahead.

Are there regional differences?

Seasonal variations are fairly universal but it’s worth having a close look at your local area before entering the market.

What if I’m not ready to sell at the best time of year?

Simply wait until the time is right for you. It’s much more important to choose a time that works for you. If you rush your home on to the market without preparing it and yourself, could set yourself up for a fall. And if you do get a buyer, you want to be able to move as quickly as possible before they can change their mind.

Take some time first to make sure you have your home looking its best. That doesn’t necessarily mean spending thousands of pounds on huge renovation projects – just take some time fixing the little details, such as wonky gates and cracked toilet seats.

I hear the market’s buoyant, should I try and get on it as quickly as possible?

It depends. If you’re thinking of putting your house on the market at one of the traditional low points, such as Christmas or the height of summer, it’s probably worth waiting a while so you can enter it when you’re going to get the maximum amount of attention.

The longer your house is on the market, the more buyers will start to wonder what’s wrong with it.

Who buys when?

Young couples and singles: First time buyers often begin their first home search very early in the year. Perhaps they have spent one Christmas too many at home with their relatives, and realised it’s time to move out. Their search often starts in earnest in January and February, and their purchases at the lower end of the market – apartments and terraced homes – then supports the second and third time buyer market – semi-detached and detached homes. This, in turn, supports the larger properties, and so the cycle goes on. One thing to remember about young couples and singles, is that they tend to look at lots of different properties, and as they are not in a hurry, their search can go on for months, and even years. So be patient with them, and let them take their time to make up their minds.

Families: Family buyers tend to buy at three distinct times of year: autumn, spring and early summer. Do you recognise the significance of these times? They are term times. Buyers with children don’t usually like to house hunt during the holidays. First, they have better things to do, perhaps going on holiday, and second, it’s a whole lot more stressful viewing a home when you have a bored and whiny child to contend with. Mums and Dads tend to wait until the children are in school, so they can view the house in peace.

Downsizers: Older couples and singles usually prefer to look at homes during the warmer months, so bungalows and retirement homes will often languish on the market over the winter months. Older people don’t want to venture out to look at homes in the rain and snow, and nor do they want to move house in the winter time. For them, summer is the ideal time to sell, and to buy, and this type of buyer tends to look at fewer properties, and make their minds up more quickly.

If you know who you’re most likely to sell your house to, you can plan. Think about when you bought your home, to see you can deduce any clues about when you should re-sell. Remember that the less time your home is on the market, the closer to your asking price you are statistically likely to get, so plan for a quick sale.

It’s not healthy for your eventual sale price, or for your emotional wellbeing, to have a property languishing on the market for months. Some of our HomeTruths’ clients have been trying to sell their homes for several years, and it can be very demoralising and disheartening indeed.

In this case, if a fast sale is what you’re looking for, Offerpal can help. We will shop around cash buying companies to find you best and fastest sale for your property. To find out more about how this works, have a look at our articles on selling to a cash buying company here.

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