When making the key decision to sell a house, it’s important to consider when the best time is to put it on the market. Circumstances may not always allow you to wait around before selling, however, if you are lucky enough to have the luxury of time on your side, it’s worth trying to carefully time your entry into the market.
Understanding supply levels
It’s universally agreed that the best time to sell anything is when there are the most people actively looking to buy. In addition to the need for high levels of demand, the best time to sell is when there is a lack of other sellers, or rather, a lack of supply.
In terms of selling properties, if you are selling at a time when there is a lot of active buyers and a lack of available housing – you’re more likely to get a better sale price. The competition between buyers forces them to make higher offers as they have fewer properties to choose from.
Comparing the 4 seasons
Overall, Spring is generally considered the best season to sell a property. There’s a lot of factors that come into play, but spring is generally the time of the year when people have more free time and aren’t focused on holidays.
Comparatively, summer isn’t usually the best time to sell a house. This is because lots of people are away on holidays or planning for their vacations. It’s also not usually an ideal time for families to be looking to buy as they occupied with looking after children who have broken up from school for the summer holidays.
Autumn can be a good time to sell as there are no major holidays to throw up obstacles. However, if you are selling in autumn, you will likely need to be ready to move through the process quickly as the market tends to slow down after October.
Winter is rarely the best time to sell. In the build up to Christmas and New Year, it can be really difficult to sell as most buyers tend to wait until after any holidays. If you are wanting to sell in winter, you are best to wait until later on in January.
Different property types sell better at different times
Depending on the type of property you are selling, the time of year you choose to sell at can have an impact. Ideally, you need to look at the type of buyers that will be interested in a property like yours and establish when they will be actively looking to buy.
If you are selling a terraced house or a 1/2 bed flat, your target market is likely to be first time buyers and young couples. This target market may be more likely to be looking for a property at the start of a new year after they have spent the holidays with their families. Alternatively, they may be looking to buy straight after the summer holidays in hopes of moving into the new house in time for Christmas.
If you are selling a 3 or 4 bed house, your target market is more likely to be families or people that are planning on starting a family. This means the majority of potential buyers will be looking to buy outside of school holidays. Usually, the best time for families to move will be in the springtime as they have more spare time.
If you are looking to sell a bungalow or a retirement home, then you are likely to be targeting elderly people who are looking to downsize. The best time to sell these types of properties is during the warmer months between the end of spring and the end of summer.
The housing market trends in terms of seasons and property types tend to be nationwide so the region you are looking to sell in should follow a similar trend. However, it can be worth researching other properties for sale in your area before you decide to put your property on the market.
If the market is congested with properties similar to yours in the same area that aren’t selling, it can be worth holding off. It’s also worth ensuring there are no major road works happening near your house when you are trying to sell as this could potentially put off interested buyers.
Mistakes to avoid
When you are looking to sell, there are some common mistakes you should always try and avoid:
- Setting an Unrealistic Price – One of the biggest mistakes many sellers make is overvaluing their property. Buyers will often have done a comparative market analysis with an agent to determine a fair offer price, so it’s worth bearing this in mind. Valuing your property on the lower side can actually help generate more interest, and multiple offers may end up driving the price up.
- Getting Over Emotional – Selling a property that has been your home for a while can often provide emotional complications. It’s perfectly normal to feel emotionally attached to a house you have created memories in, however when it comes to selling the property you need to try keep your emotions in check and be able to deal with the process as a business transaction.
- Hiding Major Issues – If there is a major problem with the property, it’s better to be honest about it and try to get it sorted before any sale goes through. If not, the issue will almost always be flagged up during a survey, and it will likely slow down the entire process.
- Not Carrying Proper Insurance – It’s a good idea to be sure that you have homeowners insurance whilst selling your property. If an accident occurs whilst a viewer is on the premises, then you could be liable to pay damages if you don’t have insurance.
Other things to consider
Selling your house is a major life decision for a lot of people, so it’s important not to completely rush the process if you aren’t ready. It is best to be as prepared as possible, and to get an accurate valuation of your property and a good understanding of the best time for you to enter the market.