When is the Best Time to Sell Your House?

Keep reading to discover…

  • The best (and not so good) months to sell your home.
  • The different rules for different property types.
  • And more!

When do homes sell quickly?

As you can see on our graph, spring is traditionally the best time to sell your property. DO NOT take this as gospel, there are several factors that come into play when it comes to a property being sold, such as the type of property.

With that being said, the conventional wisdom on when the market is most active and favourable for selling is as follows:

You will notice that March is highlighted, this is the best time to launch a sale if you need to sell your property fast. Keep reading to find out why March is most popular.

Is right now a good time to sell your property?

At Boxall Brown and Jones, we will provide you with tailored advice based on the local market and your property type. We know that many estate agents will say ‘yes, now is a fantastic time to sell your home’, however, we will ensure that your property is in safe hands, and you get the sale that you deserve.

When is the best time to put a house on the market?

Take a look at the graph below:

Best month to sell your house?

Traditional ideas suggest that the best months are April through to May and September through to October.

However, analysis shows that the ‘right time to sell’ is in fact March. According to the data, it can take up to 57 days to go under offer.

This is important to note because the less time you’re on the market, the better price you are likely to get.

Worst month to sell your house?

Traditional ideas suggest that August and December are the worst times. However, according to research, the longest time to sell usually occurs between October 15th and November 15th. Where it takes 79 days to go under offer.

The role of supply and demand

We can all agree that the best time to sell is when there are lots of buyers actively looking to buy. However, as with all products, services or commodities, to get the best price, you do not just need the high levels of ‘demand’ you also need low levels of ‘supply’.

So, when it comes to selling a property, this means that the best time to sell is when there are lots of buyers actively looking to buy and few competing sellers looking to sell.

This is because…

  • Competition between buyers over available properties has a positive effect on your achievable sale price.
  • Competition forces out the best offers.
  • The more buyers there are and fewer properties there are for sale, the more intense the environment of competition.

Supply levels – How to find out the level

To get a general feel for supply levels of properties on a national level, you could look at the NAEA monthly housing report.

For a detailed view of the property market, you could look at local estate agents’ websites or Rightmove to see if there are lots of competing properties for sale in the market.

Demand levels – How to find out the levels

Buyer demand fluctuates throughout the year and can follow a predictable pattern, which you will find out later in the blog post.

Different property types sell best at different times of year

If you are looking for the best price in the shortest amount of time, it is wise to come to market when the maximum number of buyers are actively looking for properties like yours.

Naturally, different types of properties attract different types of buyers. Lets take a closer look…

1 & 2 bed flats and terraces

Your target buyer: First time buyers and young couples

Best time to sell: January, February and September

  • These buyers are often prompted by one last Christmas at home being one too many.
  • They are known to start property hunting right after New Year.
  • They are also back in the market after the summer holidays with hopes of getting into their new home in time for Christmas.

3 & 4 bed family homes

Your target buyer: Second steppers planning to have (or already have) kids

Best time to sell: Outside of the school holidays

  • Christmas holiday: 19 December – 5 January
  • February half term: 12February – 23 February
  • Easter holiday: 1 April – 13 April
  • May half term: 28 May – 3 June
  • Summer holiday: 13 July – 6 September
  • Autumn half term: 19 October – 31 October

Bungalow & retirement homes

Your target buyer: Elderly down-sizers

Best time to sell: During warm months (June – September)

  • Avoid coming to market between the end of summer and the beginning of spring.

Understanding the annual house selling cycle

Despite what you may hear in the press about house prices, they do not just go up. They naturally rise and fall throughout the course of the year. This is primarily due to changes in buyer demand levels.

It is as regular as clockwork but of course can be disrupted by outside events, such as Government intervention (the changes to Stamp Duty Land Tax is a prime example).

The four seasons compared

Spring

  • March = Great
  • April = Ok (look out for Easter holidays)
  • May = Great

Why?

  • Gardens are in bloom.
  • There is plenty of good light and mild weather.
  • Properties look their best.
  • The market is full of buyers.
  • In good weather, buyers are more prepared to go property hunting.
  • To spark a potential bidding war the savvy seller will make their property stand out by pricing it competitively.

Summer

  • June = Great/Good
  • July = Ok
  • August = Poor

Why?

  • Summer is a mixed bag and high summer can be a poor time to sell (especially if the target buyer is families).
  • School holidays can be a big reason for this, entertaining kids leaves little to no time for house hunting.
  • Many people will be away on holiday. This peaks around August and the market slows.
  • If you must sell around this time of year, try to get on the market as early as possible.
  • There is a chance that your property will be up against properties that failed to sell over spring (probably due to them being overpriced).
  • Keep a close eye on competition as some sellers will knock lumps off of their asking price.
  • You will need to make sure your property looks competitive to get buyers through the door.

Autumn

  • September = Ok
  • October = Great
  • November = Good

Why?

  • Many house buyers are even more motivated around this time of year.
  • There tends to be slightly less properties on the market compared to Spring, but those that are there are serious.
  • Many people do not want to move over Christmas, so do not put your property to market too late.
  • After October, many buyers go into hibernation, remember, November was one of the worst times to come to market!

Winter

  • December = Poor
  • January = Poor/ Ok
  • February = Good/Great

Why?

  • Winter is not ideal to sell.
  • However, it can be a great time to buy!
  • Sellers still on the market in December tend to be very open to negotiation on price.

Other important considerations

In addition to the seasonal variations, a savvy seller should be aware of…

Major works and projects

Are there any major works your Council has granted Planning Permission for?

For example:

  • New roads.
  • Major construction projects.
  • A block of flats being built next door.
  • A planned mobile phone mast that could cover the view from your kitchen etc.

If you know about any of these things, your buyer’s solicitors will find out about them too. You can expect some haggling over prices to ensue.

If possible, try and delay putting your property to market until the project is complete.

We hope these tips will help you when putting your property to market. Let us know what you think through our social medias!

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