Go to most high street estate agents and they’re likely to tell you that “now is a great time to sell!” At Zoom995, we’re honest with our clients. It’s true, certain months and certain seasons ARE better than others when it comes to achieving the best possible price for your home and a quick sale.
Of course, you may not have the luxury of choosing, but if you do, this guide will show you the best and worst times to put your house on the market. You’ll then be able to give yourself the best possible outcome when it comes to selling your home. The best times to sell are when the most buyers are looking – the more competition there is for your home the more you’ll achieve for it.
What is the best season for selling?
Time and time again spring has come out on top as the best time to sell. Spring is the perfect time to sell because your home will have good light throughout, your garden will (hopefully!) be in full bloom and the sun is out for longer allowing for later viewings.
In good weather buyers are more likely to go house hunting, and this is the time when people with children are looking to make offers so they can purchase by the end of the school year, ready for their children to start a new school in September.
Summer has never been a good time to sell a home. If it is a particularly hot summer and your house retains a lot of heat, this can be off putting to buyers. It’s also an awkward time to sell because a lot of people are on holiday, away for the whole summer or having most of their time taken up by their children in the school holidays. If your house will particularly appeal to families, hold off until the autumn if you can.
You’re also likely to find yourself competing against properties which failed to sell over the spring, most probably due to them being overpriced. You’ll need to keep a close eye on these properties as this is around the time frustrated sellers start to cut their asking price significantly and you’ll need to be aware of where to pitch your asking price. It all depends on how quickly you need to sell, and whether you can hold off until autumn.
If you absolutely have to sell in summer, do it as early on as you can during the season. You’ll be put at a disadvantage if your home is not on the market by July.
After spring, autumn is the best time to sell a house. Though there aren’t as many potential buyers, they are known to be more serious at this time of year. Try and put your house on the market as early as possible after the summer – September is usually a good time. Nobody wants to move over Christmas so don’t leave getting your house on the market too late.
Try to spend the summer fixing up the house and doing any last minute DIY you want to do to sell your home for as high a price as possible. Buyers tend to go quiet as the end of November approaches, and it’s been known as the worst month to try to sell.
It’s particularly difficult to sell in winter, especially before Christmas. If the autumn is quickly passing you by and you can wait, hold off until after Christmas to get your house on the market. You’ll be surprised by how much interest you get once the new year is underway, when people are looking to make a fresh start.
The end of winter, coming into spring, is therefore a good time to sell. And remember, a bad time to sell is not necessarily a bad time to buy. If you’re looking to move keep an eye on the housing market as there are often sellers willing to negotiate at this time. It’s also a great time to upsize on your home.
Discover a breakdown of when is good to sell, broken down month by month.
Credit: TheAdvisory – the UK’s only dedicated independent consumer advice group for home sellers.
Month by month
First half of January – bad
Second half of January – ok
First half of February – good
Second half of February – great
March – great
April – great
May – great
June – great
June – great
First half of July – good
Second half of July – ok
August – bad
First half of September – ok
Second half of September – good
October – good
November – ok
December – bad
April to May and September to October, has traditionally been the best time to sell, however TheAdvisory’s research says March is actually the time when homes sell fastest. It also means you’re one of the first on the market when April and May come around.
What is the best day of the week for selling?
According to Which?Money, the best day of the week to put your home on the market is Monday. The consumer body looked at thousands of properties sold over 12 months, and its findings revealed the average home took 191 days to sell from being listed to selling – but on a Monday homes only took 176 days to sell.
Avoid the weekend
The properties listed on a Saturday took on average 203 days to sell on average, and Sundays took a lengthy 213 days.
So, if you want to sell your home quickly – the sooner in the week you list your property the better! It’s not known why the day of the week makes a difference, but it could be that people aren’t looking at their email alerts when a new property comes onto the market over the weekend.
Check your local area
Seasonal and monthly variations are the same across the UK, but it’s worth having a close look at your local area before putting your property on the housing market. If buyers in your area are from a certain religion or culture, you may want to check if their holidays are different.
You also may want to check with your council about any planning permission for work in your area. You won’t want to be doing viewings while there are major roadworks or building works going on outside your house.
Here at Zoom995, we have extensive local knowledge in Crawley and the surrounding Sussex area, meaning we are able to give you valuable advice about when is best to sell your home.
Does property type matter?
Yes. This is because different types of buyers will buy at different times. For instance, you’ll want to avoid August for a family home as families will often be away on holiday then.
One and two-bedroom flats and terraced houses
Best time to sell: January, February and September
These buyers are often first time buyers and young couples. They are often tempted to have one last Christmas at home and are known to start house hunting in earnest after the New Year. If they have been studying or travelling they will often want to move after the summer but before Christmas.
Three and four-bedroom family homes
Best time to sell: Outside of school holidays
Targeting families with children is essential when selling a three or four bedroom property. This means avoiding listing your home in the holidays, including half terms in February and May, as well as Easter, Christmas and summer.
Bungalow and retirement properties
Best time to sell: During warmer months
If you are targeting elderly downsizers, aim for spring and summer.
But I’m not ready to sell
ready to sell, do not sell. While this information gives you some guidance on when is best to sell, it’s not more important than making sure the timing works for you.
If you rush to put your home on the market without making sure that both your house is ready for viewing and that you’re ready to move yourself, you may end up stressing yourself out, and potentially losing money as your house isn’t ready.
Take a look at our blog post for hints and tips about how to prepare your home for selling and how to ensure your home sells fast.
What if the market picks up?
Despite what you may hear in the press/media, house prices don’t just go up, they naturally fluctuate throughout the year regardless of an overall rise. If you’re thinking of putting your house on the market at one of the traditional low points because you hear the market is picking up, such as Christmas or the height of summer, it’s still probably worth waiting a while so you can enter it when you’re going to get the maximum amount of attention.
Buyers can always ask how long the property has been on the market, and if it has sat there for a few months during the low points of the year, they may begin to wonder if there is something wrong with it.
But I can’t wait…
If you need to get going for your own reasons and you’re ready to do so then you shouldn’t hold back.
Here are some tips if you’re planning to sell in the low season:
If there is little demand, you may have to lower your price and be prepared to do everything within your power to keep a potential buyer.
Don’t worry if you’re upsizing
The low season will offer you less choice when buying, however you could sell your current home for lower than it’s worth in peak season, but also buy a bigger home for less with a bigger proportional saving.
Keep in touch with your estate agent
In the low season your estate agent may have more free time to concentrate on your property and advertise it, so keep in touch with them to see what they can do for you. If there are not many on the market you may get lucky, you may get a buyer who sees that your property is suitable and needs to move quickly.