Selling a home is one of the bigger decisions in life, as well as one of the largest transactions you’ll make and upheavals to your day-to-day. It makes sense to make the process as smooth as it can be, with the best possible outcomes for all, getting a fair price for your property and as quick a sale as possible. With all this in mind, there are lots of different perspectives on when the best time might be to get that ‘for sale’ sign out front. Here we take a look at the general trends observed in the market each year, which may well help you time that move just right.
Start of the year
The new year can be a great time to catch a new wave of enthusiasm from prospective buyers who start looking ahead and thinking about big goals for the coming year, such as buying their new dream home. The time off during the holidays may have been spent browsing property listings, and being back to a normal work/life routine and making good on new year plans can lead to a flurry in scheduled viewings. Keep in mind that daylight is still scarce at this time of year, so make the most of natural light when you can when it comes to getting photographs taken for listings or having people in for viewings.
If new year is the start of the property buying journey for many, spring is when it starts getting serious, traditionally one of the busiest times of the year for the property market. Buyers who have been browsing for a few months may start to narrow down their search and begin putting in offers and the Easter holidays offer some extra time off for viewings and getting business in order too. People are motivated to use their evenings more for viewings as the nights get lighter and properties start to view better too, as gardens spring into action again. Buying a property at this point can also mean you are in your new home by summer, great for tying in with school holidays and time off.
There is usually a slight slowdown for the market in summer, as people are preoccupied with having the kids off, holiday plans or making the most of the better weather. However, as with any quieter time you can always make this an advantage, if other sellers are holding off and there are less homes on the market, you may well see more viewings and potential buyers through the door.
Similarly to new year, there is a buzz of activity following the summer holidays that follows the ‘back to normal’ routine, with people thinking ahead to the end of the year and where they’d like to be at Christmas. There is also some movement around university terms at this time of year too. The reverse applies to spring in terms of changes in daylight, so keep that in mind when timing viewings and present your property in the best light possible.
Like summer, winter can be a slower period, especially in the immediate weeks before Christmas. Again you can take advantage of fewer homes being put on the market, or get ahead of the new year rush in making sure your home is listed at this time. There’s lots of time spent indoors on devices at this time of year, so it can be good to make sure your home is listed even if you don’t expect lots of viewings yet.
When is right for you
It’s good to keep in mind what the different seasons bring and things like school terms and holiday periods, but what is right for you and what’s going on in your life is also just as important. You’ll know when makes the most sense, whether in financial terms or working around big life changes such as if you’re planning a family or a job change.